Just because high intensity or heavy weights aren’t exactly your style doesn’t mean you can’t get fit, stay in shape and feel healthy. There are plenty of other exercise options out there for you, and we bet they're a lot more effective than you probably think. Instead of shrugging them off to the side, why not give the following activities a try?
*All calorie estimates are based on calculations for a 24-year-old, 115 lb. female using the HealthStatus.com calorie burn estimator.
Swimming is often associated with leisure, and while it can be relaxing it can also stand in as an excellent exercise session. For one hour of moderate swimming you can expect to burn around 300 calories. Plus, you’ll be working to build strength in almost every muscle of your body without the intense impact of an activity like running.
Don’t dismiss this high-energy activity as an over-hyped fad from the 80s. An hour on the step can burn anywhere from 360 (moderate) to 550 (vigorous) calories. Not to mention, we can almost guarantee that you’ll have a blast.
Just because the stair machine moves at a slow and steady pace doesn’t mean it won’t get your heart rate going. This piece of cardio equipment is an excellent low-impact option, and in addition to torching about 360 calories per hour, you’ll also build strength in muscles like your glutes, quads, calves and hamstrings.
For some reason this machine gets made fun of as the go-to option for “people who don’t know anything better to do” at the gym. Well, maybe “those people” are actually onto something, because an hour on the elliptical can burn about 590 calories when moving at a moderate pace with an increase in the incline and resistance.
Yoga boasts a long list of health benefits, including increased muscle strength, weight loss and stress reduction. And while it’s certainly one of the lower intensity workouts on our list, it can still offer the benefit of a nice calorie burn too. It depends on what type of yoga class you choose, but a fast-paced session like Ashtanga or Vinyasa can burn about 270 calories in an hour.
This workout is often stereotyped as an activity for the elderly, but all preconceived notions aside, it’s actually an efficient, low-impact form of exercise that combines the benefits of both strength training and cardiovascular exercise. Exercisers can expect to burn about 200 calories with one hour of water aerobics.
As our contributor Shannon Clark once mentioned, dancing is not only a fun way to burn some calories (about 300 in one hour) and improve your fitness, but it also boasts the benefit of stress relief. Not to mention, this is an activity you can do at home; no equipment (except for some music and a player) needed.
Paddling a surf board around the water might not seem like that much work, but in addition to providing a decent cardio workout, stand up paddleboarding is a total-body challenge, targeting both your upper- and lower-body muscles. Oh yeah, and since your balance will be put to the test, your core muscles will get a workout, too. Expect to burn about 330 calories for one hour.
Heading out for a good old bike ride will get you a great workout, and it’s not like you’ll need to race around like you’re in the Tour de France. A moderate pace (12 to 14 mph) will burn about 450 calories in an hour.