Cardiovascular exercise, commonly known as cardio, is any activity that elevates your heart rate and improves cardiovascular fitness. Regular cardio workouts offer numerous health benefits, including improved heart health, increased stamina, and calorie burning. Here are some popular cardio exercises you can incorporate into your fitness routine:
Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Reach towards your toes, keeping your back straight and chest lifted. Feel the stretch along the back of your thighs (hamstrings).
Stand on one leg and bend your other knee, bringing your foot towards your glutes. Gently pull your ankle closer to your glutes while keeping your knees together. Feel the stretch along the front of your thigh (quadriceps).
Chest Opener Stretch
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and shoulders relaxed. Clasp your hands behind your back and straighten your arms. Lift your arms slightly and open your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Extend one arm across your chest at shoulder height. Use your other arm to gently push the extended arm towards your body. Feel the stretch in your shoulder and across your upper back.
Raise one arm overhead and bend your elbow, reaching your hand towards the opposite shoulder blade. Use your other hand to gently push on the bent elbow. Feel the stretch along the back of your arm (triceps).
Seated Spinal Twist
Sit with your legs extended in front of you. Bend one knee and place the foot flat on the floor outside the opposite thigh. Twist your torso towards the bent knee and place your opposite elbow on the outside of the bent knee. Use your elbow to gently press into the knee while keeping your back straight.
Sit on the floor and bring the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to fall towards the ground. Hold your feet with your hands and gently press your knees down towards the floor. Feel the stretch in your inner thighs and hips.
Start on your hands and knees. Sit back on your heels and reach your arms forward, lowering your chest towards the floor. Relax your forehead on the mat and feel the stretch along your spine and back.
Lie on your stomach with your palms flat on the floor beside your shoulders. Push through your hands to lift your upper body off the floor, arching your back gently. Keep your hips and legs in contact with the floor.
Sit or stand with your spine tall. Tilt your head to one side, bringing your ear towards your shoulder. Gently use your hand to increase the stretch without pulling your head down.
Perform this flexibility routine regularly to gradually improve your range of motion and maintain your flexibility. Listen to your body, and avoid pushing yourself too hard or causing pain during the stretches. If you have any existing medical conditions or injuries, consult with a healthcare provider or a certified fitness professional before starting a new flexibility training program.