Running is often a popular workout activity for those who don’t like going to the gym. However, running isn’t always a feasible option, especially if you have joint issues or knee damage. Thankfully, there are several great running alternative workouts you can do to get moving without causing damage to your knees or ankles. These options are also fun alternatives for those who simply don’t enjoy running but want an effective workout.
Not only can cycling get you outdoors, but it is also very gentle on your joints. Cycling is a low-impact, high-intensity workout option. Thus making it a great alternative to running if you wish to get in a good cardio workout. Cycling can also be effective indoors using a stationary bike, or spin cycle. With cycling, you have the ability to completely control your workout, from speed to length and difficulty. If cycling outdoors, consider taking a route that takes you up and down hills for an extra workout boost. You could also consider using your bike as a mode of transportation to work or the grocery store to increase your fitness levels.
Now you may not think of using a sauna to workout. But, saunas are not just for relaxing. While inside, your heart increases due to the heat, which then increases blood circulation, mimicking moderate exercise. Studies have even shown that sauna use can help to improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart disease. The heat can also help to alleviate pain from inflamed joints and tight muscles.
If you like water, aqua jogging could be the answer for you! This workout is low impact and the water helps keep you cool while you workout. By jogging in water or swimming, you lessen the stress on your muscles and joints. Thereby, allowing you to strengthen joints without damaging them. The water offers additional resistance helping you to build muscle faster than with other exercise options. Additionally, due to this resistance, you will also be working and strengthening your core.
An intense yoga class is definitely not a leisurely workout. Instead, you can burn the same amount of calories in an hour of yoga as you would running for 30 minutes. However, instead of being purely cardio, yoga is based on conscious, controlled movement. These specific moves and the transitions between them are what makes it an effective workout. As you don’t need any equipment, yoga is easy to do at home, especially with many classes available on YouTube. However, ensure that you are focusing on the muscles being targeted to get the best results.
Step aerobics and dance classes can offer a great low-impact, high-intensity workout. They are gentle on your joints while improving muscle strength and endurance. These workouts can be done at home with a small step, or find local classes for a group workout. Aerobics and dance workouts focus on building strength and flexibility through cardio. The moves will help build muscles in your legs, core, and upper body. Additionally, you can see significant improvements to your coordination and balance after several workouts.
There you have it, several running alternative workouts for those with joint pain, or who simply hate running. Remember, making fitness fun can help you to build it into your routine as a healthy habit. Find out what workouts you enjoy. You’ll soon find that getting and staying fit can be fun, rather than a chore.