When it comes to staying fit and healthy, cardio is essential. Most of us have been conditioned (see what I did there?) to think our only cardio options at the gym are the treadmill, elliptical, or bike—all of which, let's face it, can be b-o-r-i-n-g. But I've got some news: you can get a great cardiovascular workout without actually doing cardio! Say what?
Ok, let me back up for a minute. A cardiovascular workout simply means that your body is using aerobic energy, which happens when you breathe fast and deeply for an extended period of time, maximizing the amount of oxygen in your blood. One of the ways to achieve this effect is with a training circuit.
The series below involves eight weight-training moves, but without the weights. Set a timer for 25 minutes. Perform 15 reps of each exercise, and repeat the circuit until your time is up. Whether you do this quick and energizing workout at the gym or at home, I guarantee one thing: You will not get bored.
Standing Mountain Climbers
Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms bent with your hands (in a fist) up to your shoulders. Punch your right arm straight up above your head while lifting your right knee as high as you can. Then repeat on the left. Alternate as fast as you can until you've completed 15 reps per side.
Lie on your back with your legs straight out in front of you. Hover your legs just a few inches above the ground and place your hands behind your head. Lift your chest and your right leg up towards the sky simultaneously. Lower your head and leg back down. Then repeat with your left leg. Alternate until you've completed 15 reps with each leg.
Ab Toe Touch
Lie on your back with your legs straight up in the air and your arms straight behind you. Using your core, lift your chest up as you try to touch your toes. Hold for 1 second and then slowly release your upper torso back to the ground. Repeat for a total of 15 reps.
ab-toe-touch-cohen.jpg is a leading fitness authority, TV personality, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. With her signature, straight-talking approach to wellness, Jennifer was the featured trainer on The CW’s Shedding for the Wedding, mentoring the contestants’ to lose hundreds of pounds before their big day, and she appears regularly on NBC’s Today Show, Extra, The Doctors and Good Morning America. Connect with Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and on Pinterest.