Alternatives to Running for Exercise

running for exercise

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  • For a college student, studying is important, but improving and maintaining your physical health should also be a consistent part of your daily life.

    One of the most basic exercises you may try to complete is running.

    Running is easily accessible for most people because you don’t need any equipment or a special facility to start. The downside to going for regular runs is that it can be taxing on the joints due to the force of your feet hitting the ground over and over.

    For many, it’s also not fun, which makes it difficult to continue disciplining yourself to run as part of your lifestyle. Gain some ideas here for alternatives to running for exercise so you can stay healthy even when the homework, tests, and social events begin to pile up.


    A popular, low-impact activity you might like is swimming. Since you are floating in the water, none of your limbs makes hard contact with the ground, but you’re still able to get a rigorous workout.

    To propel yourself through the water, you make use of muscles in your upper body, core, and lower body. At the same time, the controlled breathing that swimming necessitates in combination with the movements makes it a great cardiovascular exercise.

    There are different techniques you can learn, too, to vary your swimming sessions. Not everyone has a pool nearby available to them, but many colleges will include one that you can use as part of their campus facilities.

    Bodyweight Exercising

    You can perform bodyweight exercises just about anywhere, whether at home, in your dorm or apartment, outside, or at the campus gym. These can also work various parts of your body, depending on what specific exercises you choose to make a part of your routine.

    Examples include pushups, jump squats, and burpees, though there are countless more that you can learn. The key to getting a cardiovascular workout from them and using this as an alternative to running for exercise is to minimize the breaks you take.

    By limiting the time you give yourself to catch your breath between sets, you’ll get your heart pumping as it works to deliver oxygen to your body.


    As with swimming, cycling is a popular substitute for running that has less impact on the joints. With a bicycle, you can go on rides in your local area or hit up paved trails that take you through some nice neighborhood scenery.

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    Cycling can also fit effortlessly into your daily routine if you use it to get to class instead of taking the bus or driving. In either case, your pedaling will exercise your core and legs, as well as your heart, so long as you keep a fittingly fast pace.

    If your campus is a bit too far from where you live, or if you’re worried about certain steep hills in the area, you can choose an e-bike instead of a regular bike. This type of bicycle can give you motor assistance on your pedaling when necessary, making tough aspects of a ride more manageable until you build up more strength and endurance.

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