Cardiovascular exercise, also known as cardio or aerobic exercise, is essential for good health. It gets your heart rate up, making you blood pump faster. This delivers more oxygen throughout your body, which keeps your heart and lungs healthy.

Regular cardio exercise can also help you lose weight, get better sleep, and reduce your risk for chronic disease.

But what if you can’t get outside for a daily run or don’t feel like hitting the gym? There are still plenty of cardio exercises you can do at home.

Beginner moves to get you started

If you’re new to cardio, these moves will help get you up to speed.

High knees

This exercise involves running in place, so you can do it anywhere with minimal space.

high knees for cardio exercise
  1. Stand with your legs together and arms at your sides.
  2. Lift one knee toward your chest. Lower your leg and repeat with the other knee.
  3. Continue alternating knees, pumping your arms up and down.

Butt kicks

Butt kicks are the opposite of high knees. Instead of lifting your knees up high, you’ll lift your heels up toward your butt.

butt kicks for cardio exercise
  1. Stand with your legs together and arms at your sides.
  2. Bring one heel toward your butt. Lower your foot and repeat with the other heel.
  3. Continue alternating your heels and pumping your arms.

Lateral shuffles

Lateral shuffles increase your heart rate while improving your side-to-side coordination.

Lateral shuffles for cardio exercise
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees and hips bent. Lean forward slightly and brace your core.
  2. Lift your right foot, push off your left foot, and move right while keeping your form.
  3. Place your feet together. Continue shuffling to the right.
  4. Repeat the same steps to the left side.

To evenly work both sides, shuffle left and right for the same amount of space.

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