A Quick At-Home Low-Impact Cardio Routine
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If the weather isn’t cooperating, it’s dark outside, you can’t get a babysitter … whatever the reason, you can take your walk indoors. It’s so easy to get a fitness walk in anytime of the day or night—just learn my four “multi-muscle” moves, and you will be walking strong every day you are blessed to live. Here’s all you do:
1. Walk in Place
OK, it looks like marching—well, it is a march! Pick up those feet; pump the arms forward and back (not side to side or across the body). Now you are power walking in place. As you use your leg muscles to pick up your feet, your muscles will demand more oxygen. You’ll start to breathe deeper, your heart rate will increase, and that’s how you turn an ordinary walk into a super walk! Note: Breathe normally until the activity feels challenging … then when needed, push air out through your mouth to help your lungs keep the oxygen flowing.
2. Side Steps
Step out to the right with your right foot, then bring your left foot in to meet it. Step out with your left foot, then bring your right foot in to meet it. This lateral move works the muscles around the hips, gluteals, inner and outer areas of the thighs, and it even improves your balance.
Try bending your knees a bit (like a shortstop) while stepping out to the side. This adds intensity and engages the muscles in the thighs and backend even more. Moving in new directions also helps burn more calories.
Raise the right leg in front of you and kick straight out. Put the right leg down and kick with the left leg. Alternate kicks, starting low to the ground and then working them into power kicks, where your leg may raise as high as your waist. Not only do you strengthen leg muscles with this move but you also use your core muscles to stabilize, keep you balanced, and give you power.
4. Knee Lifts
Raise your right knee until the back of your thigh is parallel with the floor. Your knee will make a 90-degree angle. Lower the right leg, then repeat on the left leg. Alternate knee lifts, starting with knees staying close to the ground and then working them into power moves by lifting the knees high while your trunk rotates toward the lifted knee. The twisting knee lift calls the core or “middle muscles” to work with each repetition. Don’t forget to do a “tummy tuck” before you start any of the moves. This simple setup engages the core muscles to help give you more power in your legs and arms. It is the base for good posture and it feels like you have an instant “flatter belly.” Draw the belly button back towards the spine, activating the deepest layer of the abdominal muscles—that’s a tummy tuck.
Watch the short video that shows you the warm-up version of these moves from my “Walk to the Hits: Radio Remixes” DVD. Once the feet know what to do, you can build intensity by increasing the pace and adding arm reaches.
Looking for a challenge to keep you going? Take Leslie’s 30-Day Walking Challenge! Complete with training plans for all levels and a bonus at-home strength-training challenge, Leslie’s outlined everything you need to work up to taking 10,000 steps by day 30. Start whenever you’re ready!