If you want to get in a good cardio workout but you’re sick of running on the treadmill or if you have injuries that will not allow you to there are other options out there. Cardiovascular exercise is continuous exercise for at least 20 minutes where your heart rate will raise and you should perspire. If you don’t break a sweat you need to turn it up a notch or you’re not getting the full extent of your work out. Try these exercises for a change up or as an alternative to running.
Bicycling – This is a sport that can be enjoyed in the gym or the great outdoors. Depending on your intensity and resistance you can expect to burn 300 – 450 calories per 30 minutes. If you opt to bike indoors on a stationary bike you can use the free machines or join a spinning class for extra motivation. Another great benefit of bicycling is that if your location allows you can incorporate it into your daily routine such as biking to work on sunny days or biking down the street for a quick run to the store.
Swimming – Tired of fighting for machines at in the gym? Try hitting the pool. Swimming laps is one of the most challenging cardio workouts you can do. On top of the cardio vascular benefits swimming also teaches you breathe control and power training as you propel through the water on each stroke. Swimming is also the best alternative if you are recovering from an injury. Try starting out in 10 – 15 minute intervals if you’re a newbie and work your way up. You can either count laps or bring a water proof watch to help you keep track. A 30 minute swim can make you burn about 300 – 600 calories.
Elliptical – If you’re not familiar with the elliptical it’s that funny looking machine usually right next to the treadmills. This is a great low impact cardio workout if you have bad knees or aching joints. The motion is very similar to cross- country skiing and it may take a bit of practice to get the coordination down. We recommend the machines that also have moving arm handles opposed to those where you just hold on to the rail. The main muscles groups targeted are your glutes, quads, hamstrings, back, chest and triceps. All in all this is a great machine for cardio.