Tips for a Cardio Workout at Home

I have a Samsung Galaxy 7 smartphone and found several apps available in the Google play store. When I downloaded the app, my phone became a tool that can record and analyze my daily activities. I was thrilled when my phone allowed me to...

  • Measure my heart rate with my smartphone camera! Yup, my camera is now a heart monitor app.
  • Graphs illustrate my pulse rate measurement. I can now monitor my heart rate over time.
  • The app allows me to record different pulse rate measurements and track my resting heart rate, pre-& post-workout heart rate and my maximum heart rate.

To test if this app really worked, I took on several daily tasks that I thought would raise my heart rate. First, I recorded my resting heart rate (65 beats per minute). Then I grabbed my vacuum cleaner and challenged myself to vacuum my entire house! I live in a modest 1700 sq.ft.home with solid surface floors. I was certain this activity would elevate my heart rate.

After my cardio vacuum workout, I used my smartphone app, placed my finger over my camera and heart rate was 105 beats per minute! I had achieved a cardio workout and stayed active for 45 minutes. Don’t forget - my floors were clean too!

This motivated me to track my progress and find other ways to achieve a cardio workout without ever leaving my home.

Day 2, I started looking for ideas for seated cardio workouts. After finding several ideas on the internet, I developed a personalized plan.

●Chair Jacks

To do the move: Your arms will move in jack position (above your head) just like a traditional ‘jumping jack’. My goal was to complete as many as I could in the 60 seconds.

●Punch and Jab

To do the move: Cross punch once to the left (using right arm) and once to the right (using left arm). Then “jab” punch four times straight to the front. My goal was to complete as many as I could in the 60 seconds.

●Mountain Climber

To do the move: Reach up and down while alternating arms. Same goal here, keep climbing that mountain for 60 secs.

●Skater Move

To do the move: Extend arms straight and lean forward slightly, reaching left arm to inside of right foot, raising right arm up behind body, twisting through torso. Quickly switch sides. Repeat as quickly as you can for 60 secs.

I repeated these moves two more times for a total of a 12-minute workout. I recorded my heart rate with my phone app, tracked it and compared to my resting heart rate. 108 beat per minute! Once again, my app confirmed that I indeed had achieved a higher heart rate level. As a quadriplegic, this had always been somewhat of a ‘random’ task. I had wondered if my efforts to get a cardio workout were in vain because, after all, I only use about a third of my muscles.

Did I mention the app can also record your stress level? Here’s a screenshot of my stress level being measured. It appears that lightning bolts are involved with my stress. I would call this accurate. It also seems to enjoy a bit of sarcasm as it reads, “Try to keep still and quiet.” (Seriously, my son just told me has a girlfriend!)

I am hooked now and try to use the cardio app and workout three times a week. I encourage you to give it a try. So, whether you like to push your chair real fast or pump some iron (I prefer cleaning my house. It’s multitasking at its best). Give it a try! Your burning muscles will be your proof and your health app will confirm your cardio workout.



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