Top 10 Proven Cardio Alternatives for People Who Hate it

Love it or hate it, we all need to fit cardio in our physical activity because it’s one of the best ways to strengthen the most important muscle in our body- the heart.

But it doesn’t end there. The overall role of aerobic exercises, a.k.a. Cardio, is to build resistance, endurance, and burn calories. In addition, Cardio:

But cardio is super easy to hate because it can become annoying and not enjoyable. Some hate feeling breathless or doing the same old exercises for 30+ minutes.

The first thing to do in each case is finding what you hate about it and change it for something you like or at least hate less.


1. How Many of These Cardio Alternatives Have You Tried? 

Has it crossed your mind that maybe you gave up cardio before you found the right one for you? 

Everything that increases your heart rate and makes you sweat can be defined as cardio. So skipping rope, rowing, biking, Plyometrics or resistance band exercises, yoga, Pilates, dancing, and many more – are all Cardio.

Make a list of what you haven’t tried yet, plan a few sessions for each, and see what you like the most. 

Pushing yourself through the difficulties, the pain, breathlessness, boredom- all these will grow you physically and mentally, and eventually, you’ll be ready for the next level.


2. HIIT Running Sessions- Personal Record Cardio Alternative

A good way to push yourself is to turn each workout into a challenge- in speed and time. 

You can choose to run indoors or outdoors. Changing the route of your outdoor running might make it more enjoyable for you. 

Start by measuring your personal record (PR) of running at full speed for an amount of time. (Don’t forget to warm up your body properly beforehand.)

Next, you can create a HIIT routine of running. For example:

  • Run at full speed for 1-3 minutes 
  • Run at a slow pace for 2-6 minutes (twice the time you ran at full speed) 
  • Repeat it 6-8 times. 

HIIT running routine will make you burn twice as many calories as running at a steady pace for twice the time. You will also continue burning calories after the workout due to the EPOC or ‘afterburn’ effect.

This routine is perfect for losing weight and can be done 2-3 times/week. 


3. Light-Weight Cardio Alternative- Supersets & Giant Sets

You can incorporate HIIT in any physical training by adding intensity and speed. Only 30 minutes of HIIT can burn up to 400kcal.

If you enjoy weightlifting, you can combine low-weight supersets and giant sets for each muscle- building endurance and strength. Supersets are two exercises performed back-to-back, while giant-sets are 4+ exercises performed back-to-back.

For example, you can perform Front Lateral Raises + Side Lateral Raises + Shoulder Press with 5-10lb dumbbells for 10-15 reps.4.    Join a Fitness Community 

Other people can help you stay motivated, be it people you know or your virtual gym bodies.

Follow challenging channels on YouTube, search on Instagram and other websites and save routines to try. Having fresh content will help you avoid boredom.

You can also download an app, take fitness classes, or follow through with cardio routines online. The more you try, the sooner you’ll understand what you enjoy the most.


5. Low-Intensity Cardio Alternatives

If you hate feeling breathless and just want to move your body while still scrolling on Instagram, there are tons of things you can still do and work your muscles.

Not all aerobic routines are fast, speedy, powerful, and dynamic.

Doing 25 minutes of inclined treadmill or Stair Climber will keep your heart rate up and leave you sweaty. On days where you don’t feel like doing anything, wear comfy clothes and dedicate 25-40 minutes to your cardio machine of choice.


6. Cardio Alternatives That Don’t Bore You to Death

Yes, conventional cardio can get boring!

A cardio alternative is finding more complex exercises like F45– functional exercises, or CrossFit routines such as burpeesshoot-throughs, tuck jumps, jumping squats, jumping lunges, varieties of planks, etc.

With these exercises, you will learn new skills and improve your mobility, strength, and stability in a way that conventional cardio exercises don’t offer.


7. EMOM Routines for Challenging Cardio Alternative

Have you heard of EMOM? It is a challenging CrossFit practice, but it can be adapted in every training.

EMOM- every minute of the minute- means starting a new exercise every minute and doing as many repetitions as you can.

You can decide on the number of reps, for example, 30 squats in a minute. When you feel like you can’t anymore, you can rest and start back up before the clock hits 60 seconds.


8. Start a Sport for Fun or With a Personal Trainer

Tennis, Volley, Football, Boxing, and Kickboxing all make for a good cardio alternative.

They also give you an extra hit of adrenaline since you’ll be playing in a team that will drive your competitive spirit and help you stay accountable.

Maybe playing by the rules and keeping score is what you’ve been missing all along.


9. Dancing as a Cardio Alternative

Freestyle dancing or following and learning a choreography from your favorite artists helps you with more than just burning calories.

You will get hyped up, feel better, gain confidence and a feeling of accomplishment. 

Tons of YouTube channels have follow-through dance routines such as MADFit or others. Or, if you’re feeling creative enough, you can build your own dance.


10. Hire a Personal Trainer

Lastly, if you don’t want to think about any of the above alternatives, you can leave it in the hands of your personal trainer.

Let your trainer know about your level, and preferences and you will work together to find something right up your alley. 

Hiring a personal trainer will guarantee you get the most of your workouts and keep you accountable.

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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