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Not thrilled by running or cycling? Here are four overlooked forms of cardio exercise you might not yet have considered. With physical activ...




Not thrilled by running or cycling? Here are four overlooked forms of cardio exercise you might not yet have considered.

With physical activity guidelines recommending we do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (that which raises your heart rate a little), cardiovascular exercise is hard to swerve. But if you’re not wowed by the repetitive nature of going for a run, hike or ride, there are other options. Indeed, many people find their fix with team sports, interval training or even lifting weights in short bursts. But increasingly, throwback-style, playground-inspired activities have come to the fore as a popular way for adults to hit their cardio goals. The bonus? They’re a great way to stay active as a family, too. Why not give these four workouts a go this autumn?


You might be used to standing on the sidelines while the kids whizz about on scooters, but scooting provides fitness benefits for all ages. As a low-impact but full-body form of exercise, it’s easy on your joints, great for cardiovascular health and simple to get to grips with. It provides a handy source of core conditioning, as well as building muscular endurance, and a speedy way to nip to the shops. Data shows you could burn up to 480 calories an hour on a scooter, but we reckon you could up that if you try to speed-scoot uphill! 


Head outside and get your endorphins flowing with rollerskating, for a fun activity that will hark right back to your childhood. It might take a bit of practice, but all of the balancing required while propelling your body forwards means you engage a whole host of muscles and get a really good workout. Skating is a great way to work your glutes, hamstrings, calves and inner thighs, but you’ll also find it provides a form of mindfulness, as you have to focus on your movements and staying balanced. There are lots of ways to do it – rollerskating, rollerdance, at a skatepark – but a typical one-hour ride on flat ground at a beginner level will burn up to 700 calories. Wow.


This trampoline-based form of exercise made a resurgence during the lockdowns, with many finding it to be a home-friendly way to keep fit. The mat of a mini trampoline is more taut than that on a bigger trampoline, which makes it a more focused workout for your core. Indeed, with the right technique, experts report that your workout will be three times more effective than the same moves done on the floor, thanks to the addition of gravity and G-force. It’s a low-impact (the trampoline mat absorbs 87 per cent of impact) and high-cardio form of exercise that will raise your heart rate, burn fat and boost your coordination. What’s not to love? 


Get a little bit nostalgic by grabbing a hula hoop and revving up your heart rate. The secret to hula hooping success is to find an adult-sized hula and maybe even opt for a weighted one for an additional strength challenge. Requiring a lot of shimmying from your hips and waist, hula hooping is a great (and expressive) way to work your core. It will also boost your cardiovascular system and fire up the smaller muscles of your upper back, glutes and legs, plus you can get creative by squatting or moving around as you hula. It’s great for fat burn, too – a half-hour of hula hooping is said to burn up to 165 calories.