Cardio Workouts and Park runs


Cardio exercises are a fantastic way to boost your heart rate, improve endurance, and burn calories. Whether you’re at home or in the gym, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some effective cardio exercises you can try:

  1. Jump Rope: Grab a jump rope and skip away! It’s an
    efficient form of cardio that engages your whole body and gets your heart pumping1.
  2. Jumping Jacks: These classic moves involve your entire body and are great for working your heart, lungs, and muscles all at once1.
  3. Burpees: A challenging exercise that targets your arms, legs, and core. It’s intense but effective for boosting your heart rate and building endurance1.
  4. Running in Place: No need to go outside—just jog in place! It’s simple yet effective for cardio conditioning1.
  5. Squat Jumps: Combine squats with explosive jumps to work your lower body and elevate your heart rate2.
  6. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Alternate between short bursts of intense activity (like sprinting) and brief rest periods. HIIT is excellent for burning calories and improving cardiovascular fitness1.

Always choose exercises that you enjoy and that match your fitness level. Mix and match these moves to create a fun and effective cardio workout! ๐Ÿƒ‍♀️๐Ÿ’ช

How important is stretching before cardio?

Stretching before cardio is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Flexibility:

    Regular stretching helps increase flexibility, which is essential for overall health. It keeps your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, allowing you to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without proper flexibility, muscles can become tight and hinder movement1.

  2. Range of Motion: Stretching also improves your range of motion. When muscles are tight, they limit how far you can extend or move your joints. Adequate stretching ensures your muscles can fully extend when needed1.

  3. Performance Enhancement:

    Proper stretching enhances your performance during physical activities. It prepares your muscles for the exercise they’re about to undergo, signalling that they’ll be used. This readiness can lead to better performance during cardio workouts1.

  4. Injury Prevention: Stretching helps prevent injuries such as muscle strains. When muscles are tight and suddenly stretched during strenuous activities, they may become damaged. Regular stretching keeps muscles long, lean, and flexible, reducing the risk of joint pain, strains, and muscle damage1.

  5. Circulation and Balance: Stretching promotes circulation and helps maintain healthy muscles. It also aids individuals with balance problems, reducing the likelihood of falls1.

Remember that consistency is key. Regular stretching over time is necessary to maintain flexibility and prevent muscle tightness. 

How long should I do cardio exercises?

The duration of your cardio exercises depends on your fitness level, goals, and the specific type of exercise you’re doing. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Beginners: If you’re new to cardio, start with 20 to 30 minutes per session. Gradually increase the duration as your fitness improves.
  2. Intermediate: Aim for 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio most days of the week. You can break it into shorter sessions if needed.

Advanced: For more intense workouts, consider 45 to 60 minutes of cardio. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions can be shorter (around 20-30 minutes) but are highly effective.


Parkrun, the free 5k timed event that takes place in parks around the world, offers a multitude of benefits for both physical fitness and mental well-being. Let’s explore some of its advantages:

  1. Gym Recovery: If you’re accustomed to indoor gym workouts, incorporating a parkrun into your routine can be highly beneficial. It serves as an active recovery session, promoting blood flow to your muscles, delivering nutrients, and aiding in the removal of toxins from training. You don’t need to set any speed records; running at a comfortable pace allows you to enjoy the rewards of getting out of bed and moving1.

  2. Training Tool for Runners: Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting out, parkrun provides an excellent platform for support and encouragement. It’s a place where you can gradually build confidence, track progress, and even chase personal bests. The consistent route each week allows tangible improvements in your running abilities1.

  3. Physical Fitness: Research highlights that parkrun participants experience improvements in fitness and total physical activity. Engaging in regular parkruns contributes to overall health and endurance2.

  4. Mental Well-Being: Beyond physical benefits, parkrun positively impacts mood. It helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, fostering mental well-being2.

  5. Cost-Effectiveness: A recent study suggests that parkrun could be up to 25 times more cost-effective in generating health and well-being improvements in the population compared to the NHS. While this doesn’t imply that parkrun is better run than the NHS, it underscores its remarkable impact3.

In summary, parkrun isn’t just a Saturday morning jog—it’s a community-driven movement that promotes health, happiness, and camaraderie. Lace up those running shoes and hit the park! Some day, I'll write another blog on parkrun. 

Remember to listen to your body. If you’re fatigued or experiencing discomfort, it’s okay to start with shorter sessions and gradually build up. Consistency is key, so find a routine that you enjoy and can stick to! ๐Ÿƒ‍♀️๐Ÿ’ช