Exercises to boost your cardio

Cardio isn’t just good for your overall fitness, it also helps to ward off diabetes, says Amanda Khouv 

A FASTER resting heart rate could indicate a higher risk of developing diabetes, say the authors of a new study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. The new research proves that cardiovascular fitness is more important than ever. In fact, the study showed that lowering your resting heart rate by 10 beats per minute could point towards a 23% lower risk of diabetes.

Lower resting heart rates have long been associated with athletes and the super-fit, but we want in on the action, too, especially if it means being safe from diabetes.

Cardio can be a lot easier than you think. By working out at a high intensity and fast pace, you can get your heart pumping just as much as you do out on the pavements. Just make sure you really push yourself regularly — finishing a workout gasping for breath. Try counting how many reps you manage per minute and try to beat it every week.

HOW TO DO IT: Perform each exercise for a total of one minute, with 30 seconds’ rest in-between. Repeat for the allotted sets for your level.

Beginner: 2 x 1 minute Intermediate: 3 x 1 minute Advanced: 4 x 1 minute

Areas trained: LEGS


Stand with a step in front of you, one foot resting gently on the step.

Jump to switch feet.

Repeat fluidly.


Areas trained: SHOULDERS, LEGS

Exercises to boost your cardio


Holding the handles of a rope, skip fast for 20 seconds then slow for 10 seconds, keeping your upper arms close to your body. HOT TIP: Bring your knees high to make it more challenging



Exercises to boost your cardio


Stand with a deck in front of you.

Jump up onto the deck and land softly, then stand up straight.

Jump or step back down to the floor and repeat.

SAFETY TIP: Don’t let your knees collapse inwards as you jump off

Areas trained: LEGS, CORE, SHOULDERS

Exercises to boost your cardio


Stand on one side of a bench and take hold of either side of it with both your hands.

Jump both legs over the bench, keeping hold of the bench, so you end up in the same position on the opposite side.

Continue to jump over the bench, trying to keep up a fast pace.

SAFETY TIP: Keep your neck strong and don’t drop your head


Exercises to boost your cardio


Hold a kettlebell in front of you by the handle.

Drive the kettlebell backwards, between your legs, then extend your hips and knees to drive the kettlebell up to shoulder height.

As the kettlebell drops back down, hinge at your hips and knees again to swing in a fluid motion.

SAFETY TIP: Keep a flat back as you lower and don’t let your

shoulders drop forward


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