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Secrets to a well-rounded fitness routine

Yoga? Pilates? Or strength and endurance training? By now you’ve probably tried a host of different workout styles. But having a well-rounded fitness routine that includes cardiovascular training is the ideal way to stay healthy. Here’s why you should consider including it.

Why cardio?

Cardiovascular diseases can lead to heart attacks or strokes, if not managed properly. In 2017, the World Health Organization noted that cardiovascular diseases attributed to 85% of global deaths, making it the number-one cause of deaths worldwide. This begs the question, why aren’t more people considering their heart health? Our fast-paced and stress-filled lifestyles often make us think that we don’t have time for regular exercise, but small changes can make all the difference.

Adapt to change

Jaco Blom from Jaco Blom Biokineticist says that ‘the body has a remarkable way of adapting to changes, healthy or otherwise. Being able to make simple lifestyle modifications and adopting healthy habits can help you avoid, or even slow down the risk of cardiovascular diseases.’ He suggests giving up smoking, limiting alcohol, focusing on healthy nutrition, which will help lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and keeping physically active every day for a healthy weight. Another major factor that affects our heart health? Stress! Finding effective techniques to manage daily stress is ‘a good way of lessening cardiovascular risk factors,’ says Jaco.

Crank up the cardio

Ready to get your heart health in check? Dust off your trainers and try your hand at Jaco’s specially devised cardio routine, which is perfect to get you back on track. And the bonus is you can do it from the comfort of your own home. So there are no excuses!


Brisk walk 10 min | Rest: 2 min

Start at a steady pace and gradually build up speed.


Do 3 rounds and rest for 3 minutes between each round.

High knees 

30 sec | Rest: 30 sec

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Drive your right knee towards your chest, and switch to lift your left knee. In a continuous motion, alternate between each leg with a gentle bounce from the ground.

Body-weight squats

Reps: 15 | Rest: 30 sec

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and arms at your side. Bend your knees as you slowly move your butt down, at the same time swing your arms out until they are in front of you and you’ve reached a seated position with thighs parallel to the ground. Push off through your heels until you’ve returned to the starting position

Butt kickers

30 sec | Rest: 30 sec

Stand with your arms at your side and feet hip-distance apart. Contract your hamstring muscle to slowly drive your right heel to your butt then bring it back to the starting position. Repeat with your left leg, alternating as you build up speed.

Body-weight reverse lunges

Reps: 8 (per leg) | Rest: 45 sec

Start with both feet planted firmly on the ground. Step backwards into a lunge with your body weight concentrated on your front heel. Engage your core and drop down until your left knee touches the ground, or until both knees create a 90-degree angle. Then step back into the starting position. And follow suit with the opposite leg. Tip: Remember to focus on your breathing.


Jumping jacks

30 sec | Rest: 30 sec

Stand up upright with your legs together and your arms by your side. With your knees slightly bent, jump into the air. While you jump, simultaneously stretch your arms out and over your head and your legs out about shoulder-width part, and return to your starting position.

Body-weight side lunges

Reps: 10 (each side) | Rest: 45 sec

Keep your toes pointed forward as you stand with your legs slightly wider than a shoulder-width apart. Move your body weight over to one leg, bending it until it reaches a 90-degree angle, and the other is straight. Hold. Return to the starting position and shift your weight to the other side.

Mountain climbers

30 sec | Rest: 30 sec

Get into a plank position. Bring one knee to your chest, then back out again. Repeat the action with your other knee, and gradually pick up speed. Remember to engage your core.

Body-weight push-ups

Reps: 10 | Rest: 45 sec

Lie on your stomach with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. As you push your hands into the floor raise your body by extending your arms. Keep your core and your glutes engaged as you lower your body to the floor. And repeat.


Need a professional?

Biokineticist Jaco Blom can help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Website | Email | Contact number | 062 480 4236


Words: Dylon Phillips | Photography: Unsplash