Hate Running? Try These Workouts You Might Actually Enjoy


By: Chris Freytag, CPT // December 14, 2023

Running is a great way to stay active and get in shape, but it’s not for everyone. Whether you find it too monotonous, too hard on your joints, or just plain boring, there are plenty of running alternative workouts you can try to get your heart rate up and stay fit.

By incorporating other forms of exercise into your routine, you can challenge your body in new and exciting ways while still achieving your fitness goals. From cycling to dancing to swimming, there are so many fun and effective workouts to explore.

Key Takeaways:

  • Running is not the only way to stay active and fit.
  • There are plenty of alternative workouts you can try if running isn’t your thing.
  • By exploring different forms of exercise, you can challenge your body in new and exciting ways.
  • Cycling, dancing, swimming, HIIT, strength training, yoga, and Pilates are all great alternatives to running.
  • Don’t let your dislike for running hold you back from achieving your fitness goals.


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    Cycling: Pedal Your Way to Fitness

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    If you’re looking for a low-impact alternative to running that can still provide a full-body workout, cycling might be just what you need. Not only is it a great cardiovascular exercise, but it’s also a fun way to explore the outdoors or get some cardio in at the gym.

    There are many different cycling workouts that can help you achieve your fitness goals. Here are a few examples:

    • Interval training
    • Hill climbs
    • Group cycling classes

    Remember, it’s important to have the right gear for cycling, including a well-fitted helmet and comfortable clothing. You may also want to invest in a good pair of cycling shoes that clip onto the pedals for a more efficient workout.

    Dancing: Groove Your Way to Health

    A grandmother dancing in the kitchen with her granddaughter.
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    If running feels monotonous to you, dancing is an excellent alternative to add some excitement to your fitness routine. Dancing provides a fantastic cardiovascular workout that can be more engaging than running on a treadmill. It’s a fun and energizing way to stay active and fit while exploring your creativity and expressing yourself.

    There are many dance workouts available, from Zumba to hip-hop, that cater to different skill levels and interests. You can join a dance class or practice at home with online videos. Either way, you’ll definitely get a workout, burn calories, and improve your endurance while having a blast!

    Dancing also offers mental health benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety, improving confidence, and boosting your mood. It’s an excellent way to release negative emotions and channel positive energy, making you feel more relaxed and happy.

    Swimming: Dive Into a New Workout

    If you’re looking for a low-impact, full-body workout that can help you build strength, improve endurance, and burn calories, swimming may be the perfect alternative to running. Not to mention, it’s a refreshing and enjoyable way to stay active during the hot summer months.

    When it comes to swimming workouts, there are plenty of options to choose from depending on your fitness level and goals. Here are a few examples:

    • Lap swimming
    • Interval training
    • Water aerobics

    One of the benefits of swimming is that it is a form of non-weight bearing exercise, which means it is gentle on the joints and can be a good option for those with injuries or arthritis. Additionally, swimming engages a wide range of muscles, including the arms, legs, core, and back, making it an effective total body workout.

    HIIT: High-Intensity Interval Training

    A woman jumping while working out.
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    HIIT workouts are a type of interval training that involve short bursts of intense exercises, followed by brief periods of rest. This type of training has gained popularity in recent years due to its efficiency in burning calories and improving cardiovascular fitness.

    During a HIIT workout, you’ll push yourself to your maximum capacity during the high-intensity intervals, and then recover during the rest periods. This cycle is repeated several times during a workout, making it a time-efficient way to stay fit.

    HIIT workouts offer numerous benefits, including:

    • Increased calorie burn
    • Improved cardiovascular health
    • Increased metabolism
    • Reduced insulin resistance
    • Enhanced endurance and stamina

    Additionally, HIIT workouts can be personalized to your fitness level, making it suitable for beginners and experienced athletes alike. Some examples are:

    • Treadmill sprints
    • Bodyweight circuits
    • Jump rope intervals

    Strength Training: Sculpt Your Muscles

    A pair of small pink dumbbells next to a sports bra and shoes.
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    If you’re looking to build strength, increase metabolism, and enhance your overall fitness, strength training is the perfect workout for you. With weightlifting exercises, you can challenge your muscles and achieve your fitness goals without relying solely on running.

    To get started, you’ll need access to weights or resistance bands. Here are some popular strength training exercises:

    • Bench press
    • Squats
    • Deadlifts
    • Bicep curls
    • Tricep dips

    It’s important to start with lighter weights and proper form to avoid injury. Gradually increase the weights as you get comfortable with each exercise.

    For best results, incorporate strength training into your exercise regimen 2-3 times a week. This will give your muscles enough time to recover and grow stronger.

    Yoga: Find Balance and Flexibility

    woman doing downward dog yoga
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    If you’re looking for a low-impact workout that can help you improve your flexibility and overall well-being, yoga might be the perfect fit for you. Yoga has been practiced for centuries and offers a holistic approach to fitness that can help you find balance both physically and mentally.

    There are many different types of yoga, each with its unique set of postures and breathing exercises. Some of the most popular styles of yoga include:

    • Hatha yoga – focuses on breathing and basic poses for beginners
    • Vinyasa yoga – a faster-paced style that links movements with breath
    • Bikram yoga – practiced in a heated room to help improve flexibility and detoxify the body
    • Yin yoga – a slower-paced style that focuses on holding poses for extended periods to improve flexibility and relaxation

    No matter what style of yoga you choose, you can expect to improve your flexibility, build strength, and find a greater sense of calm and relaxation. Yoga is also a great way to improve your posture and reduce the risk of injury in other physical activities.

    Yoga is a transformative practice that can help you find balance and flexibility both on and off the mat. Whether you’re looking for a way to improve your physical health, reduce stress, or connect with your spiritual side, yoga is a versatile workout.

    Pilates: Tone Your Core and More

    people in a class for pilates
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    Pilates is a low-impact workout that is designed to strengthen your core muscles, improve your flexibility, and enhance overall body strength.

    Pilates workouts are centered around the use of controlled movements, focusing on your core muscles, including your abdomen, back, and hips.

    By engaging your core muscles, Pilates exercises can help improve your posture and balance, leading to a more toned physique.

    Incorporating Pilates into your fitness routine can help you achieve a balanced and toned physique while also improving your overall health and wellness.

    Workout Tips to Maximize Results

    woman doing lunge as part of no excuse travel workout routine
    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

    Running may be a popular workout, but it’s not for everyone. Luckily, there are plenty of alternative workouts that can be just as effective and enjoyable. From cycling to yoga, each workout offers unique benefits for the mind and body.

    Here are the tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your workouts:

    • Try something new. Trying a new workout can be a fun and exciting way to challenge your body and mind.
    • Find what works for you. It’s essential to find a workout that you enjoy and that fits your fitness goals and lifestyle.
    • Stay consistent. Regular workouts not only improve physical health but also boost mental well-being.

    The Beginner Strength Training Guide for Women

    woman lifting kettlebell
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    Starting a strength training routine can be intimidating and confusing. Walk onto any weight floor in the gym, and it seems everyone there has a plan and knows what they’re doing but you!

    Of course, the truth is that everyone had to start as a beginner at one time. That’s why we created this beginner strength training guide for women.

    The Beginner Strength Training Guide for Women

    The 10 Yoga Poses You Should Do Everyday

    Simply put, a daily yoga routine makes you feel good. No matter where you find yourself or how much time you have, you can do the 10 yoga poses below and start your day with a centered mind and a refreshed body. Because beyond the mental benefits of yoga, the way your body will feel after a good stretch is vital to a healthy lifestyle.

    The 10 Yoga Poses You Should Do Everyda

    How To Start Working Out Again (& Stick With It!)

    Two women working out together.
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    Whatever the reason – lack of time, injuries, pregnancy, or just don’t enjoy exercise – most of us experience a lull in exercise at one point or another. Regardless, getting back to the gym after time away can be tough!

    When you are ready to get back at it and stick to it for good, here are 9 tips to show you how to start working out again and stay with it.

    How To Start Working Out Again (& Stick With It!)


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