The key to any aerobic workout is motivation. Because once your heart is racing and you’re feeling flushed and sweaty it’s easy to give up. But if you’re going to build your aerobic fitness, you need to find a way to keep going.*
This is why it’s ideal to be able to do the workout anywhere at any time. This workout allows you to do just that – it can be done at the park, on the street, at home, anywhere at all.
Importantly, this workout also utilises interval training. That means that you will do short bursts of high-intensity activity to get your heart working, then you will do other exercises that also work your body but in different ways, giving your heart a chance to rest and you a chance to catch your breath.
That way, you won’t burn out so quickly and have a better chance of completely the entire workout each time.
The result? You’ll burn far more calories and get your heart into really great shape… as well as enjoy a stronger and leaner-looking physique.
Nb. People with heart disease or other illnesses should see their GP first before attempting any new form of aerobic exercise.
A curb, a low tree stump, even your doorstep will do. That’s your step.
Stand in front of the step and put your right foot on it, then push your body up putting all your weight onto your right foot so that your right leg straightens completely. Now lower your body until your left foot is on the floor again and repeat on the other side. Make sure you keep a straight back throughout and avoid leaning forward.
Do 60 steps in total, so 30 for each leg, as fast as you can while maintaining control. What you’re doing is emulating a stair workout, which is great not only for your leg muscles but also for getting your heart racing.
Walk briskly for two minutes or so, swinging your arms as you go. Now walk briskly for five minutes, raising your knees so that your upper legs are parallel to the ground. Now do two more minutes of walking while swinging your arms.
Related: Jogging vs walking, which is best for your health?
Once you’ve worked up a good sweat it’s time to take a ‘break’ with some press-ups.
Get down on all fours, with only your toes and hands touching the ground. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders.
Lower your body, keeping it straight at all times, hold for a moment at the bottom, then raise it again. Do 10-12 reps. If you find this kind of press-up too difficult, use a wall or tree to lean against and do a standing press-up which is less taxing.
Related: Quick home workouts
This time you’re going to walk briskly while imagining you’re skiing or Nordic walking.
So imagine you have ski poles in your hands, so that as you stride your arms are moving forward then pulling back as you move forward – as though you’re ‘cycling’ with your hands. This will help work your upper body as well as your legs as you walk and increase your calorie burn too. Do this for five minutes.
It’s time to get that heart racing again with some jumping jacks. These are great for doing anywhere and they really get your heart racing.
Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides, then jump by moving your legs out to the sides and raise your arms up as high as you can at the same time. Repeat one after the other for a count of ten. Stop, take a breather for 30 seconds, then do another set of ten.
No, it’s not quite time for a rest yet. You’ll finish with some squats.
For this, you need to imagine you’re sitting down on a chair, so keeping your back straight lower your bottom as though there is a seat behind you. Stop when your upper legs are parallel to the floor, hold for a count of three, and then straighten your legs again. Do not lock your knees when you straighten.
Lower yourself into the ‘chair’ again, repeating 10-12 times, take a rest, then repeat once more. If you find a full squat too difficult you can do a semi-squat where you don’t go as low or you can use a wall or tree to lean against which will make it less taxing.
*People with heart disease or other illnesses should see their GP first before attempting any new form of aerobic exercise.
If you aren't used to exercise, see your GP before you start. They'll be able to tell you the right type of exercise for you, and give advice on starting slowly and building up gently.