Lift Your Spirits & Release Toxins With This Mood-Boosting Cardio Workout

March 30, 2020

We could all use a mood booster at a time like this. If you’re like me, and the state of the world and being in quarantine has got you down, the best thing to do for your mental and physical health is to continue some sort of workout routine. With limited space and freedom, it’s more important than ever that we keep our blood flowing and bodies moving. Getting your heart pumping will deliver some much needed blood and oxygen to your brain and muscles. Exercising helps remove built up toxins in your body and increase serotonin levels to fight depression and anxiety. Here is a home cardio workout that’ll be sure to get your heart pumping and lift your spirits. Do 3 sets of 10 for each move. (I am 29 weeks pregnant and as long as you have been working out regularly and have a healthy pregnancy, these moves are safe. If you’re pregnant, check with your doctor before starting any new physical activities.)

1. Frog Lunge Jumps

Lunge with your right leg forward, slightly turned out and left leg back. Place your hands on the ground making sure your right knee is on the outside of your right arm. Transfer your weight forward to your palms and jump your left leg forward and right leg back to switch legs and complete one rep. Keep your gaze on the ground in front of you to maintain a neutral neck as you continue to switch legs in this turned out lunge position.

2. Loaded Beast Plank Jack

To set up, get into a plank position with your hands underneath your chest. Press back to sit on your heels while keeping them lifted. Keep your core tight and your neck in line with your spine. This is your loaded beast starting position. Straighten your legs to lengthen back out into your plank and perform one plank jack. Press back into your loaded beast position to complete one rep.

3. Squat to Oblique Crunch

Place your hands behind your head and stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart and turned out. Do a turned out squat, keeping your knees over your toes and back straight. Straighten your legs to come back up and go right into a standing oblique crunch on the right side by lifting your right knee to your right elbow. Straighten back up and go right into a squat again. Repeat a standing oblique crunch on the left side when you rise to complete one rep.

4. Side to Side Squats

Stand with your legs wide apart with only a slight turn out and your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height. Lean to the right as you squat on your right leg without allowing your left foot to come off the ground. Sit back into your glutes for this squat, never allowing your knee to bend past your toes. Gaze is forward and abs pulled in. Press up from the right leg to straighten back up and transfer your weight to the left to squat down on the left leg to complete one rep.

5. Front Skater into Cross Body Knee Ups

With your legs together in parallel, bend your knees as if you are about to sit in a chair. Keep your weight on your heels and your core tight. Clasp your hands in front of your chest but do not round your back. Lift your left heel off the ground and with your weight on your right leg, reach your left leg back as far as you can and tap your foot on the ground. Bring it back to center to tap and then out again for one more tap. Pull your left knee straight up to hip height from this position as you stand up on your right leg. Twist your torso as your knee comes up and try to touch your right elbow to your left knee. This torso twist may not be possible if you’re far along in your pregnancy. Limit your movement to what feels comfortable. Repeat the combo by going right back down into your skater position with the weight on your right leg and extending your left leg out to do the three taps. Do 10 on each leg.

How are you getting your cardio in while in quarantine?

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Video: Crystal Chin

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Crystal is a professional dancer, writer and certified Pilates instructor based in Los Angeles. She inspires people to dance their true colors in life, never compromising their own self worth for any person, job or societal standard. She teaches her students about mindful movement and healthy living. When not writing, teaching, or dancing, she is learning all the beautiful life lessons her two dogs teach her just by their existence--forgiveness, being present and how to be unapologetically herself. Check out Crystal's blog at www.crystalannchin.com and follow her on Instagram crystalannchin, Twitter @CrystalAnnChin and Facebook.

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