Linda Melone
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A super simple, fat-burning cardio routine you can do at home (without equipment)

On March 16, when our gym officially closed its doors due to COVID-19, I hopped on Amazon and ordered a set of weights (until now I had only a few dumbbells). 

I received an email saying the order would “not arrive until April 2 or later.” 

“Big help that’ll be, since there’s no way this quarantine will still be in place,” I said laughingly to my husband. “But they’ll be nice to have.” 

Clearly, COVID had the last laugh.

Flash forward to whatever day this is… Wednesday? Saturday? Your guess is as good as mine.

It’s been about three months. Or has it been five years? Either way, our gym still isn’t open. 

And as of this writing has no immediate plans to reopen.

This situation, to put in technical terms, TOTALLY SUCKS.

So the weights – which arrived April 7 – have been a lifesaver. 

Especially since you have a much better chance of securing a case of hand sanitizer than a set of dumbbells these days.

When people realized baking all that banana bread wouldn’t be enough to keep them in shape, sales of home fitness equipment blew up.

[It’s one reason why my 12-Pack Ageless Body Workout is so popular. You can stay toned and fit with minimal equipment and a dozen workouts to mix and match… only $24.99]

So, even though the weather’s warming up, if you’re scared to death super cautious like me, you may still decide you’d rather keep your workout under your own roof for now.

Aside from resistance workouts, which I cover in many other posts (see below), you also want to keep your cardio fitness up to snuff.

Quick note: Both types of workouts burn calories. 

In general, cardio burns more calories during your workouts, while resistance training adds muscle. The latter boosts your metabolism all day long.

A few factors determine the number of calories you’ll burn in either case:

  1. Workout intensity (strolling vs. walking briskly)
  2. Your bodyweight (you burn more if you weigh more)
  3. Workout length (no surprises here)

So regardless of which type of workout you do, these three factors determine whether you burned off lunch or a breath mint.

Want an easy to remember, no video necessary to watch workout you can do right now? (Or after you put the banana bread in the oven.)

Pop on a headset or turn on the Victrola, fire up a timer and try this simple (not easy!) 13-minute cardio routine – which you can do twice for a longer routine:

Note: Keeping focused on time instead of reps makes it easy to follow. Adjust the time up or down depending on your fitness level.

  1. Warmup5 minutes: Walk in place or around the room, gradually picking up the pace and adding arm circles and air punches
  2. Bodyweight squats: 60 seconds 
  3. Walk in place: 60 seconds, pick up the pace!
  4. Wall or bench push-ups: 30 to 60 seconds (whatever you can do)
  5. Modified jumping jacks (raise arms together overhead and step out to each side instead of jumping back and forth): 60 seconds 
  6. Side shuffle (with or without tubing around thighs – crouch down into a squat and walk out to each side): 60 seconds
  7. Wall or bench push-ups: 30 to 60 seconds (as many as you can do)
  8. Plank (modified on a wall with forearms or a traditional floor version): 30 seconds VIDEO LINK
  9. Bird dog: 30 seconds VIDEO LINK
  10. Stretch and cool down… OR repeat a second time if you can.
  11. If you have access to weights feel free to do biceps curls and other resistance exercises in between these cardio sets.

Either way: GOOD JOB!

Other posts you may enjoy:

5 Things to keep in mind before you start exercising again

3 Thigh Toners that Work – Even for Painful Knees

How to stay fit when you can’t leave the house

How are you doing with your home workouts? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy sweating,

About the Author Linda Melone

Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.

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Leave a Comment:

Susan Wamsley says

I have been working out with weights 12.5 lbs for this quarantine and I bought jump ropes (cross jump) . It has sufficed but iit is very difficult to keep your strength at the same level. I walk three miles on the days I don’t use free weights and jump rope. I tell e wry one I train…you think you are fit…let’s jump rope😂😂

Reply
    Linda Melone says

    haha! Yes, jumping rope is definitely a great fitness equalizer. I envy people who are good at it. Great job on working with what you have, Susan. 🙂

    Reply
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