Fitness and Exercise

The Best Cardio Workouts for People Who Hate Running

Are you someone who dreads the thought of going for a run? Do you find yourself struggling to stick to a cardio routine because you just don’t enjoy running? Well, you’re not alone! Running can be a great form of exercise, but it’s not for everyone. The good news is, there are plenty of other cardio workouts you can do that are just as effective and much more enjoyable! In this article, we’ll explore the best cardio workouts for people who hate running.

Why Cardio Is Important

Before we dive into the best cardio workouts for people who hate running, let’s quickly go over why cardio is important. Cardio, short for cardiovascular exercise, is any type of exercise that gets your heart rate up and increases blood flow throughout your body. Regular cardio exercise can help improve your heart health, increase endurance, reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and even help with weight loss.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Cardio Workout

When it comes to choosing a cardio workout, there are a few factors to consider. First, you want to choose a workout that you enjoy and look forward to doing. If you hate running, you’re not going to stick with it long-term. Second, you want to choose a workout that fits into your schedule and lifestyle. If you don’t have access to a pool, swimming might not be the best option for you. Finally, you want to choose a workout that challenges you but is still safe and appropriate for your fitness level.

Best Cardio Workouts for People Who Hate Running

Now that we’ve covered the importance of cardio and what to consider when choosing a workout, let’s dive into the best cardio workouts for people who hate running.


Cycling is a great low-impact cardio workout that can be done both indoors and outdoors. Whether you prefer cycling on a stationary bike or hitting the trails on a mountain bike, cycling can be a great way to get your heart rate up and build endurance.


Swimming is another low-impact cardio workout that is easy on the joints and great for overall fitness. Whether you prefer swimming laps in a pool or taking a water aerobics class, swimming can be a fun and challenging workout.


Rowing is a full-body cardio workout that can help build strength and endurance. Whether you use a rowing machine or hit the water in a rowboat, rowing can be a great way to mix up your cardio routine.

Jumping Rope

Jumping rope might seem like a childhood pastime, but it’s actually a great cardio workout! Not only is it inexpensive and easy to do, but it also burns a ton of calories and can help improve coordination and balance.


Dancing is a fun and effective cardio workout that can be done in the comfort of your own home or in a group fitness class. Whether you prefer salsa, hip hop, or ballroom dancing, there’s a style of dance for everyone!


Kickboxing is a high-intensity cardio workout that can also help build strength and improve balance and coordination.

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a workout that involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. This type of workout has been shown to be effective for improving cardiovascular health, burning fat, and building endurance.

Stair Climbing

Stair climbing is a simple but effective cardio workout that can be done anywhere there are stairs. Whether you climb actual stairs or use a stair climber machine, this workout can help improve heart health and build lower body strength.

Elliptical Training

Elliptical training is a low-impact cardio workout that can be done on a machine at the gym or in the comfort of your own home. This workout is great for those who want to get a good cardio workout without putting too much stress on their joints.


Walking is a simple and effective cardio workout that can be done anywhere, at any time. Whether you take a brisk walk around your neighborhood or hike on a nature trail, walking can help improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.


Hiking is another great cardio workout that can also provide the added benefits of being in nature and getting fresh air. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there are plenty of hiking trails to explore and challenge yourself with.

How to Get Started with a New Cardio Workout

If you’re new to a particular cardio workout, it’s important to start slow and gradually build up your endurance and intensity. Begin with shorter workouts and gradually increase the length and intensity as you become more comfortable with the exercise. It’s also important to warm up before starting any cardio workout and to cool down and stretch afterwards to prevent injury.

Tips to Stay Motivated

Staying motivated to stick with a cardio routine can be challenging, but there are a few tips that can help. First, find a workout that you enjoy and look forward to doing. Second, set realistic goals for yourself and track your progress. Third, find a workout buddy or join a class to keep you accountable and motivated. Finally, mix up your routine and try new workouts to keep things interesting and prevent boredom.


Running isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a great cardio workout. There are plenty of other options out there that can be just as effective and much more enjoyable. Whether you prefer cycling, swimming, rowing, dancing, or any of the other workouts we’ve covered, the key is to find something you enjoy and can stick with long-term.


Is cardio necessary for weight loss?

Yes, cardio can be an effective tool for weight loss by burning calories and improving overall fitness.

How often should I do cardio?

It's recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise per week, or 75 minutes of high-intensity cardio exercise per week.

Can I do more than one type of cardio workout?

Absolutely! Mixing up your cardio routine can help prevent boredom and challenge your body in new ways.

Can I do cardio at home?

Yes, there are plenty of cardio workouts that can be done at home, such as jumping rope, dancing, or using a stationary bike or elliptical machine.

How do I know if I'm working out at the right intensity?

One way to measure intensity is with a heart rate monitor. Aim to work at 50-70% of your maximum heart rate for moderate-intensity workouts and 70-85% of your maximum heart rate for high-intensity workouts.

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