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Hate Running? 5 Innovative Ways to Still Get in Your Cardio!

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by Karishma Sharma – Follow @kaysharmaa

I know many people who feel the same way about cardio – it’s a drag, it’s their least favorite part of their workout, it’s what stops them from going to the gym. I get it. Sometimes I feel that way too. Luckily, I have found a few ways to get my cardio in on days when I’m just not in the mood for running in any form, even on a treadmill, or using an elliptical.

1) Try a Dance Cardio Class

Skip the run and go to your local gym, studio, or dance school for some innovative cardio. From Zumba to Bollywood dance fitness (i.e. Doonya, BollyX) to XaBeat to hip hop to belly dancing to even more – try something new and exciting and sweat like crazy. By the time the hour is up, you’ve burned about 500 calories and you barely even realize it because of how much fun you’ve had!

Karishma Sharma teaching a dance cardio class

[Read Related: Brown Girl of the Month Kajal Desai Brings Bollywood Moves to the Gym]

2) Take a Hike or Walk

In fall, spring, and early summer, outdoor activity is a great way to get your cardio in. Check out local hiking trails, outdoor paths, and parks. It’s fun to go with a friend, and if you have a dog, they will love it too! Hiking or walking a few miles is quick and fun and, by the time it’s over, you’ll feel great.

[Photo Source: huffingtonpost.com]

3) Go for a Swim

If you live in an apartment that has a pool or a house that has a pool, or if you have access to a pool through a gym, swimming is a great way to get your cardio in. Take it one step further and find an aqua aerobics or aqua Zumba class. The underwater pressure gives a unique workout to the muscles, while also creating a large cardio dynamic.

[Photo Source: enjoy-swimming.com]

[Read Related: Get Fit While Having Fun with These 5 Couples’ and Partner Workouts]

4) Try a Boxing or Self-Defense Class

Another great way to get your cardio in, especially as a woman, is going to boxing or self-defense classes. Not only are these super intense as workouts, but also great life skills to have in this day and age. Combining street safety with a workout is the best that it can get.

[Photo Source: sf.funcheap.com]

5) Ride a Bike

Biking, indoors or outdoors, is a great way to get cardio in while not doing anything too heavy. Between classes, such as SoulCycle and Flywheel, city bikes that you can rent for cheap and ride around on a beautiful day, and gorgeous biking trails around many parks, biking can be a really fun way to get your cardio in.

[Photo Source: prettyandfun.com]

What are your favorite non-traditional cardio activities? Share with us your suggestions and action shots! 


Karishma Sharma is a Bollywood Dance Fitness Instructor based in Minneapolis, MN. Her biggest hobby, her passion, and her dedication are all to fitness. She is also a dancer and is passionate about spreading her culture to those who may not be familiar. She aspires to keep her love of fitness alive each day in everything she does!

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