I Can't Run - What are the Alternatives to Running

I Can’t Run: What are the Alternatives to Running?

While running is generally popular among athletes, it is less so among the general public. Indeed, some cannot practice running due to injury or physical inability to run. Others just don’t like this activity. What are the alternatives to running to satisfy these types of profiles? We will discuss with you on the subject here.

Alternatives to running

There are alternative activities to running allow you to play sports while being outdoors just like running. Here are some alternatives that you can try instead of running.

Outdoor Cardio

Fitness walking or brisk walking

These two names designate the same discipline. It is an activity accessible to the greatest number. Indeed, it allows to work the cardio while limiting the impacts on the ground.

Nordic walking.

It is similar to sports walking. The difference is that it is practiced with poles to promote forward propulsion. This therefore requires more work from the upper limbs. This practice therefore makes it possible to engage the entire body.

Road cycling or mountain biking.

This type of physical activity is also great for improving cardio while clearing the mind. These “carried sports” support your weight and thus remove the stress due to impacts on the ground.


It is one of the sports that demands the whole body. In addition, the risk of injury is lower than when running. Finally, it is also a “worn sport” since water divides the weight of our body.

Be careful, however, ground contact due to sports practice is not harmful in all cases. If these are not too repetitive, they help strengthen the bones. Therefore, focusing only on sports carried – such as cycling or swimming – strengthens the muscles, but less the bones.


Using of machines

The elliptical trainer

Among the essential cardio machines that can replace running, we find the elliptical trainer. Its main interest is that it allows you to work both arms and legs. However, the movement performed is different from that of running. This implies that the muscles used are not quite the same.

The rower

It is also a great classic of cardio machines. And just like the elliptical trainer, the arms and legs work in harmony.

The escalators

Less common and more demanding on the muscles of the legs, this machine gives the impression of climbing endless stairs. Thanks to this device, your legs will be strained and your cardio too.

Circuit training

Other effective alternatives to running is cardio activities in the form of circuit training such as cross training, bootcamp, hiit, tabata, jumping jacks, burpees etc. that’s with high intensity and fairly short recovery times . This allows you to work on strengthening and muscular endurance, strength, explosiveness but also and especially the breath and cardio. During this type of effort, isolation exercises targeting a single muscle are not recommended because the goal is to stress the whole body. When performing this type of training, it is therefore necessary to string together exercises that make it possible to recruit a maximum of muscle fibers forburn more calories . But also to be able to do more effective work on our cardio.

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The conclusion

I will advise you to vary the types of activity. The goal is to avoid routine but also to perform effective and complementary work on the whole body. Here is the example of a program that I recommend you to practice over a week:

  • A session of cycling, sports walking or swimming;
  • A circuit training session;
  • And a session on a cardio machine such as the elliptical trainer or the rower.

The ideal is to allow yourself about 48 hours of recovery between each session.

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