Although the positive health effects of running are indisputable, you shouldn’t be discouraged if getting out the door and running a few miles just isn’t for you. Leading a healthy, active lifestyle doesn’t require running, so if it doesn’t suit your fancy, don’t sweat it—or rather, just choose something else to make you sweat. Here are some enjoyable, healthy alternatives:
Mountain Biking and Hiking
Richmond’s location could not be more ideal for mountain bikers and hikers. The shores of the James River and the city’s numerous beautiful parks are full of trails fit for both the novice and the expert cyclist or hiker. Check out our region’s best mountain biking and hiking spots!
Besides being a great way to relax and clear your mind, yoga also provides a variety of other health benefits. Our muscles are often tense after a day of work, a day in the yard, or simply from a rough night of sleep. Yoga stretches muscles and makes them less stiff, easing joint pain and allowing you to feel loose and ready to tackle your day! Still not convinced? Yoga has been linked to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and improved immune system function. Plus—an hour of yoga can burn over 400 calories! Check out some great ways to get started here.
While jumping rope may just bring back memories of the elementary school playground, it is also an easy and efficient way to get in a great workout. A jump rope easily fits in a backpack or briefcase, and is a great way to strengthen your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, shoulders, and more. Jumping rope for just 30 minutes burns around 300 calories! Check out our local jump rope group, The JumpStarz!
While we can’t all be Michael Phelps, swimming is definitely a sport for just about everyone. Swimming is another activity that provides a full-body workout and being immersed in water reduces the impact felt by your skeletal system, leaving your joints feeling great afterwards! And if that’s not enough, an hour of swimming burns around 600 calories! And we’ve got tons of spots to dip your toes in.
Dancing is no longer just a way to make a fool out of yourself at the club. Joining a local dance group, signing up for a zumba class at the gym, or simply turning on some music at home and rocking out can be an awesome way to get active! Not only is dancing a great way to improve balance, strengthen leg and core muscles, and meet new people but an hour of salsa dancing burns around 400 calories!
Rock Climbing is a fun, challenging way to work out your entire body. Outdoor climbing will allow you to see some spectacular views and indoor climbing offers a great way to get started and measure your progress as a climber. In Richmond, we are lucky to have great options for both—check out the Manchester Climbing Wall and Peak Experiences!
Other Sports (summer rec leagues, etc.)
Although a lot of recreational sports leagues—basketball, soccer, kickball, etc.—will involve running in some capacity, it’s a lot easier to motivate yourself when you’re working with a team toward a common goal. In addition to being a great way to adopt a structured weekly exercise routine, recreational leagues are a great way to meet new people and build relationships through physical activity.