Hate running? Try these cardio alternatives
Avid runners may have a hard time parting ways with the satisfying and goal-crushing feeling of pushing through a run. However, for many of us out there who avoid running like the plague, there are many other forms of cardiovascular exercise that can keep you active even when skipping the run.
Some recent studies have disparaged the widely believed idea that running can lead to osteoarthritis of the knee – some research has shown that it can even help prevent it. But, there are many other reasons you might be seeking a substitute for running. Whether you are looking for an alternative to the high-impact nature of running or you just want to switch up your cardio routine, Dr. Harun Durudogan, orthopedic surgeon from Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., recommends these low-impact exercises to get your heart pumping without having to endure a run.
Contrary to popular belief, you can gain similar benefits to jogging by going on a brisk walk. The key to benefiting as much from your walk as you do from your jog is to go the same distance, which may take twice as long. The energy expenditure is similar in the two activities. If you have the extra time, walking has been proven to lower the risk of hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol, just like jogging.
Cycling, Elliptical Training, and Rowing
Don’t be apprehensive when it comes to trying different cardio machines at the gym besides the treadmill. Cycling, elliptical training and rowing are three great forms of cardiovascular exercise. Since they are load sharing activities, all three can help you improve your physical fitness without putting stress on your joints. If you enjoy working out outdoors, hopping on a road bike is another effective alternative to running.
Swimming offers another cross-training option that is much easier on your joints and gets your entire body involved. You may want to take your workout to the pool since swimming uses the full muscular system including abs, legs, arms and chest. It has also been proven that you burn more calories in a shorter period of time compared to running while exerting the same level of effort.
Low-impact workouts such as step-aerobics and water-aerobics effectively improve your endurance and muscular strength. The key to benefiting from aerobic workouts is to make sure you are performing the moves properly. This way, you can get a good workout while safely avoiding injury.
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About the Author
Kristen Bainbridge, health enews contributor, is the marketing and public affairs intern for Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL. Kristen is a senior Marketing major and Public Relations minor at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio., and will graduate in the spring of 2018. During the school year, Kristen will be the Marketing and Communications intern in Xavier’s Career Development Office. In her free time, Kristen loves dancing, traveling, and cheering on the Xavier basketball team. Go Musketeers!