The 10-Minute Cardio Blast Workout for Beginners

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

Squeeze in a fun, effective aerobic session anytime, anywhere with this routine.

beginner cardio

If you struggle to find 30 solid minutes a day, five days a week, for heart-pumping exercise, you’ll want to hear this: You don’t have to.

Here’s something else: If you’re just starting exercise and finding more than a few minutes at a time is a challenge, that’s okay.

Even five or 10 minutes of physical activity has real health benefits, according to the latest fitness guidelines. That’s right, five or 10 minutes!

Right away, you might notice that short bursts of exercise improve your mood and help you move better.

Over time, if you go from no physical activity to just 10 minutes a day, six days a week, you’ll start to gain tremendous health benefits. You’ll lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

Feeling inspired? Here’s a 10-minute beginner cardio workout to try. Plus, see tips for five-minute and one-minute workouts too.

How the 10-Minute Cardio Blast Workout Works

All you need is some open floor space, and water and a towel if you want it. If you’d like support during exercises, feel free to use a wall, chair, or counter.

You can use the moves here in a few different ways, and you can do multiple options per day. For example:

10-Minute Workout: Do each move for 30 seconds, and repeat the sequence four times, resting as needed.

5-Minute Workout: Do each move for 30 seconds, repeat the sequence two times, resting as needed.

1-Minute Workout: Pick just one move to do for one minute, resting as needed. It’s a great way to add movement throughout your day.

As always, safety is key. The exercises here may be different or more advanced than those you’ll experience in a SilverSneakers class. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.

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Cardio Move #1: March in Place

How to do it: Stand tall facing a wall, kitchen counter, or back of a sturdy chair, holding on for support if needed.

From here, raise one knee as high as you comfortably can, making sure not to tilt your trunk as you do so. Pause, then lower your leg to the starting position. Repeat with your opposite leg.

Cardio Move #2: Alternating Reach

How to do it: Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.

Reach to the left with your right arm overhead. Then reach to the right with your left arm overhead.

Reach to the left with your right arm across your chest. Then reach to the right with your left arm across your chest.

As you move your upper body, pivot your feet.

Make it easier: If it’s uncomfortable to reach overhead, alternate reaching across your chest.

Cardio Move #3: Modified Seal Jack

How to do it: Stand with your feet together and arms straight out in front of you, palms touching.

With control, step one foot out to the side, and open your arms wide.

Still with control, step your foot back to center and close your arms to return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.

Cardio Move #4: Skater Step

How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart.

With control, step one foot behind you at a slight angle, landing on the ball of your foot with your hips and knees bent slightly. You can step back as little or as much as comfortable for you. Let your arms swing gently and naturally.

Still with control, return your foot to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.

Cardio Move #5: Heel Kick

How to do it: Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, and raise your arms overhead.

Kick one heel toward your glutes, lower your foot, shift your weight, and kick the other heel behind you.

As you kick your heels, bring your arms down. As you lower your foot back down to the floor, raise your arms back up.

Make it easier: Keep your hands on your hips or down by your sides, and focus on the footwork first. Once you’re comfortable, you can add the arm movements.

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