Jogging is not for everyone. Although it can improve your cardiovascular endurance and boost your metabolism, it also increases the stress on your lower body joints and connective tissue. Alternative workouts to jogging have a similar cardiovascular effect with decreased stress on lower body joints.
Climb a Hill
According to the American Council on Exercise, walking uphill is one of the top five exercises for burning fat and toning lower body muscles. Compared to walking on a flat surface, uphill walking is a higher intensity workout. Compared to jogging, less stress is placed on lower body joints because the body is not landing from an airborne position while walking.
Elliptical training machines are cardio machines that consist of lower body pedals that move in an elliptical path, mimicking the movement of jogging. Your feet remain in constant contact with the pedals so your body does not land from an airborne position. Adding the option of upper body pedals further increases the intensity of the workout. A 130-pound person burns 335 calories in 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer. Cardio training benefits are similar to jogging, with less stress on lower body joints.
Stairway to Success
Stair climbing workouts are a grueling cardio workout requiring your lower body muscles to lift your body weight. Stair Climbing Sport.com equates a 15-minute stair climbing workout to 30 minutes of jogging. Cardio benefits are acquired in less time, making stair climbing an alternative workout for those with time limitations. Some force is placed on the knee joint while transferring your weight to the next step. Increased lower body muscular endurance is an additional benefit of stair climbing.
Step aerobic workouts are designed around the movement of stepping up and down on a 4- to 6-inch platform. Workouts can be performed in a group setting or at home with a DVD workout. With professional instruction, challenging choreography and motivating music, step aerobics is an alternative for those who find jogging boring. Workouts vary from low to high impact, resulting in gains in cardiovascular endurance and lower body muscular endurance. A 30-minute step workout burns between 207 to 312 calories.
- Centers for Disease Control: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- American Council on Exercise: American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certified Professionals Say Do More Squats, Lunges
- ACE Fitness: What’s the Best Piece of Cardio Equipment to Use?
- ACE Fitness: Intermittent Stair Climbing Improves Fitness
- ACE Fitness: Step Training for Fitness and Fun