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  • Writer's pictureAnjana Rajbhandary

Cardio Workouts For People Who Hate Running

Running is one of the most effective forms of cardiovascular exercise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims adding moderate to vigorous aerobic activity can have many health benefits such as weight management, strengthening your bones and muscles, and improving your mood. However, it is not the best exercise for those with a foot, ankle, or knee problems because it might worsen those conditions (via Healthline). Plus, it is not that exciting or safe to go out running when it is extremely hot or cold outside, and some people just do not enjoy running.

Thankfully, there are tons of other options to get the same benefits of a cardiovascular workout without having to step outside or on the treadmill. You must have heard of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), where you can get an intense cardio workout in a much shorter time. In HIIT, you combine multiple exercises like jump squats, lunges, and planks in a series of combinations to get your heart rate up and burn the calories. Juan Hidalgo, a certified trainer and group fitness instructor based in Los Angeles, told Self, “A HIIT series is a great sub for running or other steady-state cardio.”

But suppose you are someone who likes to keep their aerobic exercise and strength training separate, and in that case, there are plenty of other workouts to get your daily dose of cardio with similar physical and mental benefits. Is your playlist ready for this?

Here are the best cardio alternatives for people who are not a fan of running

Jesse Pittsley, Ph.D., president of the American Society for Exercise Physiologists, told WebMD, “Psychologically, runners may experience euphoria, a feeling of being invincible, a reduced state of discomfort or pain, and even a loss in sense of time while running.” You can get a similar feeling to a runner’s high with the following exercises.

Remember as a kid when skipping was a fun game? Celebs like Gigi Hadid and Kim Kardashian are big fans of this activity because skipping increases leg strength while toning and sculpting your back, arms, and shoulders. Get The Gloss recommends skipping as a great alternative because skipping for 10 minutes is equivalent to jogging for 30 minutes on a treadmill. For those looking for an exercise that won’t impact on their knees as much, Healthline suggests trying indoor cycling because you can change the resistance and use it while sitting or standing for a more challenging workout. It can also tone your legs and burn calories (via Daily Rx).

Running is also not ideal for those who have mobility issues, so the Better Health Channel recommends swimming, a great low-impact and full-body workout that is considered more effective than running. Working out in the water makes your body work harder, so 30 minutes in the pool is equivalent to working out for 45 minutes on land (via Plus, it’s a wonderful way to get back into exercising if you’re recovering from an injury.

Originally published at on February 4, 2022.


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