10 Fun Ways to Burn Calories Without Running


One thing you should know about me is that I hate running. In fact, I absolutely despise it. It’s not that I can’t do it — I’ve experienced a handful of runner’s highs in my day and totally get why it’s so great. It just comes down to the fact that I’d rather not.

Luckily for people like me, there are a whole lot of ways to break a sweat that are just as (if not more) effective as going on a run. Added bonus? They’re also much easier on the body, so your knees won’t hate you by the time you’re 75.

Here are some (way more) fun ways to burn calories:

1. Rock Climbing: Anyone who’s been on a rockwall knows it’s not only a great cardiovascular workout, but an amazing strength workout, too. You’re lifting weights after all — it just happens to be your own body. (Not-so-fun fact: I actually took a trip in an ambulance to the ER once because of a rockwall, but that’s a story for another day.)

2. Ellipticals: Don’t let these machines fool you. Some people take them as the easy way out, but they don’t have to be. Sometimes I sweat more on the elliptical than I do during anything else, and that’s because I’m pushing myself and doing programs that challenge me (like my favorite, the hill climb!). It’s easier on your joints with just as great of a calorie burn.

3. Kettlebells: Just like running, swinging around kettlebells is truly a total body workout. You’ll work more muscles than you even know you have, and it’s way more exciting than lifting plain ol’ weights.

4. Jump Roping: I’m not a huge fan (I honestly get kind of bored), but if you want to blast calories and make your heart rate go through the roof, pick up one of your favorite childhood toys and go to town. Obviously I would prefer Skip-Its, but what can ya do.

5. Bootcamp: Doing an endless amount of burpees and squats might not be your jam, but it sure is rewarding when you’re done, lying on the floor about to drown in your own sweat.

6. Boxing: There’s a reason why a handful of Victoria’s Secret models box as their main workout. What’s better than punching, kicking, and getting every ounce of anger out during an hour-long session? Hello muscles, goodbye stress. (Also, hello Michael B. Jordan in Creed.)


7. Cycling: Don’t go to cycling and expect not to sweat. I’ve walked out of classes looking like I just took a shower, and that’s why I love them — you work really hard and work your whole body. Some spinning and cycling classes even use weights, which makes things extra difficult but really gets your heart pumping.

8. Barre: After being in ballet my whole life, of course I love barre classes. But don’t worry if you don’t have a dance background — the amount of ballet involved depends on where you choose to take classes. Some studios don’t involve a ton of technique, but other classes will have you doing arabesques and pliés non-stop. Either way, they’re a blast and a crazy-good workout.

9. Dance: Whether it’s Zumba, Latin dancing, or twerking, you’re going to sweat. Depending on how long you go and how much effort you put in, you could burn hundreds of calories in a single class.

10. Weight Lifting: Speaking of muscles, your jaw would drop if you saw how many calories ladies burn by picking up some weights. I’ve yet to get into lifting, but I have friends who are obsessed and it shows.

This is only a handful of the workouts out there that will give you just as great of a calorie burn as going for a run, minus the actual running part. If you’re not a runner, I want to hear what you do to get your sweat on. Tell me down in the comments!

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