Five Cardio Workouts That Don’t Involve Running

a woman swims to get a cardio workout without running

Running is not for everyone and can easily put unnecessary stress on your joints.

In some cases, the idea of waking up and running is boring! It’s not easy to do something that is tedious because it will get old quickly.

This is why running is often the bare minimum when it comes to cardio and doesn’t have to be the only way to raise your heart rate.

According to experts, there are five specific exercises a person can do instead of running and it’s time to list them here.

1. Swimming

This is one of the finest cardio workouts on the planet and is always going to be right up there with the best options. This has a lot to do with the amount of energy you’re going to use without putting stress on the joints.

Your body will be able to float without a problem and it’s going to help build your heart rate up in a hurry. Swimming is a wonderful workout and can be soothing as long as you find the right body of water.

Many people head to a local swimming pool or even do laps in their backyard pool. It’s all about finding a place that’s open, quiet, and will be able to offer you the amount of space needed to get your workout in.

a woman gets ready to go for a swim

This is a great option for those who want to stay away from any type of running and want to keep things as simple as possible.

While going about your swimming workout, you will want to mix things up and build a proper regimen. This means you will want to do a set number of laps or put a timer so you can follow how many minutes are spent in the water.

These are the little tidbits that can push you harder and make sure you have a purpose behind what’s happening.

It’s not just about hopping into a pool and hoping things work out because that’s when you start to waste time!

Take swimming seriously and put your entire body to the test by creating a well-rounded exercise regimen. It’s going to be one of the best cardio workouts in your repertoire and it will be a lot of fun at the same time. This is why millions of people prefer to go out and swim instead of running.

2. Cycling

There are two options when it comes to hopping on a bicycle. You can either go with a traditional bike and ride outdoors or purchase an indoor cycle for your home gym.

Both options are good and will provide a good amount of cardiovascular work as you build up your endurance.

The reason people adore cycling has to do with the reduced stress on your joints and the ability to sit in one place without having to tax the upper body.

a guy rides a road bike for a great cardio workout

This is a good option for those who are lifting weights in addition to their cardio workouts.

It’s always recommended to play around with the intensity and focus on building endurance. This is going to get the heart rate up but will also make you a fitter person.

Running is always noted for helping you lose weight but cycling is one of the most underrated workouts on the planet.

It is an enjoyable experience and is going to offer a tremendous amount of quality as soon as you hop on.

For those who don’t want to stay at home or on an indoor cycle at their gym, why not grab a traditional bike and head outdoors?

This is a wonderful opportunity to cycle around town and plan a route that is easy to follow and lets you enjoy the beauty of where you reside. In fact, a lot of people bike to work because it is a good workout and can be a brilliant money-saver at the same time.

Cardio workouts don’t have to be the same old options everyone goes with and that includes running. Look into cycling and realize the amount of value it is able to bring to your life and cardio routine.

It is going to be one of those game-changers that will matter in the long-term.

3. Rowing

Want a full-body cardio workout that is going to push you to the limit and feels awesome?

a group of men do a rowing workout on the water

Rowing is the way to go as it has been recorded for being one of the most effective cardio workouts on the planet (including running!) and that’s what matters.

Grab a rowing machine and set the resistance to a manageable level as you begin to work your way up towards a stronger base.

In a few months, you will notice massive changes to how you feel and look because of the amount of value that comes from rowing on a regular basis.

For those who are truly feeling adventurous and have an outdoorsy background, why not head out to the local lake and row in the open water? This is such a unique way to get your cardio in and is going to bring a smile to your face due to the experience itself.

Rowing is one of those workouts that will be challenging but the reward is going to be much higher. You may even notice muscular development because of this workout and that is often not the case with other options such as normal running.

4. Stair Climbing

Climbing stairs is easier said than done and there is a lot that goes into this experience. People will have to think about how they’re going to complete the workout and a StairMaster or even the TreadClimber (learn more) can be a good idea as it is going to push the body as it should be without hurting your joints.

bowflex treadclimber

The reason more and more people are thinking about stair climbing has to do with the ease of using a stair climber and knowing it is going to burn a lot of calories since you are pushing up against gravity.

Of course, you can also keep things as simple as possible and climb a regular staircase at home or at your local gym.

These are the little benefits of stair climbing that make it a lot of fun and can also help you enjoy new places around town.

Running isn’t going to always do this and you may want to enjoy a bit of cardio without the traditional sidewalks and pathways.

If that is the case then stair climbing is one of the finest cardio workouts at your disposal. It’s going to be entertainment, unique, and will make sure you get leaner in a hurry!

5. Sports

This is an all-encompassing category and should be included as a potential option especially for those who get bored.

There is nothing better than staying active but spending hours in the same spot can become incredibly dull.

Instead of letting boredom get to you, why not incorporate the use of sports?

Whether it’s basketball or hockey, you will be able to get the heart rate up and it’s going to be an incredible exercise. Most people don’t even realize as the time ticks by because they’re having so much fun!

Sports can include:

a guy shoots a basketball into the sunset

  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • American Football
  • Hockey
  • Badminton/Tennis
  • Squash

These are just some of the sports one can put on their list while setting up a regimen. The charm of playing these sports is being able to learn the charm of teamwork, active thinking, and hand-eye coordination, which are underrated aspects of becoming a better physical specimen.

You will want to have all of these benefits under your belt and it’s only possible when you’re willing to put in the time with sports.

Remember, it’s not always about a traditional cardio exercise in the gym. Your body isn’t going to know the difference between 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes playing soccer as long as the effort is similar.

You will be able to have a boatload of fun and it’s not going to be as rigorous as simple running.

Sports have long been recognized as a world-class way to burn extra fat and start to look leaner because it pushes the body.

You are going to be highly active and it will become second nature to you after a while. Don’t be afraid to set things into motion with an organized sport every week.

You can even join a team and have weekly games as you look to stay fit.

Final Thoughts

These are the five cardio workouts that don’t involve traditional running and are going to keep you healthy. Yes, you will be jogging from place to place in a regular sport but it’s a great way to mix things up!

This is the charm of finding something that is specific to you and is going to win you over. It will become easier to get up in the morning and put in a good workout session without thinking twice.

You will know it’s going to be a lot of fun and that’s half the battle in most cases!