Fitness

A Low-Impact Cardio Workout You Can Do Anywhere

Getting in a cardio workout doesn’t always need to involve running or hopping on a cardio machine at the gym. In fact, there are plenty of other ways to get your heart rate up, even when you don’t have access to a gym or are short on time, says Sarah Taylor, certified personal trainer, plus-size model, and owner of Fitness By Sarah Taylor in Toronto.

Taylor created the workout below so that you can fit in a nearly 20- or 30-minute cardio workout no matter where you are. She also chose moves that are relatively low impact and can be modified to reduce how much pressure you’re putting on your joints.

“Whether you are just starting out your fitness journey or maybe recovering from an injury, you can modify exercises to accommodate where you are at and get a great workout in,” Taylor says. Of course, you want to make sure you’re challenging your body with your workout, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with modifying an exercise to fit your needs, she adds.

Most of the exercises in this workout work multiple muscle groups at once, which will help your heart rate get going and will feel nice and challenging. They all can be done quicker or slower, depending on how intense you want the work to feel. And many of them can be done with less impact by just making small tweaks. So any time there is a jumping movement, you can choose to step or march instead. That said, if high-impact exercises bother your joints, it’s always best to check with your doctor before trying this, or any other workout, to make sure it’s safe for you.

If you are cleared to exercise, try Taylor’s workout below. She includes options for taking out some of the impact, so that you can make this workout fit your needs. If you’re making a modification but want to keep the intensity up, Taylor suggests trying to pick up the pace a bit.

“The important thing to always remember is to listen to your body—do the things that make you feel good and that you enjoy,” says Taylor. “If you don’t enjoy something, swap it out for something else.”

Model Tiana Jones is a dance and fitness instructor based in New York City.

The Workout

Exercises

  • High Knees
  • Lateral Shuffle With Floor Tap
  • Squatted Cross Punches
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Skaters
  • Quick Feet
  • Jumping Jack Without the Jump
  • Butt Kickers

Instructions

  • Do these exercises in one large circuit, resting in between each exercise. You can choose your timing based on your fitness level:
  • Advanced—45 seconds of exercise with 15 seconds rest
  • Intermediate—40 seconds of exercise with 20 seconds rest
  • Beginner—35 seconds of exercise with 25 seconds rest
  • Rest for 30–60 seconds after you complete all exercises.
  • Repeat 2–3 times.

Here’s how to do each move:

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