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5 Treadmill Alternatives You’ll Actually Like


Tired of the running on the hamster wheel? Try these fun and effective ways to mix up your cardio routine.

Dreading your half-hour-on-the-treadmill gym routine? Then stop torturing yourself and find a cardio activity you actually enjoy.

“There are a lot of activities you can do that burn just as many, if not more calories than running on the treadmill,” says Nikki Kimbrough, certified personal trainer and Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute expert. “The key is to pick something you enjoy so you stick with it.”

Here are five non-boring ways to get your heart pumping, burn just as many calories, and see even better results.

Treadmill Alternative #1Jumping Rope

 If you haven’t jumped rope since you were on the playground, we’ve got news for you: It’s a lot more challenging than you remember. “Believe it or not, jumping rope can be a great workout—it strengthens your abs because you have to keep your core tight and it gives your metabolism a jolt,” says Kimbrough. “But to do it effectively, you have to build a rhythm so you’re not always stopping.” 

Treadmill Alternative #2Kickboxing

 “It’s a great workout to burn off steam and energy,” says Kimbrough. “You’re strengthening your core muscles because the basic movements are like standing crunches with the upper body—you’re getting your heart rate up and you’re strengthening your upper back muscles at the same time.” 

Treadmill Alternative #3Stair Climbing

 “Stair climbing is a great workout—you don’t even need the machine if you can go outside and find a set of stadium stairs somewhere,” says Kimbrough.

Treadmill Alternative #4Spin Class

 Sure, it’s bound to hurt your butt, but you’ll get over it. “Spin class can be a great way to learn the mechanics of riding a bike,” says Kimbrough. “It’s great for the lower body.” 

Treadmill Alternative #5Dancing

Anything that will get you sweating will burn those calories, so why not do something you enjoy? Many gyms offer dance classes, so take advantage. Just make sure that you’re not dancing at a conversation’s pace, says Kimbrough. “You want to challenge yourself—if you can do cardio and can carry on a full-fledged conversation, you’re not challenging yourself hard enough.”

Erin Hicks-Fitbie/

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