Exercise Ideas for People Who Hate Running

I’ve never been athletic and never will be. My childhood memories are peppered with instances of being the last one chosen for the gym class dodgeball team. Because of this, I began to hate exercising. The word made me squeamish as thoughts of not-so-epic failures in dramatic athletic exhibitions filled my mind. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to the realization that just because I may be terrible at running and almost every kind of team sport found under the sun, it doesn’t mean that I can’t take care of my body. We have all heard it before: Eat right and exercise! Here, I give you five alternative exercise solutions for those who hate running.

1. Yoga

This has become something of a fad lately, and not just among the rich middle-aged people who don’t actually have normal schedules like the rest of us. Plenty of college students practice yoga at studios, on campus and at local gyms. Not only is it a way to relax at the beginning or end of the day but it helps to stretch and tone muscles, improves breath control and is a non-judgmental environment for both the masters and amateurs alike.

2. Pilates

Similar to yoga, pilates is a great way for people who shy away from competitive exercising to work out. Many women love it as it helps strengthen your core and tone your waistline. Pilates and yoga use similar equipment and the two are a good pair to help create a workout schedule as they complement each other regarding the specific muscles worked.

3. Zumba

This is another trend that has been popping up frequently in the last few years. Zumba is essentially dancing for those of us who cannot dance but still enjoy it. An instructor walks you through the movements through the various, often Latin-inspired, songs. This is an upbeat activity that all ages can do, so put on your (dancing) shoes and give it a try!

4. Boot Camp

Although it sounds intimidating, it isn’t actually as bad as it seems. It is rigorous, and you will be sore the next day, but this is a great option for those who want to work on cardio, strength and toning all in one period. Boot camp has a high energy atmosphere and equally beneficial for the newbie as those who have attended for years.

5. Beginner Dance

For those who enjoyed traditional dance as a child, you can still indulge as many dance studios and campuses offer adult dance classes for beginners. Ballet is a great way to improve flexibility and posture. But if you’re like me, who has neither the typical body type or the grace, there are plenty of other classes to choose from. Tap is a personal favorite of mine. Jazz and modern dance are also often available for adults. All of these choices are fun ways to stay active and artistic in one-hour increments.

I have tried every single exercise on this list and all are great options. Many studios and gyms on campus hold a trial class, often for free, so you can dip your toes in the water to see if it’s to your liking. I encourage you to find a perfect exercise choice that fits your schedule, personality and budget. Not only do you get the benefit of keeping your body healthy and active, but your self-confidence and self-image will improve dramatically. Don’t want to take my word for it? Then go and try it out for yourself!