11 fun alternatives for enjoyable cardio


How do you do cardio?

Cardio is not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a Marmite-esque aspect of fitness that many loathe. But, even if you want to protect your gains, cardio is good for you, and to completely ignore it is folly.

But if you find jogging more boring than Katie Hopkins’ seemingly endless trolling, then we have a treat for you.

Coitus, pretending you’re part of Mario Kart and re-enacting Rocky are all part of our alternative cardio bag of tricks. Enjoy!

1. Gardening

man gardening in cardio gear

Image source: Rotator Cuffs Matter
Training kit is optional…

We’re not talking about gently potting plants or pruning flowers. We’re talking about digging, lifting and general landscaping. You get fresh air, a half decent cardio workout and some all round strength training thrown in too. Plus, you might end up with a nice garden…hopefully.

2. Combat based fun


Image source: Wikipedia
Wonder what perks he uses?

You don’t have to join the Armed Forces, but you do need to do more than play Call of Duty. Grab some mates, and get to your local paintball facility, or for those who have a low pain threshold, find a Laser Tag/Quest. You’ll be running around with restrictive gear on and unless you camp in one corner, you’ll definitely get a sweat on. Just stop if everyone gangs up on you.

3. Go Karting

Not sure that's really a "Kart" Mario...

Image source: Flickr
Not sure that’s really a “Kart” Mario…

Though excellent, Mario Kart doesn’t count. Karting may seem an odd suggestion, but think about it. F1 drivers have to be incredibly fit, and can sweat up to 3kg of their body weight during a race. This is down to the equipment they wear, the heat the car creates and the constant turning of the wheel, not to mention gravitational forces. Go-Karting won’t be quite as intense, but you get the idea.

4. Motion sensor gaming


Image source: Canadian Online Gamers
Insanity on the Xbox?

We’ve just told you not to play two of the greatest game franchises ever created, but now is the time to get the Wii or Kinect out. Wii Fit is obviously a starting point, but other games such as Mario vs Sonic Olympics will give you a much more fun workout. On the Kinect, you could try Zumba, though if you’re embarrassed easily, close the curtains.

5. Play real sport


Image source: In The Loose
Mud isn’t optional

You can pretty much do anything on a computer these days. But if you want to make friends, and get a full blown workout in, then real life sport is the way to go. If you’re worried about gains, then play rugby. Get on the creatine supplements, and become a serious weapon in the scrum.

6. Sex

Couple lying in bed, low section, close-up


Experts in sex, we are not. We’d love to be, but alas, we’re just not that experienced. But more sex = enjoyable cardio. If you’re into the whole Kama Sutra thing, you can probably find more intense positions, that will give a better workout. Struggling to impress? Then we have seven workouts to improve your sex life for you to enjoy.

7. Have a night out

sin city swansea

Image source: Sin City Swansea
Swansea’s best nightclub?

That’s right. Have a good night out. Whether it’s a gig, a party or a random night clubbing, the chances are, you’ll dance. You’ll also get warm. The combination of these two will make for a very sweaty workout. Just don’t drink if you want to stay healthy! Go out for the fitness, and have fun, what more could you ask for?

8. Battle ropes

This just looks fun! But it’s a great way to build some core muscles, build those arms and get some cardio in.

9. Stair sprints

The stairs you pick are up to you...

Image source: Simple Wikipedia
The stairs you pick are up to you…

First of all, think about your neighbours. If you live in a flat or a terraced house, making loads of noise running up and down the stairs isn’t the best idea. But by incorporating the stairs, you are also getting a leg workout, in particular you will have a cheap exercise that can actually build your calf muscles.

10. Pretend you’re Rocky Balboa

Get a punching bag, chase some chickens (ethically) and skip like a man possessed to avenge the death of Apollo Creed.

11. Bog snorkelling

mid wales bog-snorkeling

Image source: The Travel Crew
That looks…nice

This is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you do find yourself near a bog, and you have a snorkel, then maybe you could enter the World Bog Snorkelling Championship in Llanwrtyd Wells? It’s basically swimming, but harder.

12. Weight training

Speed Deadlifts with bands 8×2. These have definitely put kg's on my deadlift!

Posted by Nick Millard – Strongman on Thursday, 5 March 2015

Get gains and get cardio in. Use kettlebells for a full body CrossFit esque workout, just try and keep your form as tight as possible in order to prevent injury. If that isn’t your thing, then incorporate exercises like speed deadlifts into your regime of gains.

Have we missed any? What’s your alternative way to do cardio?

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