Ever go to the gym for cardio and go directly to the treadmill or elliptical machines but absolutely hate it?  Oh yeah, me too!  I don’t want to brag, but I am a former treadmill/elliptical queen myself.

I thought that the ONLY way to do cardio was to spend hours on the treadmill.  Mainly because I didn’t know enough about what was out there to step away from the human-mouse wheel.  After a few years of trial and error, I found there are better ways to get cardio in and have fun doing it.

Without further adieu…

10 Types of Cardio That Will Keep You Off The Treadmill

  1. Jump Rope – Believe it or not, this is a killer cardio workout.  There is so much going on that its easy to forget how hard you are actually working.  I mean if Rocky thinks it’s important enough to do it then maybe we should give it a try.  Tip: make sure to use the bathroom before starting.  It’s pretty annoying having to stop because all the jumping rings the potty bell.
  2. Stairs – Ever carry a car load of groceries up a few flights of stairs only to feel out of breath and your legs and butt smoked?  This is exactly why I love/hate them (more love than hate to be totally honest).  If you don’t have stairs at home you can look for the machine in the gym or anywhere that has a good set that you can use.  The beauty of stairs is you can do quite a bit on them.  All of which help to burn some major calories.
  3. Jacobs Ladder – If you’ve watched The Biggest Loser then you know what this is.  It’s a ladder that you climb.  Sounds simple, but the faster you climb, the faster the ladder moves.  Just like jumping rope, there is a lot to focus on so you notice less how hard you are working.
  4. Dancing – You can have a cardio list without dancing.  Dancing is an awesome form of cardio.  There are so many types to do that you will never get bored.
  5. Hiit – Hiit stands for High-Intensity Interval Training.  What happens here is you take exercises such as jumping jacks and mountain climbers and do them with everything you have for a short burst of time, then break for 10-15 seconds before going full blast again.  The combinations really are endless, which is great so you don’t get bored.  It’s also great for those with limited time to get it done.  A Hiit circuit can be done in as little as 10 minutes or for those who really love to punish themselves, 45 minutes. Here is an example of a short circuit.
  6. Swimming – Swimming is not just for summertime fun.  It’s also a way to relieve your joints and still work like a maniac.  Why do you think old people do water aerobics?  Again, there are so many things you can do in the pool that will have you struggling to get out of the pool after.  Each stroke is different, which works different muscles all while shredding fat. Only bad part is finding a gym that has a pool at a reasonable rate.
  7. Rowing – Hands down my favorite form of cardio.  This is a full body workout that will have you in a pool of sweat in no time.  With band knees that don’t handle a bike very well, I’ve found this to be amazing on the joints and a great way to whip a bad attitude into shape.  I promise that a row machine can take anything you give it.
  8. Spinning – If you have ever been to a spin class then you will know how much of a workout this will give you.  Seriously, this is no joke.  However, you can have a blast while doing it.
  9. Kickboxing – You are bound to feel like a badass when you get into this workout.  Not only are you working your heart, but you are working your core (yay for no crunches!), arms, and legs.  What’s not to love? Plus you learn how to throw a good punch which could help in a number of situations.
  10. Sex – I feel like this is an underrated form of cardio.  Sure, it may not last long but you can definitely work up a sweat doing it.  Science even says that sex holds a host of health benefits, so why not have heart health as well.

Obviously, this isn’t a be all end all cardio list.  That list would be FOREVER long.  So what are your favorite forms of cardio?

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