The most effective workout is one that is enjoyable! You should love what you’re doing and use your motivation as fuel. We hear a lot about the essentiality of cardio workouts- they are one of best ways to get our heart rates up and our blood flowing. When people think of cardio, many envision running. However, running isn’t for everyone; some love it, while others would rather do anything else. If you hate running, then you’re in luck! There are plenty of exercises, indoors and outdoors, that you may find more enjoyable. To name a few:

  1. Swimming: Swimming is arguably one of the best workouts you can do. It works a majority of your body and definitely gets your heart rate going. Even better, you can’t even feel your sweat! Overall, swimming is also easier on joints than other activities and you are less vulnerable to potential injury.

  2. Biking: Biking is a great form of cardio exercise, especially if running isn’t your thing. With biking, you’re still constantly moving your legs. It helps you get up and active, while also providing you the opportunity to see new sights. Go around your neighborhood or along a new trail!

  3. Jump Rope: You can easily do this in your house, out on your porch, or pretty much anywhere! It’s also loads of fun- remember playing jump rope during recess? The jumping and fast feet ensures a great cardio workout. Better yet, you don’t even have to move from your spot.

  4. Dancing: Who said dancing isn’t a sport? Whether you’re dancing to your own songs, watching tutorials, or taking dance classes, dancing is an effective cardio exercise that makes you sweat. Dancing is also easy to do at home or in tight spaces, and it’s really fun as well.

  5. Skating: Roller skating, rollerblading, or ice skating will all do! Perhaps go to your nearest rink or find a smooth trail close by. Skating utilizes so many parts of your body; your back, arms, abs, and, of course, your legs. Besides falling, skating is also relatively low impact.

  6. Hiking/Walking: If you’re in the mood for scenic views, then a hike or a walk is just the thing for you! Walking is great, low-impact exercise on its own, whether it is part of a hike or around your neighborhood. In fact, walking offers many of the same benefits as running while also putting less stress on your joints and muscles.

  7. Burpees: Now, hardly anyone would do burpees for half an hour or more, let alone just 2 minutes (they’re so grueling!). A deadly combo of push-ups and jumping, they sure do get your heart rate up and sweat dripping. Incorporating burpees into your other workouts will push you mentally and physically, and they are great cardio burners to end your routine!

There are a wide variety of other cardio-based exercises that you could find at your gym or at home. Some others require more equipment (rowing, stair climbers, etc.), but many cardio exercises only use body weight and minimal resources and are easily portable. You can even take a nice journey outdoors. Maybe somedays you will try running, and that’s great! Listen to your body and do what is best for you. As long as you’re having a fun time and feeling good about yourself, you are doing the best kind of cardio for you!

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