Cardio For People Who Hate Running


I. can't. stand. running. Maybe it was the untreated childhood asthma, maybe it was the rat-in-a-wheel feeling of being forced onto a treadmill by overenthusiastic workout buddies in college, or maybe it was just being naturally contrarian! Whatever triggered my intense, soul-deep hatred for all manner of “jogging' (ugh), consequences will never be the same.


It's not that I'm afraid of hard work or cardio; it's just that running is the embodiment of everything that's wrong with the world. And there are exercise options that do a body just as good without all the boringness and noooooo and joint damage. Ann Perkins and I say these are all much better options:

Workout 1: Rock Climbing

Pros: I personally am a big proponent of rock climbing. It's great because you are hanging off a cliff and probably about to fall into a crevasse, and there are just tiny, slippy nubbins to hang onto—so it's hard to be bored! Plus, it's a total body workout. All that swinging and pushing and gripping definitely engages your muscles without really making you think about it. No time to consider triceps when a piece of plastic rope that looks like the handle on a knockoff J.Crew beach tote is all that's between you and certain death.

Also (and perhaps most importantly), climbing gyms are full of hot dudes who have delightfully questionable hygiene. Feeling gross? PERFECT—the rock hunks like things dirty. Perhaps the only exercise/life experience outside a club named “The Power Exchange' or “Mass Pleasures' where being sweaty, rope-burned, and covered head to toe in crusty old chalk dust is a turn-on for everyone around you.

Cons: It can be really expensive if you don't just outright buy a climbing gym membership. Plus, you have to wear a harness that gives you major camel toe (unless you're into that!) and the shoes get really, really smelly after a while, which is hard to explain to romantic partners who aren't also climbers (unless they're into that!).

Workout 2: Trampolining

Pros: Fun as hell, especially if you love jumping and tumbling and maybe yelling things while you bounce up and down. And yes, I was a cheerleader! Why ever do you ask? A great leg workout, especially for those who, like myself, are on an eternal quest to further increase their BRF (Booty Roundness Factor). You can do this one alone or with friends, it's low-impact, and the humorous Insta video possibilities are endless.

Cons: If there isn't a tramp gym in your neighborhood, trampoline obtainment is a nuanced and delicate process involving ordering one off Amazon, trying to get people to let you turn their living room into a trampoline, then not listening when they say no. You could buy one of those tiny rebounders instead, but they are scientifically proven to be 1000.8% less fun and also

Workout 3: Drunk Dancing

Pros: Social activity + hook up-portunity + shopping excuse = ideal workout? Additionally, mojitos are full of electrolytes and liquid motivation! Just don't get sidetracked by hotties; making out can wait 'til the end of the night. When you're on the floor, you need to be both getting low and dropping it like it is plasma levels of hot to maximize your cardio.

Note: You do not actually need to be drunk for this workout. In fact, if you are sober and still shaking it like a Polaroid picture, you get an internet high five!

Cons: Step one: forget to drink enough water. Step two: get dehydrated from dance sweat. Step three: Success (just kidding, step 3 is actually “go to the hospital because you can't even keep down liquids and you have alcohol poisoning for reals, and oh god there are so many pictures from last night'). Don't be me, kids—drink two glasses of non-booze for every cocktail, wear reasonable heels so you don't break your ankles, and remember that underwear isn't necessarily just a tool of the patriarchy.

Workout 4: Swimming

Pros: It's like re-living the most fun parts of your childhood summers every time you exercise, it's great for lean muscle mass and overall fitness, and you get your heart rate up without ever feeling sweaty. There are swimsuits involved (and who doesn't want/need more granny-style one pieces?), and all manner of lifeguard to flirt with/be saved by in the event of accidental almost-drowning.

Cons: Can make your shoulders disproportionately large, pools are full of stranger child urine, and chlorine is terrible for you, actually.

Honorable Mentions:

Cleaning your house, which is something I also hate doing, but understand is both healthy and an excellent calorie burner if you really get in there and scrub things!

Having a baby, because dear god have you seen this commercial? It seems like reproducing is a great way to either stay in shape or have a breakdown that will render you a near-lifeless husk of your former self. I think I'm supposed to feel grateful or something when I watch it, but instead I just want to apologize to my parents for EVERYTHING, and my uterus is slowly receding into my abdominal cavity like it's hoping I won't notice it leaving.

—Lacey Gattis

P.S. I am responding to all comments with amusing anti-running gifs internet searched especially for each of you individually!

Photo courtesy of (c) Benjamin J. DeLong.