Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise increases the heart rate, which delivers oxygenated blood to the lunges and muscles. Cardio provides several health benefits like increased stamina, improved immune system function, a stronger heart and fat loss. You can perform basic exercises to increase your heart rate during your workout. Incorporating cardiovascular activity into your exercise routine can increase the effectiveness of your training program.
Performing jumping jacks works the arms and legs while increasing your heart rate. Stand with your feet together and arms at your sides. Jump up while bringing your arms out to the sides and straight above your head. Land with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Immediately jump again and bring your arms and feet in together. Return to the starting position. Repeat for four sets of 60 seconds.
Step-ups recruit the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves and core muscles. Stand in front of an aerobic step or flat bench. Step up onto the bench with your right foot. Bring your left foot up onto the bench to meet your right. Step down with your left foot and bring your right foot down to the starting position. Repeat the movement leading with left foot. Continue alternating legs for four sets of two minutes.
Burpees engage the arms, core, chest and legs while giving your heart rate a boost. Stand with your feet together and arms at your sides. Place your hands on the ground and snap your feet back, leaving your body in a push-up position. Perform one push-up. Jump your feet in next to your hands. Stand up and jump straight into the air with your hands above your head. Repeat for four sets of 12 repetitions.
High-knees stimulate the lower body and core muscles. Begin by standing with your feet together and arms at your sides. Lift your right knee up to hip-level. Quickly switch legs, bringing your left knee up to hip-level. Continue to alternate legs for four sets of 60 seconds.
- Kansas State University: Top Ten Reasons to Exercise and Be Physically Active
- "Weight Training Manual"; National Federation of Professional Trainers; 2006