Running is a great way to get your heart rate up and torch calories. Still as great as running is, there are other ways to get in some cardio. Here are a few to try.
Hop on the elliptical – The elliptical is one of the most popular pieces of cardio equipment at the gym. There’s a reason for that. Hop on for a full body, low-impact workout that burns calories and boosts aerobic capacity.
Channel your inner youth – Remember how much you used to love jumping rope? Ok well, maybe not. Whether you loved or hated jump rope as a kid, it is worth another look as an adult. Rope jumping burns mega calories. In fact when you consider calorie expenditure, just ten minutes of rope jumping is nearly equal to running an eight-minute mile. You may never get that fast but you can certainly get the benefits of that kind of speed.
Hit the stairs – Millions of people have trekked to the Philadelphia Art Museum to run the same stairs Rocky ran in the 1976 classic movie. The Italian Stallion included stairs in his cardio workout in preparation for his big fight. There probably isn’t a big fight in your future but adding stairs as an alternative to running should be. Climbing the stairs boosts good cholesterol. Stair climbing also contributes to healthy muscles and joints. Hit the stairs to increase aerobic capacity, burn calories and build bone density.
Skip the road jack – Trade your running shoes for jumping jacks. Jumping jacks are perfect when you are traveling (no equipment required), when the weather is bad, or anytime you want to get your heart rate up. Jumping jacks rev up metabolism, circulation and blood flow, too.
Dive in – Swimming is a fun, low-impact exercise that gets your heart rate up. Build endurance, strength and increase heart health – all without breaking a sweat (depending on pool temps). Tone muscles and build stronger lungs with this full body cardio workout.
Roll instead – Take your bike for a spin. Enjoy the cardiovascular benefits of riding and you’ll likely feel less stressed too. Biking is easier on the joints than running but still helps you tone hips and thighs. If you don’t have a bike head to the gym for spin class or a turn on the stationary bike.
When you get right down to it a cardio workout is just about anything that gets your heart rate up. No matter what your fitness level or interests there is probably something you can do every day that fills the bill. As you build stamina and endurance you may just find that you want to give running a try. Who says the 5k is just for speed demons? Whether you cross the finish first or last – you’re a winner because you showed up.