When people begin a weight loss journey, one of the first purchases, aside from active/workout attire, is a pair of running shoes. Everyone starts running thinking that’s the best form of cardio to sweat off excess weight. While running is a great form of exercise and can help your weight loss goals, it isn’t necessarily the most effective form of cardio to shed unwanted weight. In fact, many people hate running, dread doing it, and that psychological aversion assists in falling off the wagon or giving up entirely. We’re here to introduce some alternative cardio options that’ll help you get you to your healthier, happier weight while having some fun doing.

If you have gone on and checked Facebook or Instagram in the last year, you will have likely seen a post of someone saying how much fun they had at a spin class. You probably brushed it off at the time, but if you are trying to lose weight, going to spin class is an exciting option. There are plenty of skill level classes to choose from so you aren’t diving into the deep end too quickly. They tailor the classes to music and oftentimes you can choose a class with your preferred artists or genres. Additionally, they host themed classes that feel more like a party than a workout. One major benefit of spin classes is that you’re one of many and can blend in – no one will be paying attention to you, nor will they be silently judging you. Oh, and the instructors are supportive and encouraging. Not your speed? Maybe you’d like to be outdoors.

Instead of increasing speed, slow things down and head outside for a hike! In a lot of places, there is a beautiful trail somewhere nearby to explore and get some exercise and fresh air. The terrain changes help burn more calories and assist in dropping weight faster; going uphill and downhill, jumping over rocks and streams, and taking in the sights and sounds of nature while you’re at it – much better than thinking, “one foot in front of the other — how much longer until this is over?” Think of all the photo opportunities! But maybe you don’t live anywhere that is amenable to hikes, or maybe you have allergies and can’t be out in the woods that long. How about a friendly game?

Tennis is an amazing game focused on cardio that you don’t think about as you play. The rapid movements and sprinting are similar to high intensity interval training (HIIT), where you keep your heart rate up with quick movements. Many cities and towns have free courts where you can go and join a pickup game, or you can bring a friend to play against. You don’t need to play for very long to rack up burned calories either and the competitive spirit will keep things interesting.

Running isn’t your only option for cardio and there are more options available than the ones we’ve listed, but we feel these are the most interesting and easiest to get into with minimal investment, not to mention they won’t loom over your head while you’re working and dreading having to start. Whichever option you choose, make sure to stock up on pre-workout for that extra boost of natural energy and some protein to repair your shredded muscles to build them up. For more information and consolation, drop us a line so we can help you get to your healthy goal weight and body image!

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