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Simple and Effective Cardio and Strength Workouts for Beginners

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Updated June 26, 2014

One of the best ways to keep cardio simple, yet effective, is to try interval training. Interval training involves alternating high intensity exercise with recovery periods, allowing you to burn more calories, build endurance and get a great workout. You can do this type of workout with any activity -- walking, running, cycling, swimming or any cardio machine. Below is an example of a simple interval workout you can try at home, outside or at the gym:

5 minutes - Walk/jog to warm up
1 minute - Medium intensity jog or walk
1 minute - Faster, increasing speed or hill climbing to work at a medium-high intensity
1 minute - All out walking or running as fast as you can
2 minutes- Jog/walk to recover
Repeat 2-3 times

Keep in mind that any activity that gets your heart rate up counts as cardio, so you don't need fancy equipment, gym memberships or workout plans for it to count. Whether it's walking, working in the yard or running up and down the stairs while doing chores, there are plenty of ways to fit in simple, short bursts of exercise.

Simple Strength Training

In getting back to basics with strength training, focus on whole body movements that work multiple muscle groups. You can work your body in a more functional way while saving time. The following exercises make a great foundation for a simple strength workout that works every muscle in the body.

It's great that we have so much information available about exercise and, sometimes, we actually find something useful. However, if you're confused about what to do and how to fit all this work into your life, get back to basics. Keep things simple and it'll be that much easier to make exercise a routine.

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