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Fit Friday: Low-impact cardio exercises

Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:49:21 AM CST   Updated On: Oct 11 2013 08:26:26 AM CDT

One of the first thoughts that comes to mind for many when it comes to cardio is running, but that doesn't always have to be the case.

Cardio exercises are anything that get your heart rate up. Running (and other high impact movements like jumping) isn’t the right solution for everyone. There are plenty of low or no impact activities you can do to get your heart rate up.

• Walking: It's a great form of cardio that we already know how to do. Make it more challenging with by adding an incline. Find a hilly place to walk outdoors or increase the incline on the treadmill.

• Unconventional cardio: Things like kettlebell swings or medicine ball slams done as a form of high intensity interval training are fun and no impact.

• Modifying exercises: Change an exercise you already know by taking the jump out. For example do a jumping jack by making the “jack” motion without the jump. Step side to side while lifting your arms up and out, a motion I call Scare the Bear. Make the heart work harder by using big muscles and making the heart pump to both the upper and lower body at the same time.

These options are kinder on your knees but will get your heart rate up in no time.