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Covent Garden Health Spa

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Alternative cardiovascular workouts to running

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There’s no denying it, running just isn’t for everyone.

Some don’t enjoy it and others struggle due to injury or fitness levels.

That’s not to say that there aren’t a host of other cardiovascular exercises you can try to keep on top of your health and fitness.

Here are some below…


If you’re just getting into cardio, swimming is your best option. It is also a great option for those who are recovering from or prone to injury as it is very low-intensity.

When you’re in the water, you do not need to support your own bodyweight as the water will do all the hard work. If you’re new to swimming or a weak swimmer, don’t worry! The advantage of getting in the pool is that there are plenty of flotation devices available to help you.

Swimming is a fantastic option as it can really push your cardiovascular limit to the max. While you are swimming, every one of your upper body muscles is being worked as well. At the same time, it puts no impact on your joints. It’s a great form of resistance training.


The great thing about cycling is the different options it offers.

You can go mountain biking, road biking, you can attend a spin class or you can take things at your own pace using a stationary bike at the gym.

Overall, cycling will produce cardiovascular benefits without adding stress to your joints like running will. It also sheds a lot of calories and builds and strengthens your glutes, thighs and legs.

Cycling can also be the start of a healthier lifestyle. Hopping on a bike allows you to travel longer distances with less effort and time. You can easily swap your car for a bike when you’re not travelling far or with without baggage!

The cross trainer

When you hop on the cross trainer and start moving, you should notice that your motions actually mimic that of running.

You will also notice that it has nowhere near the same physical impact as you are moving. The cross trainer simply takes the pressure off without compromising cardiovascular benefits.

As well as improving your cardiovascular system, the cross trainer works both the upper and lower body. By incorporating your arms into the exercise, your overall calorie burn is much higher.


Climbing stairs engages more leg muscles than running does. This is due to the fact that you have to lift your entire body upwards as you go up each step. Doing this regularly will significantly improve your lower body strength.

There are stairs all around us in day-to-day life. It can be easy to opt for the lift if you’re not up to facing them. When you’re in this situation, consider the health benefits and the improvements you could make from one simple lifestyle change.

To change things up a little, why not considering altering your journey? Other than running, you could always try jumping, squatting or hopping.

If you attend a gym and they have a stair climber, use it. They may seem daunting and they do present a challenge but they are definitely effective if you don’t want to get on the treadmill.


Rowing is a very popular cardiovascular workout. It is a common alternative to running at the gym. However, as well as its cardiovascular benefits, it also provides a good workout for your upper and lower body. The reason so many people chose it over running is that it offers a full body workout.

The constant pushing and pulling motion can hold more advantages than typical strength training workouts. This is because it targets all of the main muscle groups.


The most appealing thing about skipping is that it can be done pretty much anywhere – including your own home.

It significantly improves lower body strength, especially the calves. It also improves core power and endurance. The workout itself can increase speed, body power and agility.

All the things skipping can improve are, in fact, traits of a good runner. The more you skip, the more you might find yourself able to get on the treadmill or head off out for a jog.

Not only this but skipping burns an incredible amount of calories when done right. It may take some practice but you will reap the benefits. This also means it is a fantastic fat burning exercise if you’re trying to lose weight.

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