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Step up Cardio to Improve Physical Performance

Cardio isn’t just for the endorphins. (Although who doesn’t love a little endorphin rush?) And it’s not just calorie burning. (Although it’s important to stay on top of that too.)

Cardiovascular exercise is also vital for a healthy heart. Most of us aren’t getting in enough heart-pumping physical activity each week. Our most common excuse: Life is busy.

The truth is (most likely), the busy-ness isn’t gonna let up any time soon, so we need to get it in where we can.

I created this high intensity interval training (healthy heart HIIT) workout to be simple, time-efficient, and heart-pumping for just that reason. Try scheduling in some time in every day to get moving and to get your heart rate up. You can start with this!

Lauren Williams Healthy Heart HIIT

Photo of Lauren Williams by Justin Steele

Tabata Sequence

Move for 40 seconds then take 20 seconds for recovery/transition.
Repeat for 5 to 8 rounds with one minute of rest in between rounds.

1. High Knees

Stand tall, with alternating legs, drive your knees up to your chest as quickly as possible. Swing your arms as you do if you were would running in place.

2. Beast Kicks

Start on all fours/hands and knees with your toes tucked under and on the floor. Pick up your knees so they are slightly off the ground and your hands are stacked underneath your shoulders.
While keeping your hands firmly planted, jump your feet off the ground at the same time, bringing your heels toward your butt. Then land your feet back so you’re in the all fours/tabletop position keeping your knees off the ground.

3. Squat Hops

Hop off the ground to land in a wide squat and then hop your feet back together. Repeat.

4. Elevated Mountain Climbers

Start in plank position with your feet elevated on a chair or bench. Keep plank position steady while driving your alternating knees into your chest as quickly as possible.
It’s up to us to make decisions that will support our own health and wellness. Remember your goals, and get moving daily.

Models Do Eat

Lauren Williams is the founder of the Chisel Club and one of the contributing authors of Models Do Eat, sharing personal stories, insight, and recipes. modelsdoeat.com 

Photos

Justin Steele is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker specializing in fitness and based in Brooklyn: justinsteele.com.

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