Melody Teh


5 great cardio alternatives to running

5 great cardio alternatives to running

We’re not all born athletes, and we’re certainly not all born runners. Many people may find running particularly un-enjoyable for a variety of reasons, ranging from their body type to their attention span.

Here are five great alternative cardio options that you can try instead:

1. Swimming

Swimming not only works entire body, including being great for your core, but is non-impact thus reducing risk of injury. In fact this is a go to for when you’re injured. Mix things up and do different strokes every two to four laps alternating between freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly and so on. Kickboards will also really work your legs and core and help to create variety in your session. Aim for at 20-30min of non-stop swimming and you'll definitely feel your heart and breathing rate go up.

2. Boxing

Whether you take a class or do some work on the bag by yourself, boxing is a great cardio choice. It’s also a form of resistance training that will also strengthen and tone your entire body. If you're not sure what to do, join a boxing class or gym for a few ideas and combine bodyweight drills such as skipping, high knees and kicks to break up the punching.

3. Skipping

So simple yet so effective, skipping is not just for schoolkids. In fact, jumping rope is a great form of cardio training. Alternate what you do, go for fast speed skips intervals with short easy skipping in between. High knees, side-to-side jumps, double-unders and so on – all of which work your cardiovascular system as well as coordination and agility skills. You will also feel your core working and your posture straighten up simply by staying up tall and engaging your abs as you jump.

4. HIIT (high intensity interval training)

HIIT style training is taking off in a big way because of its ability to combine multiple modes of training into an awesome metabolic session (meaning you torch a bunch of calories during and after your session). To make an HIIT style session more cardio based, simply choose cardio and plyometric drills (i.e. rowing, high knees, squat jumps, skips, skaters etc) that you can do high reps for short bursts with little rests in between. Keep your heart rate up throughout by going for max efforts of high reps in the short intervals and keep the rests in between short so you stay in that cardio zone.

5. Hill or sand sprints

Okay so this is still kind of running. However, you can break up the idea of a long, boring run into shorter sprint intervals. Not only do you make it more achievable but you also will get a more metabolic effect from your workout (again think mega calorie burn and great for building lean strong muscle). Choose distances that are doable on your end (anywhere from 80m-200m) and go for 10-15 sprints with either standing rest or jog back as recovery.

First appeared on 

Related links:

7 common lies about fat

The best and worst foods for bloating

What your body’s cravings really mean