How to Improve Cardio without Running or Jumping

Learning how to improve your cardio without running or jumping can be as simple as going to the neighborhood pool and taking a swim.

The “key” to accomplishing this on a consistent basis is to find something you love and stick with it.

I love exercising but I hate running. I can sprint all day, but once you ask me to run more than a quarter of a mile, I have no interest and I’d prefer to do cardio without running. My body is not made for distance.

My fast twitch muscles makeup can’t stand the relentless, monotony of a long distance run.  I play quick movement sports. My body and my mind crave action. I get bored very easily.

But I know my heart, mind, and waist line could use some sort of cardio, and getting a little fresh air while I get my endurance workout in is a win-win. 

Maybe you feel like you’re in the same boat?

So how do you get your cardio in without having to consent to a lifetime of running?

In order to improve your cardio without running or jumping, do outdoor cardio exercises like hiking, biking, swimming, rowing and skiing into your weekly workout routine.

Not only that, try more unique activities such as rock climbing, rollerblading, or even a paddle board yoga class on the lake.

Activities such as these will trigger a greater release in dopamine, get you some fresh air, and allow you to enjoy your workouts.

Try these 5 outdoor activities to Improve Cardio without Running or Jumping

1. Hiking

A great way to improve your cardio without running is by taking a simple hike up a mountain, hill, or around a lake. Hiking is going to help a 200 pound person burn about 546 cals/hr. With this method, you can burn about 1 pound of fat per week. That can be significant if you pair that with an intense workout and some weight training.

The great thing about hiking is you are usually shooting for a goal or destination. After it becomes easy to hike to your favorite spot, you can reach for higher goals.

2. Bicycling

Another great cardio exercise is bicycling. Bicycling at a leisure pace will help a 200 pound person burn about 364 cals/hr. I see people riding bikes all over town. I used to ride mine to class and back in college.

Bicycling is going to improve your strength, balance, bone density, posture, joint mobility, stress levels, coordination, and endurance.

One study showed cyclists who rode their bikes to work cut their risk of premature death by 40%. They also had a 46 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 45 percent lower risk of developing cancer.

Bicycling is one of the best ways to get your cardio without running, just remember to wear a helmet!

3. Swimming

Swimming laps will help a 200 pound person burn about 528 cals/hr. Find the nearest outdoor pool and start working that breast and butterfly stroke.

The awesome thing about swimming is it is a great low impact exercise. Your joint mobility will improve and you will avoid all the banging that comes with running. It’s great for people with arthritis, disabilities, injuries, or any other issues that go along with high-impact exercises.

If you’re looking for endurance, the full body nature of swimming will help you get a great pair of lungs. One study showed that that swimmers tend to have stronger lungs than other athletes.

Swimming is one of my favorite exercises. Do it often to get a full range of health benefits.

4. Rowing

Rowing at a moderate pace will help a 200 pound person burn about 365 cals/hr. Become an explorer with your kayak. Visit all the areas of the lake. Take it down rivers and even out into the ocean.

My wife and I took kayaks out into the Pacific Ocean a few years back and were met by some sea lions, sea gulls and sea kelp!

We also did some kayaking in Alaska, only to lead us to one of the coolest lakes I’ve ever seen, glacier lake. Go there and your jaw may drop like my wife’s did.

Live it up while you can and nature will reward you with its beauty!

5. Skiing

Downhill skiing will allow a 200 pound person to burn about 391 cals/hr. Skiing is one of my favorite past times. We go whenever we can. If you haven’t tried skiing or snowboarding, you should set a date and go.

The crisp air of the mountains is unlike anything found in the city. Go for a weekend and challenge yourself. Take your friends, your family, and anyone who’s willing to go on adventure.

If you have the opportunity to ski often, do it while you have the chance. There’s nothing else like it.

Summary: How to Improve Cardio without Running or Jumping

Don’t be a bum and sit around the house all day. Get out and enjoy the world around you. People are stuck inside staring at their phones when they could be hiking through a forest to lake on top of the mountain. Even here in the city we are able to find paths around lakes and places to explore.

Don’t let your local environment dictate what kind of adventure you’re going to go on. Ditch the virtual world and explore the real world right at your doorstep. And while your at it, get in some cardio without running and burn a few calories along the way.

Do you settle for taking a walk around the block to get your cardio in? Is there someplace better to explore? Let me know below!

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