Feel like running just isn’t for you?
Looking to switch things up?
Try one of these 6 exercises that can burn twice as much fat than running does and shed pounds fast.
Cardiovascular exercise is always very important, at any age because it keeps your heart healthy, maintains good shape and helps you to improve your fitness levels.
A regular cardiovascular routine could even improve your life expectancy. Combined with weight-training cardio is a great way to shed extra pounds too.
However, what cardio exercise is right?
You’ve heard that jogging or running could be good; after all, both are the types of exercise that are easy enough to adopt.
There’s no need to get to the gym when roads, parks and fields are abundant.
You can run or jog whenever you want which makes it extremely convenient but don’t forget that both are tough on the joints and limbs.
Constantly pounding your legs on a hard surface can lead to arthritic joints and some think that it even encourages aging as it loosens facial skin!
If you think that jogging or sprinting just isn’t for you, read on to find out about other exercises that are better than running.
You can do this indoors on an exercise bike, at the gym or take a bicycle out for the day, there’s something very satisfying about cycling.
It’s far gentler on the knees and joints and definitely improves the tone of your legs.
However, cycling doesn’t really help you improve your arm definition but it is definitely a better exercise than running because there’s no pounding the ground!
Also, if you’re looking to burn calories, try a high-intensity cycling workout (these are usually at your gym class or you might find one online).
These types of cycling classes keep your metabolism burning for up to 2 days post-class!
This is known as post oxygen consumption (EPOC) or after-burn so you carry on burning fat while building muscle.
As an example, a 60-minute indoor cycling class of relatively high intensity can burn up to 850 calories (depending on your weight and body make-up).
Swimming is a very pleasurable activity that allows your mind to drift while you exercise.
You can also take it at your own pace, start off gently, power through the front crawl or enjoy a great all-over body workout with the backstroke.
Swimming is known for building lean muscle, burning fat and toning up the body and it’s suitable for all ages plus it’s especially kind on muscles and joints as the water acts as a support system.
To really burn calories though, you need a strong swimming workout.
A high-intensity session of swimming could burn up to 800 calories an hour (with the butterfly stroke).
Breaststroke can burn up to 700 calories an hour but this all depends on your weight and body make-up.
Vigorous dancing isn’t just fun, it’s also an all-body workout that everyone can take part in!
There are numerous dance classes from Zumba to Barre and all focus on improving your strength and cardiovascular fitness.
For it to work though, you need to do it regularly and increase the intensity as you get used to a new fitness regime.
The faster you dance, the more calories you’ll burn but different dance types can burn more calories.
For example, a fast-paced dance class is almost like an aerobics class (but way more fun!); whereas a Barre class focuses on slow, intense movements much like ballet to tone up your muscles.
A vigorous dance class can burn up to 400 calories per hour (depending on your body make-up and weight).
So if you’ve never enjoyed exercise, try dancing, almost everyone loves to move their body to some music!
High-Intensity Interval Training has taken the exercise by storm and involves short bursts of very intense exercise over a 10 or 20-minute workout (including minimal resting periods).
Be warned, it’s not for the faint-hearted but it is very powerful and really does burn!
There are lots of HIIT workouts on apps or online so you don’t need to join a gym or try a class if you don’t want to (but you need to be disciplined to see results).
HIIT uses exercises that really test your strength too and you keep on burning calories well after your workout.
Start with easy exercises first and build up.
You can factor in jumping jacks, tricep dips, lunges, squats and sit-ups doing repetitions of each for ten-minute bursts with rest periods in between.
Performed properly, you could burn up to 16 calories a minute (depending on your body weight and body make-up).
Far better for you than running, power-walking gives you many of the benefits of a good jog but without the dangers of ruining your joints.
Add in some arm weights and leg weights to increase the intensity and build muscle.
It’s a good idea to try hill walking too as this really does burn calories.
Stand straight and walk very briskly while swinging your arms or holding your arms upwards (as if running).
A good session of power walking could burn up to 340 calories an hour, based on around 4.5 to 5mph (and depending on your body-weight and body make-up).
Do you remember when you were young and you used to jump rope in the playground with your friends?
It was such good fun and it is still an enjoyable pastime as well as being an excellent exercise option.
If you do suffer from arthritis or have bone and joint problems, it might not be right for you but if not, try it!
Skipping is an all-over body workout and the faster you jump the more calories you burn!
As an example, you could burn up to 375 calories in just 30 minutes of skipping (depending on your body make-up and weight).
Start slowly as it’s harder than you think but once your fitness improves, you’ll find that skipping is a super exercise and you’ll look forward to taking that jump rope out.