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My Favorite Workout Alternatives As Somebody Who Hates Running

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

When it comes to working out, running is my public enemy no. 1. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy staying active for both the physical and mental health benefits, but my motivation has shifted since high school where my primary source of exercise came from sports practice that I actually liked. Now, the thought of simply going on a run sounds daunting and makes me want to walk in the other direction.  

Running is such a traditional form of cardio, but let’s face it: It’s not everybody’s cup of tea. I admire those who are regular runners. I, on the other hand, always wondered how I could ever stay fit without such skill. If you feel the same way, that’s perfectly okay! When it comes to fitness, there are plenty of paths other than the track. Here are a few of my favorite workouts for my fellow anti-running girlies.  



not gonna lie this was the HYPEST song to walk to while making this🤪Im 4 months pregnant and making it a goal to do 12-3-30 5x a week so ill be documenting my journey on here! #fitness #fittok #12330workout #12330challenge

♬ original sound – Slim 199x

The 12-3-30 walking routine has become the internet’s favorite workout trend. Once I tried it out for myself, I understood why. All you have to do to achieve this simple yet effective workout is set your treadmill to an incline of 12 percent and walk at 3.0 mph for 30 minutes. It might sound easy, but the incline adds an extra challenge to the cardio of your average walk. You can even make it more enjoyable by queuing your favorite songs, podcasts, or TV shows! Before you know it, the 30 minutes will fly by and leave your heart pumping and legs burning.     


High-intensity interval training, or HIIT workouts, are my favorite way to combine cardio and strength in one. This type of training involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by a recovery period and repeating this cycle. You can expect the motions of squats, burpees, or pushups, but my favorite part is that you can modify the intensity with the inclusion of weights, time adjustments, and which muscles you wish to target! HIIT keeps you on your toes with its ever-changing pace and will likely leave you feeling accomplished by the end.  


Pilates has been my latest endeavor, and I’m hooked. It’s a great workout for those who want a low-impact option. I can best describe it as the perfect mix between bodyweight exercises and yoga, focusing on small muscle strength, flexibility, and overall body awareness. I enjoy utilizing my Apple Fitness or Peloton subscriptions to create an at-home Pilates experience, but I can only imagine attending a class in person would be all the more fun. Pilates is a challenging yet mindful form of exercise that’s suitable for all levels! 


Last but not least, if you’re looking for a workout that feels more like a joyride, biking might be for you! Biking isn’t just a trip down memory lane of one of my favorite activities as a kid; it’s just as delightful now, providing a powerful workout. I love taking advantage of this time to soak up some fresh air and scenery.

On the other hand, you can also hop on a stationary indoor bike if that’s more your style, which provides a similar cycling experience. Whether you’re hitting the streets or taking a virtual trail, biking is a fantastic alternative to running.  

Not all of us are runners, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be fit! With alternates like 12-3-30, HIIT, Pilates, and biking, there are plenty of ways to stay active. No matter what your preferred exercise routine looks like, it’s important to discover the joy of exercise on your own terms. 

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Nola Ulik is a staff writer at the Her Campus FSU chapter. She writes articles biweekly covering culture, lifestyle, and campus news. In addition to being a staff writer, Nola is a student at Florida State University studying media and communications and minoring in spanish, and is a member of the ADPi sorority.