While cycling and swimming are all popular examples of low-impact exercises that’ll help you boost your cardio endurance, they’re definitely not the only options – a bonus if you don’t have access to a bike or a pool.
According to Joel Okaah, CSCS, a certified personal trainer for D1 Training, “any exercises that get your heart rate up and keep it up will help you better your cardio endurance.”
As a reminder, Okaah explained that cardio endurance can be measured by one’s ability to perform exercises for a specific amount of time without labored breathing or feeling tired.
Another way to test it at home is tracking the pace of your running mile, Okaah said. “As you shrink your pace per mile, your cardio endurance is increasing.”
Having high cardio endurance can also be a sign that you have good cardiovascular health – “you achieve this through eating moderately healthy and exercising 3-5 times a week,” Okaah said. (But don’t use that as an excuse to skip any doctor’s appointments, for the record!) With low-impact bodyweight moves, you can work on boosting your cardio endurance without any equipment and in the comfort of your own living room, thanks to this circuit created by Okaah.
“The goal of this circuit is to move through each exercise with speed and efficiency,” Okaah said. “I like to do these types of circuits in a set amount of time so you have a goal to aim for. Make sure every single rep is performed with perfect form to avoid injury and ensure that the right muscle groups are getting targeted properly.”
Before getting started, prep your body with a warmup – Okaah suggested jumping jacks because “they activate every corner of the body,” but you can also try arm circles and glute squeezes.
Okaah said if you can avoid resting between each of these exercises, you’ll get a more challenging workout – however, it’s very important to listen to your body and rest as you need. Okaah suggested drinking lots of water, too! The sweat will be real.
Work through five sets of the four-move circuit, below, resting as needed. And finally, be sure to finish your workout off with a proper cooldown.