So you’re not a runner. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a killer workout anyway! There are a lot of reasons people choose not to run – from health and physical restrictions to asthma or respiratory problems, or because they simply don’t enjoy it. Non-running exercises can help you stay healthy without the high impact, you just need to review options and pick a fitness program that works for you. Remember to always consult with your health care provider when you start a new workout program. Here are some great ways to stay fit if you don’t run.
1. At Home Cardio Program. Most at home cardio workouts use a combination of heart-healthy exercises and bodyweight muscle toning exercises (body weight meaning that you use your own body as resistance, instead of purchasing weights, elastics or other gear.) You can google “at home cardio” and find many options, but the best workouts will offer a variety of skill levels for each different exercise, will change the sets of exercises each day, and will use a combo that works your heart and each set of core muscles. This cardio/bodyweight program is a great starting point. Why use a program like this? Well, the main benefit is that you save a ton of money – no gym membership, no gear to purchase, no extra DVD’s or anything. It’s something you can easily fit into your schedule, since you don’t have to leave the comfort of your house and the learning curve for each exercise is super low.
2. Kayaking. As you can probably imagine, kayaking can be a challenging and very rewarding workout. As you kayak, you’re obviously using all of your arms muscles, but you also work on core muscles in your abdomen, back, sides and chest. The toning kayaking provides your upper body can’t be beat! It’s great cardiovascular exercise for non-runners, since there’s minimal use of your legs, but it definitely gets your heart pumping. There’s the added benefit of de-stressing while you’re on a solo paddle downriver. If you live near water, enjoy water sports and river activities like rafting or canoeing, you should definitely give this a try. You can find a lot of information about kayaking to lose weight or get fit here.
3. Biking. Biking is a low impact exercise – meaning you’ll save your joints some pain and suffering, but you’ll still get the heart workout you need. With a decent bike and a comfy seat, long bike rides can provide an awesome routine that can clear your head, get your body fit and help you feel great. Biking has a lot of perks, like being done mostly outdoors where you get the benefits of sunshine and fresh air, plus it’s fairly easy to do and can be done with friends. Plus, you can always transfer your biking know-how to cycling at a gym when the weather gets cold. Here’s a great resource than can help you with some common beginner-type questions – such as what type of bike should I get? How do I take care of my bike? What are some good workouts? You might also want to use map my ride – which can show you trails in your area and help you map a ride based on the length.
4. Swimming or Aqua Jogging. Speaking of low impact, this is about as low impact as you can get. The water offers a natural resistance which is great for getting your heart rate up. Of course, you could just get a membership to a pool and swim laps. But you can also find lots of different swimming or aqua jogging workout programs online. Here’s one to get you started. If you love water and swimming, this is your best bet for getting fit. If you want to become a stronger swimmer, this is a great way to do that, too! You don’t need any special equipment, just a suit and some appropriate water!
5. Dancing! Not only is dancing super fun, it’s an awesome way to get fit! Dancing uses your whole body, so you work lots of muscles while you get your heart rate up. You don’t have to be a pro, or even very good, to reap the benefits of dancing, and it can be done at home. All you need to do is google dance workouts or look on YouTube for some free routines to start with. This one is great for beginners because it’s not very long or intense, but works everything you need to! On the other hand, if you want or are more successful if your exercise includes a social component, there are lots of dance/aerobic classes at local gyms, or you could invite a friend over to dance with you! Basically, you can make this kind of exercise as formal or informal as you want to – Follow a DVD, join a gym, or just turn up some tunes and go to town!
Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com
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