8 Best Cardio Workouts For People Who Hate Running

When it comes to cardio, you love it or you hate it. It’s almost impossible to be in the middle. Still, cardio is hugely beneficial to your long-term health because it improves your cardiovascular system, prevents heart disease, lowers your cholesterol levels, and keeps your blood sugar within limits.

There is a lot of different types cardio workouts that focus on different areas of your body, but they all have one thing in common: raising your heart rate and burning calories. Probably one of the most natural forms of cardio for humans is functioning, but not everyone likes to tie up their shoes and whiz around the neighborhood. Here are eight running alternatives you can try and reap the cardiovascular benefits.


A man and a woman riding bicycles in nature.

Summer isn’t over yet and it’s the perfect time to get your bike out and start pedaling. Cycling is great for your lower body and for building your leg muscles. It is also ideal for improving your endurance and VO2 Maxone of the most important measures of fitness.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cyclist, you can always modify your rides to suit your mood and energy level. And you can make them as easy or as hard as you want, getting all the cardio benefits.

If cycling outdoors isn’t your favorite activity but you still enjoy movement, hop on an indoor bike and pedal to a sweaty workout.


Woman swimming in a pool.

You don’t have to be Michael Phelps to have a good swimming session. Swimming is really taxing on your body as you move through water and its resistance so basically whatever movement you are doing your body is already working harder than when there is no water .

If you want to learn a particular swimming style, find a place that offers swimming lessons and learn your technique and posture. Once you get the basics down, you’ll be effective in the pool, managing to count your strokes and turns, creating a highly effective cardiovascular workout.

Best choice


Woman putting on rollerblades.

Another fun outdoor activity, in-line skating is easy to learn and provides the ultimate cardio workout. Invite a friend to join you and spend some quality time while burning calories. Not to mention, you’ll be outside, breathing in the fresh air and walking away from that laptop.

The best thing about inline skating is that you can do it virtually anywhere it’s safe. All you have to do is put them on and start skating.

Skipping rope (jumping)

Woman jumping rope in front of a wall.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.com

Jumping rope is an awesome cardio workout that you can do virtually anywhere. Apparently 10 minutes of jumping equals 30 minutes of treadmill jogging. So not only are you doing something fun instead of something you don’t like, but you’re also doing it three times faster.

If you are new to jump rope, you need to master this skill as it can be quite difficult and nascent at first. Once you understand, you’ll feel like you’ve known him forever. It is playful, amusing, creative and stimulating all at the same time.


Woman working out on the elliptical trainer.

If you like the running motion but dislike the actual motion, the elliptical may be the perfect cardio workout for you. It works both your legs and your arms, challenging you by adding resistance or increasing speed.

With two different positions for your hands and the option to squat or extend your legs, you can have completely different workouts every time you step on the machine. The elliptical is also a great option for Tabata exercises where you perform the same movement but with different speeds in a specific time frame: sprint for 20 seconds, rest for 10, then repeat four to eight times.


Man and woman exercising on rowing machines in gym.
Ground Image/Shutterstock.com

Rowing is a great cardio workout that really challenges your whole body much faster than you think. Just try rowing for 10 minutes, maintaining about the same intensity, and you’ll feel like you’ve run five miles by comparison. Studies show it’s even more effective for cardiovascular health than cycling.

And you don’t have to be in the water to enjoy these benefits. Indoor rowers are just as effective and an incredible investment for someone who hates running and has room in their home for fitness equipment this size.

HIIT circuit training

Woman jumping during HIIT exercise.

High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is a form of training that allows you to be creative, transition from one exercise to another, increase your intensity to the max, and get away with it with a workout. very fast and efficient.

HIIT really focuses on high intensity movements and asks you to deliver your maximum combined with periods of rest. It’s a great, and certainly not boring, way to do cardio. The only problem with HIIT is that it shouldn’t be done on days when you’re tired, sore and tired, because chances are you won’t even hit 70% of your max and you risk hurt.


Woman kickboxing in a studio.
Karl Tafra

Boxing takes skill and practice, but it’s one of the best cardio workouts you can do. It works your whole body, strengthens your muscles, challenges your balance and pushes your endurance to the next level. Whether you are a beginner or someone who has a punching bag in your house, get your gloves and let all the stress and frustrations out with your intense punches!

Cardio doesn’t mean running; you can get all the health benefits of other cardio workouts. Especially if you appreciate them much more. If you still don’t know where to start, check out these amazing fitness apps and find inspiration while browsing.

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