Not everyone sees a Nike ad of a woman running and feels a connection. Some women just hate cardiovascular exercise, sweating or getting their heart rate through the roof. This doesn’t necessarily mean that these women hate exercise or are even out of shape. Cardio is not the only way to get a killer workout, as evidenced by Instagram photos of strong and lean Yogis.
Every woman is unique and that goes for her exercise preferences, too. And with all of the other options out there that aren’t running, it’s easy to find the type that suits every woman best.
If you’re scared of getting too bulky from lifting weights or not doing cardio, fear not—this myth has been debunked. According to Greatist, when women begin to lift weights, their bodies respond quicker to change, which your metabolism then uses to unlock fat cells, making you look more lean and toned.
If you’re one of many women stuck in a workout rut and the thought of running makes you nauseous, here are five types of exercise to do if you can’t stand cardio.
Created by Joseph Pilates in the early twentieth century, Pilates created a mind-body connection of exercise by using your core muscles and breathing to make change to your body. It was first introduced during World War I, when Joseph Pilates worked with hospital patients. As they were unable to work, they attached springs to their beds to support their limbs, which then led to the development of a Pilates equipment, the Cadillac.
While there are obvious benefits to Pilates, such as intense work to your abdominals, there are other, lesser-known benefits that may determine if this is your new workout. For women who have lower back pain, Pilates can help to ease this pain in no more than 4 consistent weeks. Also, unlike running, Pilates is easy on the joints, so if you’re recovering from any injuries like knee pain or shin splints, it is a good total body workout for you.
Contrary to some beliefs, yoga is not meant for rest days. A traditional Vinyasa class incorporates a similar mind-body connection where you are using your muscles and breathing to strengthen your body.
But there are more ways that yoga can benefit women other than stretching and strengthening their muscles. Specifically, for women, yoga can aid in hangover detoxing, fertility and heart disease. Women who practice yoga are less stressed, and because of the variety of poses that keep you upside down and right-side-up, your blood is flowing, allowing you to improve blood circulation and create balance in your body.
Not only is yoga beneficial to your body, but also to your mental well-being. For women who have trouble sleeping, yoga can also help with insomnia.
The reason behind this is that the different asanas, or postures, can help with circulation and balance the mind and body, allowing for a more restful slumber. For any woman who’s looking for a workout that has full benefits of mind and body, try a yoga class to reap the benefits of looking and feeling great.
There’s nothing like barre to give you a full body workout while keeping a blowout. Because barre involves such tiny, isolated muscle movement, you’ll burn tons of calories without sweating profusely. Barre is a combination of strength training with mild cardio that focuses on strengthening muscles.
Muscle tissue burns fifteen times as many calories as fat, so the more barre you do, the more calories you’ll burn. Additionally, because barre exercise creates more lean muscle mass, you’ll raise your metabolic rate, which will help you to produce more energy and consume calories.
Along with the calorie-torching exercise that barre provides, it will also help to prevent injury, making it a lifelong exercise you can enjoy. Because of the small and controlled movements, you’ll reduce pressure on your joints, tendons, ligaments and spine. And, as mentioned before, the tension and resistance placed on your muscles through the isometric movements makes bones stronger, which can help to prevent osteoporosis with age.
4. Weight lifting
As stated earlier, women tend to avoid lifting weights for fear of getting bulky, but if you hate cardio yet want to look lean and burn calories, then lifting weights is a form of exercise you should explore.
According to Women’s Health, women who lift weights lose up to 40 percent more fat than those who just do cardio workouts. The same article states that those who lift weights will burn more calories when you’re sitting at your desk at work. This is because after every strength training workout, your muscles need energy and to repair their fibers, and the energy they get is from your current fat cells, which increases your metabolic rate.
While dancing definitely gets your heart rate up and is technically cardio, those who hate cardio should look into dancing because of the way it takes your mind off what you’re actually doing, which—during exercise—can be pretty challenging and beneficial. Other than working out your body, choreographed dance actually helps your memory, too.
Dancing may boost your memory and prevent you from developing dementia as you get older, as Everyday Health reports. And while you’re working your mind and body during your dancing session, you’ll also be reducing stress, as you let your inhibitions go and your energy take over.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean a sweat-dripping, heart-burning killer cardio workout. Women who don’t enjoy cardio shouldn’t force themselves to exercise in a way that makes them unhappy, which is why these 5 exercise types will give you great exercise for your entire body without dripping in sweat.