Running can be such a freeing feeling when you tie up those shoes, bump that music, and just let go on a wide open road. But for those of us who envy the avid marathoner because we could never run for that long — we still need to get our cardio in. Not only is it great for your cardiovascular health but it’s key in dropping lb.’s and leaning out. These alternatives will get you those runner’s legs without actually having to hit the pavement.
Average calories burned: 680/hour during an intense workout
If you are a fan of Rocky boxing might be your cup of tea. All those fast combos will get your heart pumping and sweat dripping in no time. Boxing is great cardio as well as an upper body work out. Giving ’em a nice hook while you’re at it!
Average calories burned: Up to 750/hour during an intense workout
Strap on those gloves for a full body workout with kickboxing. Not only are you going to be using your hands but your knees, elbows and feet, too. If you’re in need of some stress relief or just had a rough day at work, nothing will beat taking it out on the punching bag. Maybe you’ll even find a cute sparing partner!
Average calories burned: 660/hour
Remember how fun this was on the elementary school playground? Well, we found out quickly that jump roping as an adult isn’t all fun and games anymore. (Trust me you won’t be giggling.) You’ll be sweating minutes in. Feel free to thank us later for your great heart health.
Average calories burned: 500-1000/hour depending on speed and incline
The great thing about biking is you can do it outdoors or indoors, by yourself or alone, or go to a cycling studio! Oh the places you might go with this one. You can bike down a scenic view of a mountain or climb upwards for a great resistance ride.
Average calories burned: 440/hour
Bust a move and get your groove on! Dancing is a great and fun way of making cardio a part of your workout regime. Why do you think so many people are obsessed with Zumba? Pick a dance style that suits your personality or try one you’ve always been curious about. There are classes and videos for everything from break dancing to Bollywood to ballet — trust us, there’s something for everyone! Be the star in your own Step Up! movie.
Average calories burned: 600/hour more as you increase body weight
We love Krav Maga because not only do you get an incredible workout, you learn practical defense skills at the same time. For all you avid runners out there who think you have great endurance, throw in some of these moves used to train the U.S. Military, then get back to us.
Average calories burned: 660/hour
If you thought rowing was only an upper body workout, you were very, very wrong. Rowing works nine different muscle groups: quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, core, shoulders, triceps, back and biceps. Go hard on the erg for just a few minutes and you’ll be surprised how many of your muscles are fatiguing.
Average calories burned: 500/hour
Whether you’re climbing a challenging mountain trail or opting for a flat country route, a scenic hike will be sure to keep your spirits high and burn hundreds of calories in the process. If running is not your forte but you still want to experience the great outdoors, hiking is the perfect alternative. If you’re in the LA area, check out these awesome hiking spots (you may just spot some celebrities, too).
Average calories burned: 800/hour doing breast stroke at fast pace
Swimming is way to get a complete full body workout from head to toe. It’s also very low impact, so it’s the perfect way to stay in shape while you’re recovering from an injury. The water allows you to relax and work out at the same time! If you’re near a lake or ocean, make an adventure out of it!
The VersaClimb Workout
Average calories burned: 22.3 calories/min
We love the new 30 minute class, Rise Nation, which uses a vertical stair master to get a full body workout while rocking out to your favorite tunes. It’s always more motivating to sweat it out in a group fitness class. They’ll have you climbing to great heights from 1,500 ft in the beginner class and up to 5,000 ft in the extreme class!
With all these running alternatives, there is no reason to leave cardio out of your weekly workout routine. We all need some cardio, so what are you waiting for? Pick an option and give it a try! We like to believe that the only failure is never really starting.