6 Cardio Ideas – Alternatives to Running

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I am not a big fan of running for cardio – anymore. I once used to be a long distance runner and loved going outdoors for a jog. That was before a knee injury and a love for weight training. These days I get my cardio in doing a variety of different ways, usually something short and intense. I do not have the time to go for a 2 hour jog nor would I enjoy it. We often think that running, outdoors or on the treadmill, are the only ways to get your heart rate racing. This is just not true.

If you are like me or want to try something new for your cardio, then this blog post is especially for you! I have put together a list of exercises and activities that you can to do to enhance your cardiovascular health. Get sweating!

Jumping Jack Pyramid

Star jumps are an old school favourite. The jumping jack pyramid works by doing as many reps as possible in 10 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and then repeat by doing as many reps as possible in 20 seconds. Then, repeat your rest but for 20 seconds. Keep going by increasing the work time by 10 seconds and the rest my 10 seconds. Once you reach 40 seconds, climb your way down the pyramid by doing the reps for 30, 20 and 10 seconds. Repeat the entire pyramid 3 times. Exotic Egyptian pyramids in your living room!!


Not the same thing as running long distance. Sprints are a great way to throw in an intense run. Try the following: 20 second maximum speed sprint, 40 second rest. Repeat 10 times. GO!


Less intense but equally as great. It can be a great challenge to learn how to swim or improve your skill while getting in that all important cardio for the week. Swimming is also a great way to de-stress – so find your local swimming pool and jump in!


An hour of horseriding can burn up to 650 calories! This is a sport encouraged in Islam and allows you to be spend some time with nature – again a great way to sooth your emotions and thoughts.


I recently took up kickboxing and have found it is a great way to get an all body workout in plus get your sweat on! As women, learning to kick box can increase your confidence in being able to protect yourself. It is also a great way to meet new people and hang out with old friend.


Another old time favourite inexpensive way of getting some cardio in is by simply skipping. Grab a rope and jump for 1 minute – give yourself a 20 second break by repeating. Keep going for 10 minutes. Want an added challenge? Jump for 30 seconds and go straight into 30 seconds of burpees. Feel the burn, smell the sweat!

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