Cardio is one of the most important things you can do for your body, whether you want to lose weight, build muscle or improve your health. The great thing is, there are plenty of choices for cardio exercise. Anything that gets your heart rate into your target heart rate zone will work. The confusing thing is, there are so many choices out there…which exercises are the most effective? There’s no ‘right’ cardio exercise and the best choice is the one you enjoy and the one you’ll work hardest at, but there are some that work best if your goal is to blast calories and get in great shape.
Jumping rope is another calorie-scorcher and, as an added bonus, a jump rope packs easily in your suitcase, making it an excellent travel exercise. A 145-lb person can burn a whopping 330 calories with a 30-minute workout, but you’ll want to slowly work your way up to that.
Start by jumping for 1-2 minutes at a time, taking breaks by marching in place and swinging your rope in a figure eight motion. Continue alternating for 10-20 minutes and, over time, gradually increase the amount of time you jump while decreasing your rests. You can add variety by trying different foot patterns (jumping on one foot, scissor jumps, etc.).