Break a sweat indoors!

Keep active, in all kinds of weather.

By Asha Macam


There are cool and fun options to get your cardio on and metabolism up and running at home. All you’ll need is yourself—and maybe a jump rope or a few exercise DVDs—and the willpower to stay the healthy course.

Over the next 10 years, sedentary individuals—especially those in their 30s—will lose about six to eight percent of their aerobic capacity, states a survey by the American Heart Association. The survey also explains that middle-aged people often deal with flagging stamina and a dipping metabolism due to the demands of career, family, social obligations and others. The solution: Put your lungs and heart to work now—and in the decades to come—so you can be oxygen tanks forever.

10 Ways to Burn 1,000 Calories (or more)

1. Circuit train. With just simple bodyweight exercises working major muscles like your buttocks, thighs, and core, you can burn a minimum of 600 calories in five to 10 minutes. Do three full sets of the following exercises using descending repetitions starting at 20, 15 and down to 10. Rest for a maximum of 30 seconds to keep the heart pumping and oxygen utilized efficiently for fat burning.

a. Jumping jacks

b. Forward or back lunges

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and with your hands by the waist or hips. Step one foot forward bending at the knee. Make sure the knee is tracking over the ankle or the toes and not going over or under them as this can lead to injury. Alternate with the other leg. That’s one rep.

c. Squats

Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend at the knees until thighs are parallel to the ground, pushing your buttocks back and reaching both arms forward. As with lunges, make sure that your knees are tracking over the ankle or toes. Extend knees—standing back to starting position—and relax arms by the sides. That’s one rep. Repeat a few times according to the number of reps and sets.

d. Pushups (knees down or up)

Get on your hands and feet—legs are extended back and hands are directly below the shoulders—onto a pushup position. If building strength, lower knees onto the mat or ground to ensure that the body is inclined properly—chest, abs and thighs are one line—and hands are below shoulders. Inhale as you bend elbows to 45 degrees and lower chest as close to the ground as possible, then, exhale to push up. That’s one rep. Repeat according to the number of reps and sets.

2. Lift weights. Use soup cans or water bottles if you don’t have dumbbells. Strength training can become an aerobic routine if you include them in your workout—especially if it’s a circuit. It guarantees a 36-calorie burn every 10 minutes. Start with five pounds and increase if it’s too light. Do a few bicep curls—hold weights with both hands and make sure elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle. Flex at the elbows and bring weights in toward the shoulders without touching them. To lose back-of-the-arm fat, work the triceps by holding weights with both hands. Extend arms back past the torso, palms up holding the weights. Lift up weights behind doing small pulses. Do 15 to 20 reps and two sets. Do more if you can.

3. Strike a pose. Alternate between cat, cow and downward dog yoga poses 13 times, holding each for 30 seconds. You’ll be burning at least 30 calories every 10 minutes.

4. Climb stairs. Go up and down the stairs nonstop for 11 minutes. This will get your heart rate up, and help you torch at least 150 calories.

5. Get domesticated. Rearrange furniture or vacuum for 20 minutes, combining strength and cardio training which offers an output of at least 45 calories every 10 minutes.

6. Laugh it off. Watch a commercial-free episode of your favorite sitcom. The happy news is 10 straight minutes of laughter—it’s cardio too—can burn up to 40 calories.

7. Indulge your inner kid. Pick up a hula-hoop and do the twist for 22 minutes—a sure 100-calories burn.

8. Channel Ali or Rocky. Jumping rope as fast you can for eight minutes will let you burn at least 100 calories.

9. Rise on the machine. Jog on the treadmill at 4 mph for 25 minutes or at 7 mph for nine minutes, and bid 100 calories goodbye.

10. Game on. Plug in your favorite console game—Nintendo Wii, Kinect, etc.—and keep moving for at least 24 minutes to scorch 100 calories.

For more information about the right duration, intensity and limits for your cardiovascular workout, get your copy of HealthToday August, out now in newsstands and bookstores.

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