We all know the feeling. Quitting on your run because on weather, time or traffic; pick your excuse. Same goes for hitting the snooze button and trading your morning jog for an extra 30 minutes in bed. It all sounds like your routine run may be getting a little boring. In a bid to save you from treadmill tedium we’ve lined up four cardio alternatives that’ll re-invigorate your workouts and help boost your fitness like never before.
Want to know how Mayweather’s still running rings around boxers at 37? He’s spent hours perfecting this boxer’s staple. According to The American College of Sports Medicine, skipping for 10 minutes is the equivalent of running a mile at 6mph. It also helps to pack size onto your calves and improves your core strength. While we don’t expect you to perfect double-unders or crossovers, we do recommend investing in a weighted skipping rope. Skipping is one of the best total body workouts out there, and certainly one of the most cost effective, one notch above bodyweight exercises.
There’s a reason 15 minutes on the rower has you gasping like an Oxbridgian on the Thames. Rowing requires equal effort from both your upper and lower body. A study by Duke University found pushing and pulling on this fat-melting machine is more effective than resistance training and works all of your major muscle groups – minus the injury risk to joints you expect when running. Be sure to perfect your technique.
Sadly, avoiding maniacal drivers and almost certain death on your cycle commute doesn’t count as a cardio session. To see serious benefits switch to night or weekend cycling (and trade in your wheels for a beginner’s road bike). A Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research study discovered your power output is 8% higher in the evening.
Making a splash is another excellent way to boost fitness and burn fat. Swimming for an hour, three times a week for ten weeks is enough to increase your VO2 max by 11%, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology. If you’re more Eric the Eel than Michael Phelps, consider investing in swimming lessons to perfect your technique; remember, doggy paddle doesn’t count.