The Best Cardio Workouts for People Who Hate Running

Running isn’t for everyone; here are some great workouts to do instead

This may come as a shock to all the die-hard runners out there, but not everyone loves the sport quite as much as they do. Sure, some people discover a love for running down the line, but for many others—well, let’s just say running isn’t for everyone.[slideshow:1321]

Though avid runners could easily name a few dozen great things about the sport, those who aren’t so in love are quick to point out the high-impact on joints, crushed toes and all-too-common shin splints that are unfortunate realities for frequent runners. We’re certainly not saying that the chance of injury outweighs the benefits of running; we’re saying that some people haven’t bought into running and that’s okay.

In fact, that’s more than okay. With plenty of other options, non-runners will have no issue finding other cardio workouts that better suit them; all they have to do is be open to trying a few new workouts. To help in their self-discovery we’ve compiled a list of suggestions. The following are fantastic cardio workouts that are both fun and effective, try a few (or all of them) and find your new cardio niche.


HIIT is the essence of quick and effective cardio, which is perfect for those interested in maximizing their time in the gym. The high-intensity routines are centered around bouts of all-out exercise followed by short rests or active recovery periods, so most HIIT workouts take no more than 30 minutes. If you dread running but still want to get a great cardio workout, HIIT is fast, tough and elicits a great afterburn effect.

Don’t know where to start? Take a look at this 20-minute HIIT workout.


The tried-and-true workout, swimming will always be one of the biggest calorie burners and toughest total-body workouts around. Not only does swimming bring major cardiovascular benefits, but it also builds strength, increases flexibility, strengthens the lungs and improves bone density. Further, it’s a low impact workout, which means it’s safe and effective for people of all ages. So next time you need to get your cardio in, head to the pool instead of the treadmill.

Don’t know where to start? Try this customizable pool workout.

Click here to see more cardio alternatives for people who hate running.