quick cardio exercises not running

4 Quick Cardio Exercises That’s Not Running

Not all cardio is plain old running. Here's something else to try.

Moving the body in any form and shape improves our health. 

Not only does it help the body to build itself to support our daily activities, but it also improves our mental wellbeing.

But what type of exercises are most impactful? 

Well, a growing body of research agrees that cardio exercises need to be a critical part of our exercise routine.


Part of the reason is that, as a society, we have become more sedentary, and cardio exercise can be a good way to counteract that.

Not all cardio is plain old running. If you hate running by any stretch (and it’s ok too), continue reading.

In this post, you’ll find some quick cardio exercises you can do that are not running.

1. Tennis

When you play tennis, you jump, run, smash, and do more activities that involved moving the body.

The movements are aerobic and help strengthen your heart and increase your heart rate. 

In one study researchers found that professional tennis players have increased heart size and increased performance capacity regardless of their gender or age group. 

Playing tennis can also increase blood flow throughout the body when your heart rate rises and your breathing becomes deeper and faster. 

When playing tennis, your heart constantly beats, allowing you to examine your heart fitness. 

Playing tennis reduces the risk of a decline in your fitness level as you grow old. 


Related: Here’s Exactly How Playing Tennis Improves Your Health

2. Swimming

The American Heart Association suggests two and a half hours of moderate-intensity physical activity per week is good for optimal health.

The good news is that studies show that swimming can provide enough form of a workout as many other land-based activities. 

Hence, swimming can substitute for running, hiking, and several other activities. 

The pressure of water on the body when you swim will push blood to the heart, improving circulation. 

Related: Swimming Improves Your Health In These 10 Specific Ways

3. Basketball

Basketball is a great choice of sport, considering the wellbeing of your heart. 

Running up and down the court when in possession of the ball gets the heart racing, ultimately improving the heart condition and overall fitness conditions. 

One study shows that various training techniques can increase cardiorespiratory. 


One of these training techniques is circuit training. Circuit training is a series of training exercises that are carried out in a training post. 

It entails a series of push-ups, bench crunches, skipping, squatting, jumping over the bench, thrust squats, and more. 

While constantly exercising, basketball helps you build on your endurance. This also gives a chance at evaluating the health state of the heart.

4. Soccer

In a soccer game, there are about 90 minutes, split into two halves of 45 minutes each. And in each of those 45 minutes, you will be moving your full body.

You will be jogging, sprinting, stretching, walking, kicking, tackling, and even sometimes jumping.

There are only a few sports where you get to use this kind of multi-functions of the body. 


All these movements improve your ability to transport oxygen from your cardiovascular system to your muscles. And in turn, it improves how well the muscles use oxygen for energy.

Related: 7 Health Benefits of Playing Soccer That You Didn’t Know (But Should!)


If you are looking for quick cardio exercises that are not running, there are other fun and creative options too.

The ones we have discussed are a great starting point to get you moving and improving your heart rate.