Training Alternatives for Runners

by Sylvester Janssens
by Sylvester Janssens

If you’re addicted to running, then probably you wouldn’t replace your favorite sport for the world if it was up to you. Even beginners who have been running for just few months swear that nothing matches the rush they get during and after a good run. Unfortunately, you might face some situations where you simply can’t run. What if it is raining outside and you don’t own a treadmill and aren’t a gym member?

In this case, you will have to abstain from running temporarily. But hey, don’t despair as your alternatives are endless. There are plenty of other activities that you can enjoy that could substantially make up for your running routine while exercising your CV (cardiovascular) system. And the best part of it all is that most of these exercises can be enjoyed in the comfort of your home and only require simple equipment. Let’s get started…

Jump the Rope

Rope jumping is an excellent cardio exercise that’s very affordable and, even more importantly, it could be mastered in no time. To get maximum results, you need to take baby steps in the beginning while raising your pace slowly but surely.

Make sure to jump on either carpets or woods. Concrete surfaces are big NO’s as they could cause shin splints. Here is how you can make the most out of your rope jumping routine: a 10-minutes jump is quite enough in the beginning. Keep increasing the interval gradually until you can easily jump for 30 minutes.

The rewards of this simple exercise far exceed cardiovascular benefits. On top of that, you will also tone and enhance the endurance and strength of your lower body.

A word of caution here: please make sure to consult your doctor before getting into this high-impact exercise.

Let your DVD do the work!

The array of DVD exercises available in the market is staggering! To name just a few, if you are a dance lover, you may go for dance DVDs. Alternatively, you can go for exercise DVDs that alternate cardiovascular moves, such as plyometrics and jumping jacks, and strength training exercises. It is a clever idea to invest in different types of exercise DVDs to create variety and avoid boredom.

A Chance to Dance!

If you still think doing cardio exercises at home can’t be so much fun, think again!

Just turn on your favorite music and dance at a somewhat difficult pace for 30 minutes. That’s it! You’ve gotten yourself a wonderful heart-thumping workout and had a blast along the way.

How about a dip in the pool?

If you are lucky enough to have an indoor pool in your property, then even if there was a hurricane outside you can still enjoy the best all-round exercise of all: swimming. If you don’t have a pool at home, then I’m sure there is a public one nearby.

And guess what, the poorer your swimming style, the better results you will achieve!

The beauty of swimming in particular is that your body weight is constantly supported. That’s why, swimming is considerably easier than running.
All you need is freestyle swimming (the crawl) in order to match the training effects of running and guess what, the poorer your swimming style, the better results you will achieve!
This is simply because your aim is to work your lungs and heart which means that if you are not accustomed to the water resistance, you will have to exert more effort and achieve great training benefits in the process.

Try Some “Pool Running”

Pool running, often referred to as ‘wet-vesting’, is an excellent substitute and works like magic in case of injury. For optimal results, you need to take two important steps.

Firstly, In order to ensure maintaining an upright position in the water, you must wear a flotation aid around your torso. Then, you need to stand in the deep end to make sure you don’t touch the bottom. Now you are all set to water-run. When running forward, your leg and arm movements need to be much wider than you are used to in conventional running. And although water will support your weight, you will still achieve an excellent Cardio workout that is so close to ordinary running.

As you see, you have a wide array of exercising options to choose from all of which stimulate your cardiovascular system. We recommend that you diversify your running alternatives for maximum benefit until you are back again to your beloved pursuit.

Have fun!