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5 calorie-burning cardio moves

“When you’re away from home and your normal routine, it can be tough to be faithful to your cardio workout,” says Lauren Jeffrey, an exercise physiologist at Piedmont Atlanta Fitness Center. “However, it’s easier than you think – it just takes a little intentionality and a plan.”

It’s important to squeeze in cardio workouts while you’re on the go because it takes less than a week of no exercise to begin losing your cardiovascular endurance. The amount of exercise you need to maintain your endurance depends on your fitness level, but any exercise is better than none at all. “Anything less than what you are used to is going to affect you negatively,” says Jeffrey. “Exercise in any amount, however, is going to slow that process.”

Try these quick cardio moves to increase your heart rate and burn calories no matter where you are. “Remember, the purpose of these exercises is to get your heart rate up,” says Jeffrey. “They can be done individually for extended periods of time or alternated in a circuit routine.”

1. High Knees

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Quickly raise one knee at a time to the chest, alternating knees and staying light on your feet.

2. Speed Skaters

  • Begin standing with your feet together.
  • Slightly rotating your body, take one foot out to the side, while keeping the other foot in the center.
  • Return the foot to center and repeat on the other side.

3. Butt Kicks

  • Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, bend one knee and kick your foot toward your backside.
  • Quickly alternate legs for desired amount of time.

4. Jumping Jacks

  • Begin standing with your feet together, arms by your side.
  • Jump your feet apart – slightly wider than hip-width – and raise your arms, forming an “X” shape with your body.
  • Bring your arms and legs back to start, repeat.

5. Burpees

  • Begin in a standing position.
  • Lower your hands to the floor and jump your feet back so you are in the top of a push-up position.
  • Jump your feet back to your hands and stand up to return to start.
  • To make this move more challenging, add a hop when you stand while raising your hands in the air.
  • Repeat.

“Doing these exercises in any amount can make the transition back to your cardiovascular routine a lot smoother, as well as keep your stress down and your mood elevated.”

For more exercise tips and follow-along-videos, visit Fitness.

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