Cardio is one of those things we all need to do. But the most common form of cardio, running, is detested by many people.
I personally can’t run for sh*t. I can do a mile or two (on a good day) but then I’m exhausted and can’t keep up the pace the following day. Luckily, I have found ome great alternatives to running that are as, if not more effective at getting your heart pumping.
Here are 7 cardio workouts that are fun, functional, and a great alternative if you hate running or if you just get bored easily and want to mix it up.
This is a huge calorie burner and a very tough sport overall. It works out your entire body without hurting your joints so it’s a great alternative for people of all ages. On top of being an excellent cardiovascular workout, it helps you build strength, strengthens your lungs, builds bone density, and increases flexibility.
Cycling or Spinning
Whether you take a class or hit the road, spinning is great alternative to running. Cycling has been shown to decrease strength, increase strength and flexibility, and even improve your posture and coordination. It’s also hard to get bored if you’re outdoors, there are so many different routes you can take, it’s always a different ride.
HIIT is short for High Intensity Interval Training and it can comprise of anything really. It is comprised of short bursts of all-out effort followed by brief moments of recovery. You can perform HIIT from anything from burpees to high knees. HIIT is also great for people who hate running but want to run (if that makes sense?) by doing interval sprints. I have done 45 second all out sprint then 1-minute recovery jog at 60% effort. I do these 8 times and it’s a great alternative to a 30 minute run and burns similar amounts of calories.
If you like HIIT, you’ll probably like circuit training. It’s a couple of different workouts performed with little to no rest in between sets. You can go from squatting to push ups to rowing in the span of five minutes for a complete cardio workout with strength training as well. Circuit traing is a great alternative for those who are on a tight schedule and just have half an hour to spare.
Even if you think you can’t perform an exercise, there are always alternatives and adjustments you can make. For example, there are dozens of push up variations you can try so you can build up strength and not get bored with the same ole’, same ole’.
Boxing and Kickboxing
An incredible workout that will keep you on your toes, literally. The benefits of boxing are incredible. Beyond the cardio, you work on coordinations, footwork, speed, power and strength. It’s a complete workout that targets every muscle in your body in a way that other workouts just don’t.
Just twenty minutes of boxing is enough to completely burn me out and get me in shape on a time crunch.
Grab some jump ropes and start jumping. You might not think of skipping as a great form of cardio but it is an incredible lower body workout. Skipping helps you build strength and speed in your legs -particularly your calves- all from the comfort of your home. Jumping rope can burn up to 15 calories per minute, depending on your intensity and fitness level of course.
I can’t say I’m a fan of rowing. It’s a bit like running for me, I get bored and it completely tires me out. However, it is a great cardiovascular workout and it’s low impact so I’ll pick a row machine over a run any day. On top of working out your legs, with the correct form it also work out your upper body, particularly your chest, triceps, and biceps.