Without using any equipment at all, this low impact cardio workout gently warms up all of the major muscle groups. It's only ten minutes long and since all it uses is your own bodyweight, you can do it anywhere, anytime.
Because of the low impact exercises, slower motions and emphasis on range of motion, this makes for a great beginner workout. It's also what I like to think of as a "quick-pick-me-up" workout, and even though I love lifting and have a love hate relationship with HIIT, these kinds of gentle workouts also play a role in my life. It seems like we're all increasingly spending more and more time in front of a screen for work or entertainment; quick workouts like this one help increase mindfulness of posture and how you're holding your body, and it also keeps aches and pains at bay from sitting too long. Short bursts of light movement throughout the work day can also help improve mood, circulation, creativity and focus. I frequently use this easy trick within my own work day.
If you're using this as a warm up before starting another workout: Start nice and slow until you're sure you've mastered the move and are achieving the full range of motion that you're capable of, and then pick up the pace. As your muscles feel more warm, increase both the pace and the depth of each motion. Aim to have some light huffing and puffing going on by the end of the ten minutes.
If you're a beginner: Have fun with this! Watch your self talk; kicking negative self talk to the curb during exercise can help you increase your positive feelings about exercise. As you feel comfortable, allow yourself to find your own pace and feel free to increase either or both speed and depth of movement as you can. Listen to your body; take breaks or modify whenever and wherever necessary. Aim to do at least part of each of the ten intervals (extra breaks are fine if necessary). Related: My best tips for getting started + 10 Beginner Workouts that you can do at home for free
10 Quick minutes; no separate warm up or cool down necessary. No equipment. 50 Seconds active with 10 seconds active rest in between each interval.
Printable Low Impact Cardio Beginner Workout
Reverse Step + Reverse Arm Circle (alternating)
Side Step + Overhead Press
Forward Step + Forward Arm Circle (alternating)
Pivot Back + Bow & Turn
Pivot Forward + Slow Punch/Extension
Bicep Curl + Knee Raises
Good Mornings + Calf Raises
Shallow Side Lunge + Arm Sweep
Curtsy Step + Chest Opener
Squat + Chop
Realize and embrace that what our bodies most need may vary each day, week, month and year. It's important to keep those lines of communication open. It's crucial that we tune out the noise - other people's expectations of our bodies, or even our own perception of where we think we "should" be fitness-wise, and give our bodies what they need. It's one of the nicest things we can do for ourselves.
Are you a beginner, brand new to exercise or coming back after a break? Have you tried adding in short bursts of exercise throughout your day to help improve the way you feel? Did you enjoy this workout? Thanks for working out with me! Kelli