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There is more to cardio than jogging.
Jogging is an effective and accessible way to improve cardiovascular fitness and health, but it's not suitable for everybody's body. As jogging is a high-impact activity that places a lot of stress on the ankles, knees and hips, some exercisers may find pounding the pavement uncomfortable rather than enjoyable. There are, however, lots of alternative ways to get a good cardio workout other than jogging. If you have been sedentary for more than a couple of months, are significantly overweight or have a pre-existing medical condition, you should check with your doctor before diving head-first into a new exercise routine.
You can get an effective indoor cardio workout by using one of a number of exercise machines. These machines can be found in most gyms, while some models are designed specifically for home use. Exercise bikes, cross trainers, rowers, treadmills and stair steppers will all elevate your heart and breathing rate, promote fat burning and weight control, and increase your muscular endurance.
Where jogging is a high-impact activity, swimming is a no-impact activity. The water supports your body weight and that makes swimming an ideal exercise if you are injured, overweight or otherwise uncomfortable with higher-impact activities. If swimming is not for you, try deep water running wearing a buoyancy vest or belt, or attending an aqua-aerobics class at your local swimming pool. Both of these options offer similar benefits to swimming.
Group Exercise Classes
If you don't enjoy exercising alone, try a group exercise class. You'll find lots of different classes to choose from including high- or low-impact aerobics, step classes, dance-based classes, group cycling classes, martial arts based classes, weight training based classes and circuit training. Before you go to a new class, check that the intensity level is right for your current level of fitness, as doing a class that is too hard may result in muscle soreness or even injury.
Exercising outdoors offers many benefits including fresh air, sunshine and a chance to get away from the stresses of work and home life. Good outdoor cardio activities include cycling, brisk walking, inline skating, rowing, kayaking, running, cross country skiing and playing sports. If you are going to exercise outdoors at night, especially in the vicinity of traffic, make sure you can be seen clearly by wearing high-visibility clothing. Also, drink plenty of water, as it's very easy to become dehydrated when you exercise outdoors, especially in the heat of the day. Drink before you get thirsty to ensure you remain well hydrated.