Running can be a great way to improve your cardio, but sometimes it honestly sucks. But a lot of people do it anyway because they want to stay in good shape. I don’t think most normal people run for fun but hey what is the definition of normal?
Anyways, I consider myself in quite good shape and I have not been on a long run in probably about a year. But I do other things to keep me in good cardio shape. I am on my school’s varsity field hockey team but I only train with the team in the fall so I have to keep myself in shape without the help from that the rest of the year.
So, I thought I would share some of my favourite ways to stay in shape with you.
The first thing I would recommend which I love is spinning. Spinning is a great alternative to running first because it is a great workout and secondly being stationary you never end up 10 km from your house wondering if its okay if maybe you take the bus home. Spinning is hard but it leaves you with a sense of accomplishment that can’t compare to any other kind of workout, which I like.
I’m a little biased because I was previously a competitive swimmer, but swimming is a great workout. You really get the chance to workout your whole body at once. It’s a better alternative to running because there is less pressure on your knees so for anyone with knee problems swimming is a great way to work on your cardio. I’ve also always liked swimming because when I’m in the water I feel a lot more peaceful and relaxed than when I’m running, I find I become very focused on the workout and doing and put aside what I am currently stressing.
Starting swimming with no background can be a bit intimidating, but no one is judging you, most people swimming laps are just focused on not drowning!
If you’re a really social person I would strongly suggest to join a recreational sports team. Two years ago I got asked to join a soccer even though I did not play soccer and it was scary at first, but I loved spending time with my friends. And I did not realize how much I was running while I was playing until I would be sore the next day. Soccer is a great sport to play recreationally, as well as I know near me you can play recreational ultimate frisbee, which is another great sport for someone looking for exercise not necessarily competition.
Lastly, I’ve recently changed up my routine when I go to the gym to always include a 20-minute cardio warmup. I am not a certified fitness trainer but I can feel a difference even with that much cardio in my exercise routine. I also try to do any kind of abs exercises I am doing at a fast pace with very little rest between sets. This way I’m improving my cardio without going for a long run.