Cardio. It’s super important for keeping the weight off and keeping you from getting winded just walking to the mailbox. Most people trying to get more cardio in their lives opt for using a treadmill to walk/run. But a treadmill can get old and boring really quick. Here are 5 treadmill alternatives that you can incorporate into your fitness routine to avoid boredom:
An elliptical machine simulates the act of walking or running with a little bit of stair climbing. It is easier on the joints so if you have joint problems it is a great alternative to the treadmill. The design of the elliptical machine allows it to target your core and arms in addition to cardio. You can easily burn between 260 and 430 calories in a 30-minute period depending on your body weight. On average, you burn about 2.16 calories for every pound of body weight.
Step Aerobics usually takes place in a class setting although there are videos you can watch to do this exercise at home. I, personally, have always liked classes. I feel they go by faster. In a step aerobics class, you have a wide step that you place on the ground in front of you. Risers can be added to make it higher, therefore making it more difficult, if you want them.
An instructor then takes you through a few routines set to upbeat music. If you haven’t worked out in a while, or ever, then you may have to build up to an entire class which usually lasts an hour. A one-hour high intensity step aerobics class can burn up to 600+ calories!
Bicycling is another great alternative to the treadmill. You can do this exercise on a stationary bike or on a road bike. On beautiful days, my husband and I love to get out on our bikes on the weekends. It allows us to get some fresh air as well as get in some cardio. Trail riding is especially fun. A bike ride at a pace of 10 to 12 miles per hour can burn around 250 calories while a faster pace, say 18-20 mph, can burn around 770 calories in an hour.
If you want more structure and motivation when biking, consider taking a spin class. These are usually higher intensity and you definitely have to be in better shape to keep up through an entire hour, but a lot of people swear by them. A one-hour spin class can burn around 740+ calories in an hour.
Zumba is a favorite amongst fitness class fans. It is, essentially, a dance class, Latin inspired, and a lot of fun. Zumba has to be one of my favorites. An instructor will walk you through learning some steps at the beginning and then put them together in a routine for you. You may go through 3 or 4 routines during a 1-hour class. This class can burn between 350 and 700 calories depending on your weight and the intensity.
Swimming is a low impact way to get in some cardio. A lot of gyms have swimming pools and, of course, during the summer months, most neighborhoods have pools that are open as well. If you have access to a swimming pool, think about doing laps to get some cardio in. If you do a little research, you can find pool workouts, so you aren’t stuck doing just laps if those get boring. 30 minutes of swimming can burn around 400 or more calories.
It doesn’t matter what you do, the important thing is that you get some form of cardio exercise in 3-4 times a week. Anything that gets your heart pumping counts. If all you can do is run around your house, up and down the stairs, and launch into a routine of jumping jacks, jump rope, or dancing around your living room, then do it! 30 minutes of dancing around your living room to amazing music will fly by and you won’t even realize you worked out!
What are your favorite cardio exercises? Comment below and let me know your ideas!