What else could I possibly say about at home cardio workouts that I haven’t already said?
Today I want to share a personal story about myself and how I used at home cardio workouts to not only overcome an overuse injury but to lose 20 pounds as well.
It all began back in 2003. One of my best friends was getting married in a few months and wanted to get into the best shape of her life. She had some weight to lose to look her best on her big day.
Since we often exercised together, she informed me of her goals, told me about her success with running the last time she needed to lose weight, and asked if I would run with her to keep her motivated.
Of course, I wanted to be a good friend so I agreed to run with her even though I hated running and knew that long slow distance exercise wasn’t all that great for weight loss. She had her mind made up.
So, after a few weeks of running around the neighborhood we lived in we decided to train for our first 5K. As I have told you before, it is not always enough to have a major goal (like losing 20 pounds). It is much more effective to set smaller goals within your major goal to help bite off small bits at a time. So, that’s what the 5K was for us – a smaller and more achievable goal to focus on that would also help us achieve the major goal.
We ran our first 5K in September of 2003 – and it was such sweet victory for us!
And through that fall we ran a few more, always doing our best to better our time from race to race.
We spent the winter in the gym on the treadmill and come spring we were ready to get back out on the road, more motivated then ever. My friend had lost most of the weight she was hoping to by now. Funny though, I was in that “last 5 pounds” mode and I never lost a thing.
Well now my friend was looking for an even bigger challenge then a 5K so she signed us up for the Utica Boilermaker, a 15K road race in Utica, NY, and to the best of my knowledge, the most popular 15K race in all of the US, with over 11,000 runners that year.
So we increased our mileage and frequency that we ran to help get us to the 9.3 miles needed for the Boilermaker.
And that’s when it happened. I started to get really bad shin splints. My mileage was between 5-7 miles per outing at this point and my legs were shutting down – hard.
But I refused to have come that far and not run this race. It was going to be epic!
So, I pushed myself through the training and then again on race day. And at that point I truly believed it was worth it. The fact that I crossed the finish line of the biggest race I will have ever run still remains today one of my most proudest accomplishments of my life.
Still never lost any weight though.
And sure enough, in the care ride home, my friend told me that the next logical thing to do was to run a half marathon 2 months later in Lake Placid, NY.
But she ran that race alone, because I could no longer run.
In fact, I was having a really hard time walking.
I had run so much and put my legs through such trauma that they totally shut down on me.
I went to to see orthopedics, physiatrists, physical therapists, massage therapists, and a chiropractor but none of them really knew what was wrong with me. My massage therapist and chiropractor were able to break up a lot of my scar tissue that had built up in the muscles and help me increase some of my mobility and flexibility, which I was so grateful for.
But in the meantime, I was inactive. Totally sedentary in fact, because I couldn’t do anything.
And over the next year I gained weight to the tune of 15 pounds.
I knew I needed to get my butt in gear and move but none of the traditional cardio options (treadmill, stair climber, walking) were doable for me at this point.
So, I started looking for cardio workouts you can do at home. Mostly because the gym didn’t offer me anything other then treadmills, stair climbers and bikes.
In my quest for the perfect at home cardio workouts I came up with several options:
- Bodyweight cardio
- Jump rope
- Sprints /hill running/shuttle sprints
- Kettlebell swinging
- Urban rebounding
Jumping rope, any kind of running, and many bodyweight cardio exercises were not going to work for me. But I was lucky to have found the other two options, kettlebell swinging and urban rebounding.
So that’s what I did as my home cardio workouts most days of the week – I did 1 hour of urban rebounding, did kettlebell swinging as high intensity interval training, and also found that I could do intervals on the elliptical at the gym without too much pain.
It worked so well that I lost 12 pounds in the first 3 weeks of doing it. I also really cleaned up my diet too.
Over the course of the next few months I lost an additional 8 pounds, just by using at home cardio workouts. At this point I was also doing strength training to build lean muscle.
In total I lost 20 pounds, losing even more then I had gained since my injury, landing me at my high school weight! How cool is that!
Obviously, the home cardio workouts were a big part of my weight loss success, but I had a 4 pronged plan of attack to help me drop the weight:
- Cleaned up my diet
- At home cardio workouts – moderate intensity, moderate time.
- At home cardio workouts – high intensity intervals, short time.
- Strength training
This process worked so well for me that I decided to put in into a program to help others lose weight just as easily and as quickly as I did.
This program is called Ultimate Home Workouts and it has all 4 of these components that helped me lose 20 pounds.
You should be using all 4 of these activities for optimal weight loss success – and if you do, you will be successful.
Susan Campbell, MS, CSCS
P.S. You can check out Ultimate Home Workouts by clicking here.