Top 9 Cardio Exercises You Can Do At Home

by Raksha Hegde last updated -

If you are short on time or you do not have the money to join a gym, doing cardio exercises at home can be an excellent option. These cardio exercises do not need any fancy equipment and can be done at any time of the day, in the convenience of your home.

Doing Cardio Exercises at Home

Cardio exercises have significant benefits for the body including improving heart health, building stamina, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. According to a report published by the experts at John Hopkins Medicine, 30 minutes of heart-pumping cardio exercise per day, at least 5 times a week, is an ideal goal to be healthy. If you enjoy the outdoors instead of working out in a gym, you can easily burn fat and burn calories by combining brisk walking, swimming, or biking with the exercises given below. [1]

A woman in gym clothes performing a squat

Performing a squat Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Top Cardio Exercises at Home

The best cardio exercises at home are jogging in place, high knees, jumping jacks, squat jumps, mountain climbers, and using a jump rope, among others.

Jogging in Place

The best way to warm up the muscles is by jogging in place. Begin slowly by alternately lifting your right and left feet an inch off the ground. Use your arms by moving it as you jog. Avoid jerky movements. Once your body warms up, you can increase your speed. Jogging in place for 60 minutes a week can significantly lower death rate, according to the results of the Copenhagen Heart Health Study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. [2]

High Knees

You can begin with stationary high knees by standing hip-width apart and alternately lifting your knees towards your chest. Keep your back straight, eyes focused ahead, and sway your arms in an easy manner. Once you get comfortable, you can continue the movements with increased speed. High knees help work the core muscles and build strength in the legs.

Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks may remind you of gym time in school, but they are a simple and effective cardio exercise that can be easily done at home. Begin by standing straight with your arms by your side. Slightly bend your knees and jump shoulder width-apart while raising your arms overhead, on either side. Make sure your arms are not too straight and are slightly relaxed to avoid injuries. You can begin with a set of three, and increase the sets as you build stamina. [3]

Squat Jumps

Squat jumps are a powerful way to build your cardiovascular health. However, you need to build stamina and strength before trying it. Begin in the squat position. From here, try to jump as high as possible with a burst of power and come back to the squat position. It is better to keep a check on the form while performing squat jumps and increase the counts slowly.

Mountain Climbers

To do a mountain climber, begin in a plank position with your core muscles tightened. Pull in the right knee towards your chest, with the toes off the ground. You can then pull in the left knee and keep alternating as you build pace.

Jump Rope

Using a jump rope is a popular form of cardiovascular exercise. If you are just beginning, it is best to set a small goal of one minute and then increase it incrementally as you build stamina and skill. Jump rope not only helps burn calories but also builds muscle power and coordination, according to a report in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. [4]


Dancing is a simple and fun way to improve cardiovascular fitness, and the findings published in the British Journal of General Practice suggest that it is an excellent way to enhance your mood too. If you are keen to practice dancing as a form of cardio exercise at home, the best way is to put on some music you love and move your body to it. Alternatively, there are online videos available that can guide you through a dance routine. [5]


Burpees are an excellent way of combining cardio with bodyweight training. For a basic burpee, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your side. Bend your knees while keeping your eyes focused ahead and place your fingers or palms on the ground. Your arms should be close to your body. Kick back to get into a basic plank. From here, move into a push-up by lowering your chest to the ground (you can skip the push-up if this is your first time doing a burpee). Press up with your arms and jump forward while lifting your arms over your head.

Running the Stairs

If you have access to a staircase, you can add walking or running the stairs to your cardio routine at home. A study published in the Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism journal revealed that short bouts of stair climbing throughout the day can help increase cardiovascular strength and power. It is best to begin small, by climbing one stairwell. You can then progress to one-minute increments once you get comfortable. However, do listen to your body and watch out for sharp pains. [6]

Word of Caution: It is advisable to talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise routine. Also, if you have never exercised before, it would be helpful to seek advice from a trained professional to get your basics of form in place. Protection Status
About the Author

Raksha Hegde is the content director at Organic Facts and helps oversee a team of brilliant, dynamic content writers. She completed her MS in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University, US. A former business news journalist and editor, Raksha followed her passion for wellness to become a certified Yoga teacher and a wellness festival curator. She believes that learning is a life-long process; she did a certificate e-course on “Introduction to Food and Health” in 2019 from Stanford University, US. 

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