The Best Cardio Workouts For Those Who Hate Running

The Best Cardio Workouts For Those Who Hate Running | Why Hello Lovely

I love going to the gym, but the absolute worst part for me is cardio. I just can’t stand running. I love trying to beat my personal record for my mile (which is literally my only reason for running as often as I do), but I really dread having to go for a run when I arrive at the gym. I just can’t get into it. I start my work out with cardio so that I can get warmed up and get it over and done with. Because of this, I’ll literally stand in the locker room for an extra 5-10 minutes stalling. It’s so horrible. But getting some type of cardio into your workout is so important.

I know there are other people out there who hate running as much as I do and thankfully, there are tons of other ways to get in your cardio that don’t involve running. Going for a run is not the only way to burn calories and raise your heart rate. So here are five of my favorite ways to get in my cardio that don’t involve going for a run.


I love love love Zumba. I danced a lot throughout high school so the moment I first heard about Zumba, I knew I had to try it out. I used to go every week for the longest time until life got in the way. And the best thing about it is that you don’t even have to have dance skills! All the moves are very basic and repetitive which makes it easy to follow along no matter what your dance skills are. It gets your heart rate up and is a great way to tone almost every part of your body. You wouldn’t think it would target anything other than your legs, but I promise, this is a great full-body work out. So if you love high energy work outs, then this is perfect for you.


Don’t like running? Go for a walk instead. A lot of people say walking burns more calories than running anyways so really, a walk would be more beneficial to you. And walking doesn’t even have to feel like a work out. Take your dog for a walk around the neighborhood, walk with a friend, or even just spend an hour at mall. For real. Going to the mall really can be cardio. Not only can you get in your cardio for the day, you can do some shopping as well. To me, that’s a win/win situation. As long as you are up and moving, you’re getting in your cardio.


This can be a stationary bike at the gym or a real bike in your neighborhood. Whatever you prefer! But like a walk, you can take a bike ride almost anywhere and it doesn’t have to be high intensity either. A bike ride is a great work out for your legs as well so it’s a good way to target multiple muscle groups while also getting your heart rate up. And getting a friend involved can make it even more fun so you have someone to talk to along the way.


If you ask me, hiking is a great work out. It’s been way too long since I’ve gone on a hike, but I very much wish I could do it far more often. This is especially great for groups. Rather than going alone, turn it into a day trip with friends or family. Going for a good hike can be beneficial to so many parts of your body. Not only is it good for cardio, but it’s also a great way to tone your legs and butt. Like everything else on this list, you can choose your own intensity as well to fit your own fitness goals and abilities.


Yup, I said it. No details on this one, but how is this not a good workout? AND you can do it from the comfort of your own bed. This is another winner in my book.

What are your favorite forms of cardio?

  • Jen

    I wish I enjoyed zumba, to me is really is awkward and uncomfortable haha.

    • Haha I danced a lot growing up so I highly enjoy it. I’d love to continue it here in San Diego, but I just haven’t looked into classes yet.

  • I hate running and always have. In high school I never completed the one mile run we had to do for gym class. I love riding my bike, spin classes and walking, so I do that instead.

    • I was the same way!! I remember for cheerleading tryouts, I had to be able to run a mile and instantly I thought I was screwed haha I “ran” it in like 14 minutes or something crazy like that. So horrible. And I’d always get in trouble in gym class for walking it lol I’ve gotten much better. I can now do my mile in 8 1/2 minutes. I’m hoping to knock another minute off of it, but in order to do that, I have to run more often. That’s my only issue haha

  • My husband and I have been trying to take long walks after dinner several times a week. It is good exercise and also a good time for us to talk after being apart for the day.

    • I would love to get into taking walks with Zack more often! We go to the gym together, but we’re not actually working out together where we can talk and interact and all that. We kind of just arrive and do our own thing haha we’ll have to start adding this to our week once he’s back at work again and I’m not seeing him as much anymore.

  • Carolyn Fennell

    I hate running too. I speed walk and love going through new neighborhoods and looking at pretty homes. I love driving to a new neighborhood and going for my walk and dreaming of all the different homes.

    • Exploring new neighborhoods is so much fun!! I’ll pick out my dream home and imagine myself living there and what it would be like haha it sounds a little weird and crazy, but it actually keeps me motivated to work hard so I can get there someday. Not only am I planning out my life, but I’m getting in some exercise as well. it’s a win/win haha

  • I love that you included #5! LOL I love to run, but I also love to switch it up sometimes. I’ll often do circuits with jumping jacks, burps, high knees and butt kickers…you WILL get that heart rate up and fast!

    • I absolutely have to switch it up or I’ll get super bored with it. I have to keep it interesting and “fun” haha when I worked in baseball, I’d go into work a few hours early or on my days off and run stadiums. Still running, but it’s a good change up from the normal running and jogs I do at the gym and around my neighborhood. They’re so exhausting, but such a good way to work out a mix of muscle groups at once.

  • hahah I love that you put #5 on the list! I have a love hate relationship with running, sometimes it’s all I want, other times not so much. But you sure make me want to try Zumba… I’ve never danced so I’ll be the one hiding in the corner 🙂

    • I have that love/hate relationship with it as well. When I’m trying to beat my PR for my mile, then I’m all about it. But once I beat it, I then spend the next few days seriously slacking and not wanting to do it again lol it’s horrible. Zumba is amazing! I believe that everyone should try it at least once haha and it’s one of those classes where you have a huge mix of people doing it. All the classes I’ve been to have always been very warm and welcome and I in no way felt judged for missing steps because chances are there were others messing up too haha

  • Casey Oakley Bennevault

    I’ve never tried Zumba! Definitely need to give it a go!

    • Yes!! I believe that everyone should try it at least once haha and it’s one of those classes where you have a huge mix of people doing it. Some are brand new and have never worked out a day in their life and then you have those who work out religiously. It’s great! All the classes I’ve been to have always been very warm and welcome and I in no way felt judged for missing steps because chances are there were others messing up too haha try it out and let me know how you like it!

  • Tatyanna Picou-Baptiste

    I absolutely hate running! I’ll have to try out a Zumba class and see if I can stick to it.

    • If you like fun, high energy workouts then you’ll love Zumba! It’s so exhausting, but such a good workout. Definitely check it out and let me know how you like it!

  • I love using a stationary bike…I bring a book to read, or a tablet and catch up on blogs!

    • The bike is perfect for days I have blog work to do. I’ll catch up on other blogs on my iPhone or type up some posts in my WordPress apps. I’ll also read and respond to some emails. I’ve even done a 30 minute conference call from the gym haha it’s my go to form of cardio when I have to multitask a bit.

  • I wish I loved running. I really do. I have my days where I really don’t mind it and I love the way I feel afterwards too. But for the most part, I just don’t want to do it haha and I love walking on an incline! I’ll go at about 3.5 mph as well and every 1/10 of a mile, I’ll increase the incline so by the time i’m at a mile, the incline is at a 10. From there, I’ll decrease it every 1/10 of a mile until it’s back down to 0. I hope that makes sense haha so I’m doing about 2 miles on an inline and then I’ll do a cool down for about a half mile or so. My legs are so sore afterwards, but at the same time, they feel amazing lol

  • Cardio can be the worst sometimes! These are all great suggestions!

    • Isn’t it horrible?! I have a love hate relationship with it haha so glad you found these helpful!

  • Cardio can be such a pain! Love Zumba and of course the sex idea doesn’t hurt 😉

    • Zumba is probably one of my favorite forms of cardio. It’s just such a great work out. Plus it’s high energy and fun!

  • Ha! That last one! I love doing cardio in disguise & tricking your body into doing it. Walking, biking, shopping (THAT COUNTS!), etc. Working out on some machine for 30+ min is the worssssssssssssssssst.

    • I get so bored on a machine! Even with watching tv or listening to music, I’m bored after 5 minutes lol But then again I really can’t stand running through a neighborhood either. So it’s really lose/lose for me.

  • Haha! Love that last one!! I suck at doing cardio too so this list actually makes me really happy XD Thanks for sharing!!!

    • I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I’ve gotten better about it, but it’s still not my favorite by any means haha

  • Adaleta Avdic

    Luckily I like to run, but my boyfriend doesn’t so I wanted to read more about this so I can see what he can do while I run 😉 xx

    • My husband is much better with running than I am haha he wakes up every morning and goes for a run before work. I don’t know how he does it.

  • I can’t run because of the knee replacement, but I love to take Rosie for walks! It’s really calming and refreshing for me to be able to take her out and to get some fresh air! And I love your #5…it really can be a great workout, haha!

    • I’ve off and on had knee problems for most of my life so sometimes it prevents me from being able to run too. But walks are better than running anyways! haha