Running is an excellent cardio exercise that tones, burns fat and increases your fitness. But what if you are looking for alternatives that can provide similar results without some of the stresses of running? Read on for more information.
Running is a great option for many people when it comes to exercising but there are some circumstances in which running may become unsuitable. Some people simply do not like running. Others are unable to due to ankle, knee, muscle, or soft tissue injuries. Shin splints are a common complaint of runners, for example.
There are some great alternatives to running that will still provide you with the results that you are looking for. These include:
• Swimming – this is one of the lowest impact cardio exercises. Because there is no weight on the joints, there is little stress placed on them. This is great if you are looking to lose excess weight, as you are less likely to injure yourself. If you’re not the best swimmer, there are flotation devices that you can use to make things a little easier and help you feel more confident in the water.
• Elliptical Trainers – these are low impact on the knees and ankles as you aren’t actually picking your feet up and putting them down again as you would when you are running. Elliptical trainers operate using smooth movements as you are standing, and the movements have been described as similar to those used in skiing. You can change the intensity of your workout by adjusting things such as the resistance or incline, or use a program already set by the machine.
• Bicycling – whether using a stationary bike or a standard pushbike, this is a low impact yet effective form of exercise. As well as being great for fitness, you also have the advantage of an eco-friendly means of transportation if using a standard bike. You can also go on social rides with friends.
• Rowing Machines – these provide you with a more complete workout than running does, as they work both the legs and the upper body. Rowing machines get your heart rate up so can be used for fat burning.
• Treadmills – although these are generally associated with running, this does not have to be the case. You can set the treadmill on an incline and walk at a brisk pace. Most treadmills can increase the incline by up to at least 12 percent in order to simulate hills.
• Jump Rope – this is a brilliant form of cardio exercise that can actually produce results faster than running but you do need to be careful as it is very high impact, with both feet leaving and then hitting the ground at the same time.
• Walking – there are many advantages to walking. It creates less injury than running, it is lower in impact, and you can set a fat burning pace more easily. In walking, the most efficient fat burning pace is one where you are breathing noticeably but still able to have a conversation. You also sweat less, making it more convenient to do in your lunch hour.
• Dancing – the best part about dancing is that you forget you’re exercising as you’re having so much fun. No matter what type of music you like, you can dance to it, so it is available to everybody.
• Pilates – improves your strength, flexibility, balance, and awareness of your body. It is a non aerobic exercise that can be practiced by anyone, and you can choose to do the exercises using your own body weight or with the help of specialised equipment.