Some love running to experience the phenomenon known as a “runner’s high.” Others do not enjoy running because of the high impact on their knees and many other joints in the body. Running is a great way to get in high-impact exercise, get the heart rate up, burn some calories, and exert those muscles – but it is not for everyone. There are a few alternative ways to work all those things into your exercise regimen without running.


Cycling can be done outdoors on a regular bike on your favorite trail or on a stationary bike indoors, such as a Peloton. This high-impact exercise gets your heart rate up while reducing stress on the joints and shins. Bikes can even be incorporated into your morning commute, depending on where you live, and can help reduce the environmental impact of a car.


Ellipticals are another great alternative to running. Elliptical trainers can be found at almost every gym and mime the motion of running. So, you still get the great workout of running without so much of a strain on your body. You can adjust elevation and resistance, providing for a more intense but customized workout.


Swimming or water aerobics is a useful exercise for those who experience painful joint, bone, and muscle disease. Water takes off a lot of the pressure exercise, in general, can have on the body, but most specifically the joints, and because you are in the water, there is an added level of resistance that is sure to get your heart rate up and going.


Walking, a favorite exercise of NeighborMD, primary care services and MSO services, is a simple way to reap all the benefits of running without damage. Walking is an effective way to lower the risk for certain diseases like diabetes and can be a great social activity too when done with friends.