You don't need a gym membership or a walking-friendly neighborhood to improve your heart health and master your metabolism. While there's no way around the fact that working out is hard, it doesn't have to be hard to fit it into your life. Turn your living room into your exercise studio and quell your excuses.
Unless you absolutely love the gym atmosphere, there's no rule that says you have to spend an hour on a treadmill to improve your cardiovascular fitness. Save your money and work out at home with these five effective home-based cardio workouts.
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High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the fastest ways to see improvements in cardiovascular fitness. The concept is that you alternate between high and low periods of intensity for the entire course of your workout. This achieves two things: 1) It forces your heart and lungs to work harder during the high intensity bursts, ultimately enhancing your heart and lungs' ability to pump blood through your body and 2) it keeps your heart rate pumping fast, even during rest periods, which increases your total workout calorie burn. The best part is that you can actually achieve more in a shorter workout because of the physiologic benefits that HIIT training provides.
Try this 30-minute routine: