5 ways to do cardio that don’t involve running

10 March 2017 by
First published: 28 March 2017

Try these creative workouts for 5 ways to do cardio that don’t involve running.

Despite recent slander, cardio is an important cog in our fitness regimes. A great way to lose weight, cardio gives your muscles and organs a much-needed workout while also helping you burn calories and tone up. Admittedly, it can get dull – especially if your concept of it involves slogging it out on a treadmill for an hour – but it doesn’t have to be. From specialised equipment to at-home workouts, there are numerous ways of getting your cardio fix without the monotonous running. Here’s how.

Concept2 SkiErg

The Concept2 SkiErg takes inspiration from the sport of Nordic skiing and brings it into the gym setting to make it accessible to everyone. Nordic skiing has long been recognised as one of the hardest workouts out there, with users developing strength and endurance in the legs, arms and core. Nordic skiing sees participants use a system whereby the toe of the ski boot is fixed to the binding, but the heel is available to rise off the ski. With this in mind, the SkiErg uses the same flywheel resistance and electronic monitoring systems as the brand’s much-loved indoor rower, and can be used for both double pole and classic alternating arm techniques.


Almost too fun to be labelled a workout, dancing is some of the best cardio you can get without even realising. Whether it’s a boogie with the girls on a Saturday night or a slightly more structured sashay in a Zumba class, dancing burns calories, increases heart rate and torches fat – all the while making you feel a little bit like Beyoncé (which is never a bad thing). If you’re not quite ready to unleash your moves on the rest of the world, check out YouTube for a wealth of dance workouts.

Technogym SkillMill

Everybody knows that running on a treadmill is straight-up boring, and it can quickly become monotonous and ineffective. Technogym’s SkillMill range transformed the game, bringing us a piece of equipment that elevated the humble treadmill to new heights for a completely engaging all-round workout experience. Featuring a curved deck with no motor, the SkillMill is completely user controlled, moving at the same pace according to whether users walk, run or sprint. Having long been the official fitness equipment supplier to the Olympics, the athlete-inspired SkillMill offers new levels of control for a hugely varied workout.

HIIT circuits

Sure, you could do this at a trendy class in London, but a good ol’ HIIT circuit can also be done at home, sans the fancy equipment. Try moves including jumping jacks (the best, yet most simple, way to incorporate cardio), high knees, squat jumps, mountain climbers and burpees in a circuit format with little rest in between for a gruelling – and effective – cardio kick. If you’re still not satisfied, add in stair sprints, squats and hops. It won’t cost you a penny but will pay you in dividends.


Whether it’s dusting off your old road or mountain bike, signing up for a spin class or braving the stationary bike at the gym, cycling is a great way to tick that cardio box. It’s also a lot kinder on your joints than running, while still burning a respectable number of calories. Our advice is to get out into the open air, or hit up a class like Boom Cycle or Pure Ride to keep it fun and engaging.