Alternatives to Running

If you’re anything like me, when you hear the word “exercise” the first thing you do is think about running. And the second thing you do is groan. Running is definitely my most common form of exercise, but let’s be real here, it isn’t always fun.

Now that the weather is heating up, the sun is shining, and spring has sprung I’m all about finding alternative ways to exercise. There are so many outdoor activities that will get your heart rate up and provide a solid cardio workout without your body even realizing that it’s working!

I thought I’d share some of my favorite non-running exercise ideas in case anyone needs some extra motivation to get moving:

Hiking

I went hiking for the first time in a loooooong time the other weekend and my legs were killing me for DAYS! I consider myself to be in pretty good shape, so I was surprised at how tired my legs felt after the 6 hour hike and at how sore they were for the next three days. I could barely even walk! That’s when I realized how great of a workout hiking is: I climbed, crawled, and sometimes even jumped off rocks; my body didn’t even realize it was working that hard…I was just trying not to fall!

Sports

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Duh, organized sports are a good workout. That’s a no-brainer right? But they can be somewhat of a time commitment that many adults are not willing to make. You don’t have to join a team to get a good workout though. You can easily work up a sweat by just kicking around with some of your buddies. If you are all particularly as bad as I am, you will get plenty of running in as you’re chasing missed shots that soared 100 feet past the goal!

Swimming

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I am so, so excited for the pool at my apartment building to open. Okay, okay, mostly I just like to lounge around outside and tan, but occasionally, I’ll do a few laps in the pool. Did you know that swimming is actually a great aerobic activity? And for the most part, you don’t even feel that fatigued because the pool is wiping all that sweat right off your forehead. Awesome!

Dancing

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Have you ever come back from a night out on the town with your feet aching and your legs burning from dancing so much? I definitely have. Now, I’m not the most coordinated dancer in the world, but I’ve been told that after 2-3 drinks I turn into Chris Brown…or maybe that’s just in my head. Either way, I love to dance and it’s actually a great cardio workout too. Double win!

Golf

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When I polled my male friends about what they thought a good non-running exercise was, golf was a popular answer. I can’t really speak to this since I’ve never been golfing in my life…unless we’re counting frisbee golf, which I’m told we aren’t. I have been told that you can walk 10+ miles (maybe an exaggeration), while carry a 30lb bag, and stopping every five minutes to swing a club. I’d imagine that’s hard work. I’m sure most of those calories burnt are offset by the exponential amount of beers that are also consumed. But hey, who’s really counting?

What are your favorite non-running exercises?