We all know that running is good for your health, but it’s not necessarily for everyone. If you suffer from joint pain or just can’t stomach the thought of running, there are plenty of other ways to get the same health benefits from running without hitting the pavement. Here are 5 workouts you can add to your fitness routine to get all the same benefits to your body as running.
Taking a spin class or spending time on a fast-paced bike ride will do your body wonders. Like running, cycling is a great form of cardio and will help you to improve your endurance and boost your energy levels.
If you can keep a moderate pace going, one hour of cycling can burn about 500 calories, which is more than an hour of light jogging!
Cycling has a leg up on running, especially if you suffer from serious joint pain. You’ll notice less wear and tear on your joints with regular cycling as opposed to running.
5. HIIT Training
Putting a variety of exercises together and moving quickly from move to move can have similar benefits on your endurance as running. Don’t let the “high intensity” scare you off. What makes this workout intense is to quickly move from one exercise to another without no breaks in between.
It doesn’t take much to start to feel out of breath and work up a sweat but the variety of moves can be easier on your body than steady running for hours at a time. You can look at the video above, choose cardio moves or strength, or a mix of both to create your own HIIT workout.
3. Stair Climbing
Whether you take your workout to the stair master or find an actual staircase, climbing stairs is easily as good, if not better than running. Your pace is totally up to you, but even walking stairs for 10 minutes can certainly challenge you more than a light run for the same time.
Because you’re working to lift your body weight from step to step, you’ll elevate your heart rate after only a few minutes. Besides making your heart stronger, stairs will help to lift your backside as well.
Walking might not burn as many calories as running, but if you pick up the pace in your regular walks, you can get a lot of the benefits. Regular walking is a perfect low-impact cardio workout that can reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
If you’re recovering from an injury or suffer from knee pain, walking is a perfect alternative to help you maintain your fitness routine and lose weight in the process.
You know that funny machine in the dark corner of the gym that people rarely use? Well, that mystery machine is the gym’s biggest secret, the rowing machine.
You can knock out major calories in no time with rowing, but be sure to ask a trainer to show you how to use it properly so that you can get the most out of your workout. When done correctly, you’ll start to build strength in your legs, core and arms, on top of a serious cardio workout that will have you out of breath without leaving your seat. An hour of rowing burns about the same amount of calories as an hour of jogging, but you’ll avoid the higher impact on your joints.