Some people can’t start their day without first running a few miles. Other people cringe at the thought of getting on a treadmill and running for 10 minutes. While running is one of the most common types of cardio exercise, it certainly isn’t the only one. If you’re someone who hates running but still wants to be active, consider trying one of these four cardio exercises.

 

Jump rope

It may bring you back to your elementary school recess days, but jumping rope is actually an incredibly effective workout. Jumping rope for 10 minutes is equivalent to jogging on the treadmill for 30 minutes. Not only is it a good cardio workout, but it also helps to tone the arms, back and shoulders and increases leg strength. If you really want to up the exercise, consider using a weighted jump rope. Using a jump rope also helps to improve your posture as you need to keep your shoulders up and back to avoid tripping.

 

HIIT

Want an effective workout you can do in a short amount of time? HIIT may be the perfect fit for you. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, uses short bursts of full effort followed by periods of recovery condenses a lot of physical activity into one quick workout. You can include a variety of exercises in your HIIT routine, like squats, pushups and lunges to work all of your muscle groups. HIIT also helps to improve your excess post-oxygen consumption and elevates your metabolism for 36 hours following your workout.

 

Swimming

If one of the reasons you shy away from cardio exercise is the stress it puts on your joints, then swimming may be a great solution. Being in the water takes off pressure from your joints while still providing you with an effective workout. Swimming is also a great way to unwind and relax. The repetitiveness of swimming laps helps to clear your mind. Don’t let the ease of the activity mistake you into thinking it isn’t an effective workout. A person weighing 150 pounds will burn 700 calories during a vigorous hour-long swim and 400 during a moderate pace one.

 

Team sports

If exercising in a group setting is more your speed, you should consider joining a rec league. Many gyms and community centers have rec leagues for various sports that meet at least once a week to play. Find a sport you already play and love, or try something new entirely. Joining a team has the added benefit of meeting new people and making new friends with a shared interest.