The Exercises That Are Better Than Running

When I hear people casually exclaim that they are going to go on a jog to clear their heads, I wonder how that is possible. For me, I literally agonize over whether I am going to put myself through the torture that is going on a run, let alone consider it something that I could clear my head during. Yes, I feel better about myself once my run is complete, but the act of it is honestly so grueling to me that I can’t bring myself to do it on the regular.

This isn’t to say that I don’t appreciate a good cardio workout. I love to work up a sweat and get my heart rate going, just in other ways. I used to wonder if other forms of cardio were as beneficial than the end-all-be-all running exercise, and it turns out that there are other ways to get the same calorie burn. Below are a few of the best ways for non-runners to keep up with their cardiovascular health.

The Elliptical

This is my personal favorite. Not only does this have less of a risk of injury, but it allows you to burn a significant amount of calories. Being someone who has lower back problems, the low impact of the elliptical is a great option for me. It allows you to adjust the resistance level to give yourself an easy or intense workout, depending on what you want. Just keep in mind to maintain an upper body work out to coincide with all the lower body that the Elliptical provides.

Get Biking

It seems like more people are biking everyday, and not just in the traditional sense. Yes, it is becoming commonplace in most cities to see more people taking their road bike or mountain bike to work on a daily basis, but it is also a popular workout tool. With spin classes filling up in all the gyms and new and improved stationary bikes be sold, the options are endless. Using a bike is easier on the joints and knees than running and other cardio equipment, while still allowing a bunch of calories to be burned.

Take the Stairs

This can be done as easily as going up and down your building’s stairs until you’ve reached your Fitbit’s required 10,000 steps, but it can also be accomplished at the gym. It may seem old fashioned, but the stair climber machine can be a great form of cardio, when done right. This can be an easy one to cheat on when handrails are easily accessed, but when used efficiently, you can strengthen your lower half as well as get rid of calories.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Steven Depolo