The Best Types of Cardio – 5 Ways to Get Your Heart Racing

Cardio is a great way to boost cardiovascular health exponentially. It has many benefits and can be a great habit to add to your weekly workout routine. Lucky for us, there are many different ways to get your heart racing, so there’s an option for everyone out there!

image of a person about to  work out

A good place to start on your fitness journey is cardio. Keep reading to learn everything you need about cardio, including benefits, types, and much more today! 

What is Cardio 

Cardio refers to cardiovascular exercise. This is an activity that tends to elevate the heart rate. Many individuals use cardio as a way to burn more calories and lose weight, but cardio has many more benefits. It is used alongside strength training to increase health and boost wellness. Cardio can range in difficulty, with some workouts being low impact and easier on the joints while other workouts can be high impact, with more jumping and strain on the body. The duration, consistency, and intensity of cardio are all important factors contributing to this workout’s effects on cardiovascular health.


There are many benefits to cardio. This type of exercise tends to burn more fat and calories due to the elevated heart rate your body is forced to perform at. This can make it easy for individuals trying to lose weight to reach their goals. However, most of the benefits have nothing to do with weight loss. Cardio has been found to improve sleep quality, particularly if the workout is a bit more intense. It also tends to increase VO2 max, which is a measurement of oxygenation during activity. Cardio can also expand your lungs’ ability to hold air. 

Other benefits of cardio include lowering stress, relieving mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression, and boosting mood. Weight-bearing cardio exercise, such as climbing stairs or going on hikes, 10 to increase bone density which can help prevent future injury. Cardio also tends to increase cardiovascular health by lowering your risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and high cholesterol.

5 Ways to Get Your Heart Racing 

Cardio is so good that it’s important to find ways to get your heart racing. Without further ado, here are five ways to get your heart racing. These are great forms of cardio, and best of all, most of them can be done in the comfort of your own home. At the end of the day, the best form of cardio is one you will actually do.

1. Swimming

Swimming is a type of low-impact cardio exercise that can be great for individuals with mobility problems. This is particularly a good option for individuals with arthritis who cannot put pressure on joints. All you need is a pool or the ocean and you can start a swim-based cardio workout. You can even join your local gym and participate in any form of water aerobic classes that they may offer. Swimming as a form of exercise can be tailored to your preferences. You can swim laps or perform different exercises in the water.

2. Jump rope

All you need for this cardio workout is rope and enough room for the rope to swing around your body. Jump rope is a great way to work out the entire body and elevate your heart rate. It could also help increase strength and boost endurance. Jump rope is also a simple way to increase balance and coordination. If you don’t have a jump rope or simply don’t like the idea of this cardio, simply perform jump squats. This is where you jump up, then once you touch the ground, sink a bit into a squat. This is more intense than just simply jumping and can be a great way to boost your leg strength and endurance.

3. Running

Running is the absolute best form of cardio if you want to burn calories. It is exhausting work. Many variations of running can be toned down to your current fitness level. For example, you can start with a short interval run where you run for 2 minutes and walk for 2 minutes. This will help boost cardiovascular health and stamina. You can also opt for a brisk jog or walk for forms of cardio that are low impact. If you want to run but don’t know where to start, here is a complete guide to everything you need to know about running, including technique, tips, and more.


High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is an intense form of cardio that involves pushing yourself to perform an exercise for one minute, then taking a short break, and then repeating the cycle all over again for about 20 to 30 minutes. High-intensity interval training works because your body needs to actively raise and lower the heart rate, which is an incredibly effective way to boost cardiovascular health. It is one of the best forms of cardio that actively increases VO2 max. Here is a guide on high-intensity interval training, but you can tailor these workouts to your own preference. Choose what activity you want to do for a minute, whether it’s squats, running in place, high knees, etc. Set a timer for 40 seconds to 1 minute, and do your chosen activity for the allotted time. Then take a 30-second break and repeat the process all over again. You can switch it up and do various forms of activity if you want

5. Burpees

This cardio list would not be complete without burpees, love to hate them. I do not like burpees at all, I am so sorry they are on this list, but I have to say after trying them, they really do raise my heart rate to record-breaking beats per minute. Burpees, the bane of everyone’s existence, are a type of exercise in which you jump up, and then reach for the ground, flinging the legs back until you are in a plank position. From there you do a push-up, then jump the legs back towards your hands, and jump up again towards the ceiling. Rinse and repeat. While challenging, they are the absolute MVP of cardio movements to me. Never have I ever sweated so much or gasped for air than when I tried to do 100 burpees in a row.

The Takeaway

Cardio is incredibly important as it supports physical and mental health. There are many benefits that come with cardio, such as increased cardiovascular health, decreased symptoms of mental illness, and more. These types of cardio can be a great way to get the heart racing no matter where you are. Many can be done from the comfort of your own home, or even in your own neighborhood. Try them out and watch how overall health flourishes.

Remember that health comes from within. Eat nutrient-dense meals, exercise when you can, at least 3 times a week, and take care of your mental health. Daily habits become the building blocks for emotional, mental, and physical health. Take care of your gut health too! Learn everything you need to know about gut microbiota today for free here.

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