Whether you’ve uttered that once or 100 times, you’re not alone. I hear that same statement all the time from my clients who want to optimize their health and fitness goals without running. And you know what, I don’t really like running all that much, either. That’s why I love to get creative when it comes to keeping in great shape. Let’s start at the beginning and talk about what cardio really means before we dive into ways you can get in your cardio without running!
What is cardio?
Cardiovascular exercise, often shortened to “cardio,” is any movement that boosts breathing and heart rate by repetitively moving large muscle groups. When done regularly, cardio can improve heart, lung, and circulatory health. Most sources recommend getting in a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio as many days a week as you can.
Exercises to get in your cardio without running
Crank up the speed and/or the resistance (when applicable) on any of these moves to get in your cardio without running:
- Stationary or outdoor cycling
- Stairs or stair stepper
- Squat jumps
- Jumping jacks
- Dance class
- And any other exercise that uses large muscle groups to get your heart rate up!
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is an exercise technique where you expend 100 percent effort in quick bursts followed by short recovery sessions. HIIT is a great way to burn a large number of calories and fat without running.
One of my favorite HIIT programs is Tabata. This Japanese method encourages you to push yourself as hard as possible for 20 seconds before resting for 10. After repeating this eight times, you’re sure to feel the burn!
If you’re looking for something a little less intense, try circuit training. You’ll pick a time limit in which to complete one upper body, lower body, whole body, and cardio exercise. Do these in order to complete one circuit. Repeat these circuits until you’ve hit your time limit, taking a break between each to let your heart rate drop back into the normal range.
Customize your HIIT and circuit workouts using a variety of the cardio exercises above—just remember to alternate between hard work and rest to get in your cardio without running.
If you really want to get the most out of your cardio workouts, you might want to start monitoring your heart rate. For now, click here for a quick guide. Stay tuned for another blog post where we’ll discuss why heart rate is important and how to incorporate it into your health and fitness goals!
Definition of Cardio Exercise
How to Build the Perfect Circuit Workout
HIIT Workout: What It Is And Why It Works
What is Tabata Training?
Target Heart Rate Calculator