Holiday Fitness: Walking Cardio Exercises to Do at Home
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Holidays wouldn’t be complete without warm conversations over mulled wine, a glass of bubbly, and mince pies. Enjoying some booze and hearty meals while catching up with family and friends is undeniably the best way to celebrate the festive season.
While all these festivities sound good, squeezing in a long workout routine morning after an eventful night can be challenging. After all, engaging in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts during a hangover could affect your motivation, performance, and safety. But if you don’t want to miss doing a high-intensity exercise, here is a good alternative for you: a 10-minute HIIT cardio workout.
Easy 10-Minute HIIT Cardio Exercises
Cardio exercise, in general, is often tiring since this involves engaging your arm, leg, and core muscles, among others. This can be also time-consuming as it lasts for at least 40 minutes. So, it is a struggle to decide in the morning whether you should take those extra zzz’s or hit the gym after your last night’s holiday blast.
To resolve your dilemma, here are several HIIT cardio workouts you can finish in the comfort of your home. This type of exercise helps increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and strength to lose weight and build muscle mass. Additionally, it strengthens the cardiovascular health and immune system, which is vital if you want to enjoy drinking and partying this holiday.
No worries! You can finish these simple exercises in 10 minutes, giving you more time to rest and recover from a night of partying.
(Image by Sweat.com)
1. For your starting position, stand upright and keep your feet at hip-width apart.
2. Lift and bend one leg and bring your knee outwards.
3. Touch your ankle with the opposite hand and bring it down
4. Repeat with the other leg.
Tips• Once you get the hang of it, try the ankle tap exercise for 3 minutes at an intense pace and speed.
• Aside from being a part of your cardio routine, you may perform an ankle tap as a warm-up when lifting weights to avoid risk-injury.
• Engage your arms when tapping your ankle to work your upper body muscles.
Benefits• Ankle taps target the muscles in your core and lower body such as the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
• It improves speed, agility, and foot-handling skills for better sports performance.
• Overall, this exercise is good for maintaining body coordination and balance while increasing the heart rate to help burn fat fast.
High Knee Tap
(Image by raykliu)
1. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart.
2. Place your palms down facing the ground.
3. Lift your left foot close to your chest and tap your knee with your left hand.
4. Switch to your right foot and repeat.
Tips• Doing 2-3 minutes of this exercise is enough to increase your heart rate, which is beneficial if you are trying to lose body fat.
• To maximize muscle growth and calorie burning, you may increase the knee height, time, and reps.
• It’s better to wear comfortable shoes when doing high knee taps to prevent any knee or ankle problems.
Benefits• High knee tap engages both your upper (abs, obliques) and lower body muscles (quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, hip flexors.)
• This enhances coordination, flexibility, and momentum to help you perform other advanced exercises.
• It keeps your heart rate up and blood flow increased to aid you to lose body fat successfully.
Running in Place
1. Stand upright and keep your neck and shoulders in a neutral position while maintaining your feet at hip-width apart.
2. Lift one arm and the opposite foot at the same time.
3. Raise your knee at hip level.
4. Switch to the opposite foot and repeat.
Tips• Running in place for 10-15 minutes can burn over 75 calories.
• Increase or decrease the duration and intensity depending on your fitness goals.
• Begin at a slow pace to warm up your body and conclude it by walking to cool down.
Benefits• It is good if you want improved flexibility, stability, and muscle strength.
• Running in-place exercise is one of the best and easiest HIIT cardio activities for weight loss.
Knee Raise Clap
1. Stand tall and raise your arms at shoulder length with your fingers pointed toward the ceiling.
2. Keep your chest straight and core engaged.
3. Raise your left knee at chest level.
4. Move and clap your hands below the thigh while still keeping your knee raised.
5. Return to the starting position, and repeat with the other knee.
Tips• For beginners, aim for three sets of 10 reps on each side
• Keep a low and steady pace.
• Increase the reps and pace as you get comfortable.
Benefits• Knee raise clap is a HIIT cardio workout that primarily targets the core and leg muscles.
• If you aspire to have toned lower abs, this exercise is for you.
• It improves heart rate, coordination, and flexibility.
1. Stand upright while keeping your core engaged.
2. Shift all your weight on the right leg and point the left toe towards the side at 45 degrees.
3. Lift your left leg up and down while keeping your upper body stable and repeat 10-12 times.
4. Repeat to the other side.
Tips• Increase the time and reps by repeating the movement 15 times on each side to challenge yourself.
• Keep your torso upright throughout the exercise by rolling down your shoulders and engaging your core.
• If you have problems stabilizing yourself you may use a chair to support your body weight.
Benefits• Personal Trainer Lyla Luciano explains how leg lift exercise engages the upper body, specifically the core or abs.
• It also targets the quads and the inner thigh area.
• Furthermore, this workout enhances leg strength, core strength flexibility, and balance.
Cardio is a powerful form of HIIT exercise that provides numerous health benefits such as weight loss, improved muscle strength, and body coordination and balance. Keep your holiday spirit alive and physical fitness at peak level by performing the above 10-minute HIIT cardio exercises– no gym equipment needed!
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