This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Australia, which closed in 2021.

Workouts To Do If You Hate Running

Because being on your feet just isn't for everyone.
Weights are a great way to work out.
NKS_Imagery via Getty Images
Weights are a great way to work out.

Go for a run, they said. It'll be fun, they said.

Committing to a running regime isn't the easiest -- in winter it can be too cold and too dark, in summer it can be too hot and too uncomfortable and if it's raining, well that's another slippery story altogether.

Katrina Cochrane, NSW Master Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness told HuffPost Australia one of the main reasons people don't like running is because it's actually a difficult exercise.

"When you are running, you are activating all systems within your body and running can place a large demand on all of these systems which can have you feeling fatigued and exhausted quicker," Cochrane said.

"The force placed through your joints can also be very uncomfortable for many people and many people do find it boring and time consuming."

Activities like classes or yoga might be more you.
Getty Images/iStockphoto
Activities like classes or yoga might be more you.

Luckily, if you don't like running, you're not alone and there are plenty of other exercise routines you can do instead of going for a jog.

Circuit Training

According to Cochrane, circuit training incorporates variety into your workout regime by including a mix of cardio and strength training.

Circuit training involves upper body exercises such as push ups or bench presses, lower body exercises including squats or lunges, total body exercises such as burpees or skipping and core exercises, for example sit ups.

The variety in circuit training will help you avoid becoming bored with your workouts, plus it's a great way to reach your fitness goals.

"By engaging full body programs which engage large muscle groups in your routine, you are more likely to reach your training goals sooner," Cochrane said.

Circuit training is a great way to work on your whole body.
Circuit training is a great way to work on your whole body.

Interval training

Like circuit training, interval training involves completing a variety of workouts. However this form of exercise also includes a specific work to recovery ratio.

What does this mean?

"Interval training is completing an exercise for a specific work period followed directly by a specific recovery period before repeating these for a training duration," Cochrane said.

"For example, on a rowing machine, work for one minute at 80 percent, rest for two minutes by working at 60 percent, then repeat this four times.

"Interval training has the ability to shock your energy systems -- as your fitness level improves, you have the ability to manipulate the work to rest ratio and you will enhance your results very quickly."

Group training sessions

One way to break the boredom associated with running is engaging in workouts with other people.

Cochrane explains that group training sessions not only provide an alternative to running, they can also promote psychological wellbeing.

Spin is an effective way to burn calories.
FatCamera via Getty Images
Spin is an effective way to burn calories.

"Group training sessions are a popular form of training as you are not only training to enhance your physiological responses such as weight loss or strength gain, but you are also in an environment that can support your overall psychological well-being through interaction and engagement with other people," Cochrane said.

"You will be more engaged and find that you will be motivated to participate."

Group training sessions can include anything from spin classes to yoga.

Cochrane also explains there are other psychological benefits from forms of exercises that include variety.

"It has been proven that incorporating a variety of training into your everyday life will decrease the risk of mental illness and stimulate your hormonal system for chemical balance," Cochrane said.

Despite cardio activities recommended for burning more calories and increasing your metabolic response, if part of your dislike in running comes from spending too much time on your feet, try these exercises instead.

Jump on a bike

Whether it's a scenic cycle across some off-road terrain or a quick spin class, cycling is a great form of exercise that takes the strain off the balls of your feet while still burning desired calories for weight loss (and giving you some extra tone to your legs).

Go for a swim

For some, swimming can be even more boring than going for a run. No iPod to listen to, no scenery to look at and the constant re-adjusting of your goggles so they don't fill up with water. But swimming is one of the best full-body workouts, plus it takes all the stress of your joints. Win-win!

"The best form of exercise you can do to boost general fitness and wellbeing is just being active," Cochrane said.

"Find an activity or exercise that you enjoy and include this into your everyday life as often as you can -- incorporating movement into your everyday life and being active in as many ways possible is the best way to boost your overall health and fitness."

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