Even some of the most dedicated gym goers dread the cardio portion of their workouts. But cardiovascular exercise is just about the best way to keep your ticker strong and, seeing as how heart disease remains the number one killer of men in the U.S., that’s pretty important. It also boosts your stamina and endurance, which is key for just about every physical activity from sex to climbing the stairs in your office building. Without a solid cardio program, you’ll find yourself feeling winded pretty easily.
If you’ve had it with the treadmill, then it’s time for a change. These five exercises will give your heart rate a boost without making you want to rip your hair out.
1. Jumping rope
Boxers don’t just skip rope as a way to pass the time between rounds. They’ve know for decades that it’s one of the fastest, easiest ways to get their hearts racing to keep them feeling fit and fast in the ring. According to AZCentral, jumping rope for an hour yields about the same calorie burn as running 8 miles in the same amount of time, or roughly 860 calories for a 160-pound person. Cut it down to 20 minutes, and you’re still looking at around 287 calories.