Q. Can I still do cardio without running?
A. Yes you still can get a great cardiorespiratory workout without doing any running. Unfortunately we all get injured sooner or later. And because of certain injuries we may not be able to participate in the activities that we love. In this case running. Some individuals may develop medial tibial stress syndrome better known as shin splints. Or other injuries such as plantar fasciitis, sprained joints or strained muscles etc.
Doing high rep squats with or without weights and or kettlebell swings are both great ways of getting your heart rate up without causing more trauma to your current injury. But please remember if you have a knee injury its probably best to not do squats. The goal of using weights to replace running is to pick an exercise that will not negatively affect the injured joint. So if you are experiencing low back pain don’t do kettlebell swings.
Even if you are not injured you can still work your cardiorespiratory system without traditional aerobics or running. For example, some individuals may want to stay away from running because of their weight. The heavier a person is the more stress it causes on their joints, which may eventually lead to injury. If you are injured you can’t exercise. Some others may not be able to run because of environmental conditions or because they don’t like to. In cases like this setting up exercises in a circuit where you go from one exercise to the next without stopping can work your system enough to get the same benefits of traditional aerobic exercise.
Remember safety first, if for some reason you can’t do an exercise find an alternative and let your body rest. Don’t try to push though the pain because that will only set you back more.
DISCLAIMER please consult a medical professional if you have any injuries and are looking to substitute exercises.
Charles Trinh, MS, PES, CSCS, ACSM-cPT
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Charles has dedicated more than 13 years in the field of exercise science and performance enhancement. His extensive background in human performance and sports medicine enable him to develop scientifically sound fitness programs for individuals looking to get healthy, and up to high performance athletes. Charles has also done extensive work with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (former state director) and American College of Sports Medicine in providing continuing education units to personal trainers, strength coaches, physical therapist, athletic trainers and Medical Doctors. With his extensive training and experience, Charles has helped countless individuals reach their health and performance goals.