Is Cardio Possible Without Machines?

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question-markI was talking to a friend at work the other day and I mentioned that I had to do my cardio when I got home. He looked at me funny and said “How do you do cardio without going to a gym?” I seriously thought he was joking at first, then realized he wasn’t. Wow.

You don’t need a gym or a machine to do cardio. You don’t need weights, bands, or balls. You don’t even need an outside (in cases of summer heat or bad weather). You don’t need anything but you! I did the workout below in front of the TV so I was entertained during cardio. I also discovered that I am smarter than a 5th grader while doing it.

I warmed up first by walking the dog and then did 5 rounds of the exercises below. It took me about 25 minutes and I was huffing and puffing pretty hard by the end of the first round.

  • Running in place – 1 minute
  • Walking lunges – 15 each leg
  • Mountain Climbers – 20 each leg
  • Running with High Knees – 1 minute
  • Push Ups – 10 reps
  • Air Squats – 25 reps

You can make it easier by doing less reps, less time, or adding in rest periods. You can make it harder by adding more rounds, more reps, or even using light weights. I’m trying to do more of these types of workouts lately so that I can spend some time with The Kid in the evenings.

She can sit and watch TV with me while I do it, or if I can convince her, sometimes she joins in. You can even do this one in a park to get the entire family involved. I’m still working on that one. Maybe I can convince her if the weather is nice this weekend. What do you think my odds are? 😉


  1. Mitchell - Home Fitness Manual says

    Adrianne, jumping jacks are another good choice to get the heart pumping. I also like to use a jump rope as part of my cardio setup. All the different footwork patterns help to break up the monotony that can go with doing an ordinary cardio routine.


    • Accidental Fitness Quest says

      Good point about the jumping jacks. There are also a few varieties of those that you can do for entertainment just like jump roping. I warm up many times with jump roping with my invisible rope. It’s much easier that way since there’s nothing to trip over but it still works well.

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