You may have your weekly running routine down to a science—and that’s great! But sometimes it’s hard to get excited for that same. jog. every. day. Variety is key, so here are six alternatives to your standard 30-minute jog that will help you mix it up during the week… and you may even burn a few more calories, too.
While they may seem intimidating to newbies, kettlebells can’t be beat when it comes to quashing calories. The American Council on Exercise notes that the average person burns 400 calories after using kettlebells for just 20 minutes—a major upgrade over jogging if you can tough it out for 30. Make sure you know how to use them safely to avoid injury to yourself (and others!) before you start, but once you get going, it may quickly become your new favorite workout.
Need help getting started? Check out our guide to a full-body kettlebell workout.
While this option isn’t available to everyone (hi, city-dwellers!), swimming is a great option for those who belong to a gym with a pool or live close to the coast. Just 30 minutes of swimming the crawl stroke racks up 300 calories burned—and because of the natural resistance of water, swimming is an unparalleled whole-body workout.
Dust off your favorite schoolyard rhymes; jumping rope is back in a big way. And it’s easy to see why it’s such a favorite among trainers and amateurs alike—with a pace-keeping rhythm perfect for skipping along with some tunes, it’s easy to get lost in the act. But don’t be fooled, this high-energy activity burns serious calories quickly. In fact, you may find you’re halfway to your daily 'calories burned' goal in the amount of time it takes to do a few rounds of “down down baby."
Need a new rope? We have some jump rope recommendations for you!
We know, we know—cycling is king right now. But there’s a reason everyone and their mom is signing up for SoulCycle. It’s a great way to burn calories (and get pumped up to a few pop hits, while you’re at it). The empowering feeling from a great cycling session is one of our favorite reasons to hit the bike. But don’t forget about actual cycling as well! In addition to skipping the pricey ClassPass, it’s a great way to explore your neighborhood (and your city). You could actually burn more calories than biking in a gym setting, thanks to real-world terrain.
There’s no better time to get friendly with the staff at your local rock climbing gym. The quick pace of rock climbing is great for creating spikes of intensity, followed by short breaks. In other words? It's calorie-crunching city. Plus, the boost of confidence you’ll get from conquering a mountain (or a wall that looks like a mountain) is sure to power you through the rest of your day.
Surprised to see yoga on this list? Just be sure you’re doing the right kind of yoga for your goal. Bikram and Vinyasa are the best kind of yoga if your intention is to burning calories. While you may not think you’re working as hard in Vinyasa as in other classes, it’s estimated that the average person burns just under 600 calories per one-hour session—certainly enough to make a half-hour practice part of your weekly routine.