What are other alternatives to aerobic activity and strength training?

Most movement consists of aerobic activity, but you don't have to go to a gym to get good exercise. Go out and walk your dog, start biking to work, start a garden. Moving more and consuming less is the key to weight loss. 
Dianne Carey

Remember that the objective of strength training is to challenge your muscles and the objective of cardio training is to challenge your heart. Both should be a part of your healthy lifestyle. There are as many ways to achieve this, as there are different personalities, so, find activities that you enjoy so you will be consistent. If you have been sedentary for a long time, you may find it challenging to get down on the floor and get up again. Start there and increase gradually. Stairs are a great way to increase your heart rate because almost anybody can do it. Go slowly if you need to in the beginning. Increase your pace and add more flights as you notice your body adapting to the workload. Your body will adapt, but you can't rush your biochemistry. Cell adaptations take time. So, find something you enjoy doing, be consistent, gradually increase your pace or your workload, and see results.

Mr. Donovan Green
Athletic Training
A really great alternative to aerobic training and strength training is stretching exercises like yoga and core movement like Pilates. You do not have to run 5 miles or lift 85 lbs. to be fit. You can do yoga or Pilates 30 minutes per day and get great results. Your cardiovascular system and muscular system will be challenged along with your nervous system. Your level of flexibility will increase tremendously and so will your muscle definition. The idea of getting fit is not always about the type of exercise you choose but more on how you execute each move. Here is a very simple drill that you can try right at home.
  • Get into a push up position and hold it on the top with one leg lifting straight off the ground and your arms slightly bent to put the pressure on the muscles and not your joints. hold that pose for 30 seconds
  • Next, lower your body to where your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle and hold that for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat step one with the opposite leg off the ground.
Try to do this 3 to 4 times straight and you will feel like you just did an hour in the gym. If 30 seconds is too long for you then start at a point that is comfortable but not easy for you.
There are no real alternatives to aerobic activity and strength training if you want to maintain or improve your health and fitness level.  If you do not enjoy  going to a gym or doing traditional exercise programs, there are ways to get in the fitness you need to maintain your fitness. Going for a walk, especially a hike on a trail with varying inclines and declines, or doing strenuous chores around the house counts as aerobic activity. Moving your furniture while cleaning, doing heavy yard work, or carrying your kids around counts as resistance training. If you do not engage in some type of activity regularly that challenges your cardiorespiratory system and challenges your muscoskeletal system you will experience a gradual decline in health and fitness. This can dramatically increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis. It’s important to find some form of these activities you enjoy doing. Find a workout buddy to make it more fun and seem like a social event instead of work.
JC Pinzon

There are 5 categories of fitness including aerobics and strength. You can work on your flexibility, endurance and reducing your body fat levels. Other categories are more related to performance and include balance, agility, speed, power, quickness and/or core training.


Mark Levine

It depends on what your health and fitness goals are. You can make your strength training more of an aerobic activity by doing circuit training with little rest between exercises. Circuit training is defined as more than two exercises (I prefer 3-5) with rest consisting of enough time to get to and set up the next exercise. When you are done with the circuit, you can rest for a minute. I would start with two circuits and as your capabilities increase, add another circuit.


This is an interesting question. If you are asking this for the purpose of say shedding a few pounds, an alternative is to alter your dietary intake. However, studies have shown that physical activities in conjunction with dietary restrictions have been shown to be more successful. Studies have also shown that once you have successfully lost weight, that physical activity is one of the best predictors in maintaining your weight loss. So, in a nutshell keep moving and your body will thank you for it!

There are no alternatives to aerobic activity and strength training, because they are the pillars to improved health, body composition, et all. Along the same line their alternatives to improving your health, not replacing standard aerobic activity and strength training. The alternatives are limitless when utilizing your imagination, for example consider your geographic location. For example, I live in Honolulu, therefore utilizing the ocean, such as surfing, paddleboarding, swimming, and hiking, could be very beneficial to improving my health. Now, go out there look around and see how innovative you can be with your surrounding - no geographic location should be overlooked. You are only limited to your imagination. Take charge of your life!:) Mahalo. 
Sadie Lincoln

There are thousands of alternatives to aerobic activities than typical options we hear about in the gym. Think of movement you can do for at least 20 minutes that is continuous and rhythmic. I recently joined my kids in a jumpy house to get my aerobic activity in for the day. Take a moment to write down all the ways you can move and get your heart rate up. Be creative. It doesn't necessarily mean logging time in on the treadmill!  

Similar to above, there are many ways to build strength. You don't necessarily need weights! I encourage clients to use their own body weight while doing small controlled weight bearing activities. This way you can get your strength training in-- anywhere and anytime. Try doing pushups against your kitchen counter. Great for chest, back and arms.


There are many alternatives to a set aerobic and strength training program.

Do you live or work on a farm? Do you have a small urban farm or garden?

These all have lifting involved and sometimes lots of walking (or chasing critters). Plus you get to enjoy the great outdoors.

Do you love to shop? Or maybe you do the grocery shopping for the family. These activities can be your strength and aerobic activity and take care of your family’s needs all in one activity.

Anything that gets you moving, heart rate up, and sweating is a good alternative to traditional aerobic activities and strength training programs.

There are many options if what you want is to try something different from a treadmill or machines for example. If that is what you mean, you can find group fitness classes like kick boxing, pilates, yoga, TRX or if you are into extreme sports you can try rock climbing, mountain biking, BMX, etc. Depends on what you like, and if you are not sure about what you like you can just start trying new things and see what you enjoy the most. And in most cases you also have to think about what your body needs.


Aerobic activity, strength training and flexibility (stretching) are very important for the body.  If you are looking for alternative ways to get these exercises without the tradition gym equipment, there are lots of options, but I wouldn't be looking to avoid these exercises.  For aerobic activity, think of anything that you like that will get your heart rate up and keep it up.  Running, biking, swimming, dancing, skating, skiing are good options. 

For strength training, all you need is your body weight, you don't need a gym full of fancy machines, or even dumbbells/barbells.  Pushups, squats, and dips are some examples of exercises you can do anywhere without equipment.  You can use household items (liquid jugs, soup cans) for added resistance.  Personally, I like working out with my TRX suspension trainer, Rip Trainer, and Bodylastic resistance bands.  These items are very lightweight and portable, and I can take them anywhere with me. 

There are no alternatives to aerobic activity and strength training because you need to challenge the cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal system for maximal health and functional efficiency. There are, however, ways to combine both types of training in one workout. You can perform circuit training where you go from one exercise to the next, such as performing a set of pushups, then lunges with bicep curls, squats with a cable row, etc., with less than a minute rest between each set. Doing this will keep your heart rate up and challenge your muscles simultaneously. Other examples would be boot-camp and total body sculpting type classes.

When planning out your exercise it is important to have the components of aerobics and strength training. When we talk of alternatives take a look at the type of exercise. Cardiovascular options are many have to walk before you can run ...cycling is a great option. That is my opinion(Ahh you may hate cycling, so that may not be a good choice.) 

You should decide what you would like to do ..If you have limitations ..a disease, hip, back or joint pain you may not be able to run. That is why it is important to understand the F.I.T.T. principle.  The F.I.T.T. Principle in exercise is a set of rules that help you get the most out of your workouts. F.I.T.T. stands for:

  1. Frequency: how often you exercise
  2. Intensity: how hard you work during exercise
  3. Time: how long you exercise, and
  4. Type: what type of activity you're doing.

In the past a typical strength training workout  included machines or dumb bells, today there are some Great strength training alternatives using Body Weight Resistabands or Medicine Balls. These workouts have been found to give you a tremendous aerobic benefit if designed appropriately.

In Summary it is important to look at the Type of exercises you enjoy or could enjoy...learn what limitations or muscular imbalances that can be corrected Then GO WORKOUT!

When you enjoy it you want to learn more ..knowledge will inspire you to get results.

This might help you get a feel for where to start it is here on Sharecare.

Good question. Ashtanga or Power yoga is for those who want a kick-butt cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and balance workout. Ashtanga Yoga was created by K. Pattabhi Jois and it is perhaps the most physically challenging of all the yoga traditions. Ashtanga primarily consist of a series of flows (vinyasa) that can be face paced jumping from one posture to the next, building strength, flexibility and endurance. Best for intermediate to advanced participants.

There are SO MANY! Aerobics is basically anything except sitting. And if you’re sitting on a bike, pedaling, that's aerobics. Biking, Hiking, swimming are ALL great ways to stay in shape. Strength training is strength training and there are no alternatives, however there are ways you can strength train without lifting weights. Basic exercises like pushups and squats are unmistakably effective. You might think you are unable to do pushups but you are in fact able to do them as you can start by simply pushing yourself away from a wall. 

Good luck and get started. TODAY!

Think outside the box ... or the gym! Actually think outside. Rake your leaves. Get your garden ready for the winter. Take a hike or a walk and enjoy the scenery. Lots of "hidden" aerobic and strength activities may be right in your backyard or neighborhood.  Aerobic doesn't mean you have to run, and strength training doesn't mean you have to lift weights.

There are MANY things you can do! Play with your children; take the stairs instead of the elevator, cut grass using a push mower, shovel snow, park further away from your work. Like Dr. Mike Clark says, "The world is your gym!"

The truth is you need both because, without building up your cardio endurance you will be at risk for heart disease. Choosing not to do strength training can cause your muscle to atrophy (Atrophy is the partial or complete wasting away of a part of the body). Strength training improves bone density, balance and sports performance. If you tired of the aerobic and strength exercise, try Plyometrics. Plyometrics is a type of exercise training intended to yield fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system, for the purpose of improving performance in sports. If the reason why you don’t want to do Aerobic exercise and Strength training is because you lack time, try full body exercises. Full body exercises will give you a complete workout in half the time and get your heart rate up. So get out there and do something but, get the okay from your doctor and or assessment by you fitness professional/personal trainer before starting a new system of exercise.

If you are referring to traditional means like say lifting weights at a gym or doing an aerobics class, there are many ways to get both done non-traditionally.

You can take a nature walk or hike, ride a bike, take Karate or other forms of martial arts, Yoga, play with your kids or grandkids or nieces and nephews, kayaking or paddling, skiing... the world is your oyster! You can check with your local community center to see if they are hosting any type of outing that you can attend.

I hope that helps!

When it comes to choosing an aerobic activity there is no right or wrong choice. The best aerobic training for you is the one that you enjoy the best, whether it's riding your bike or skipping rope with your kids. The more you enjoy an activity the more you'll be engaged by it. The goal is engaging in any activity that makes your heart pumping in the 60%-80% of your maximum heart rate.

Strength training on the other hand is totally different. To get remarkable results from a strength training program you have to follow a systematic, integrated and progressive plan. You can't just choose any exercise you enjoy and still achieve the desired results. Not without avoiding injuries, anyway.



There is a world of alternatives to basic aerobic activity and strength training, just about any sports that is enjoyed has elements that increase the effectiveness of the heart and increase strength. Like let’s say baseball or tennis, both have running in them (for the heart) and require using the muscle systems. So chose what fits best for you and enjoy.

Let's see... there is lazy and weak, obese and diabetic, unstable and unhealthy. But I don't think you would like those alternatives.

All jokes aside, if you meant how could you incorporate fun aerobic activity and strength training into you day, then there are several ways to do that. Being in a gym on a treadmill does not have to constitute cardio training. Getting on a machine that you do not know how to use and loading it with a ton of weights just so you can fit in with the buff bodies at the gym does not have to constitute strength training either.

If you are a beginner you can use your own bodyweight for strength training and do common exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and tricep dips. All of which are exercises that can be done anywhere. As for aerobics you can choose to do something that you actually enjoy such as a sport. Or you could join a walking, biking or running group. Gyms usually have some great dance classes such as Zumba or hip hop dance which can burn up to 800 calories an hour.

Make whatever you do for fitness enjoyable. This way you are more likely to continue doing it.

Dr. Mike Clark, DPT

The world is your gym!  Be creative.

Walking, hiking, jogging, biking and swimming are all good aerobic activities. 

Body Weight exercises (push ups, squats, lunges, pull-ups) are great functional exercises that do not require any equipment and can replace "traditional strength training"

If you're talking about alternatives to the traditional activities that you'd do in a fitness facility or with a personal trainer, there are many other ways to increase strength, balance and flexibility such as yoga, tai chi or aikido. For getting that heart rate going, think about some activity that you've always wanted to try and go do it! Kayaking. Cross-country skiing. Dancing. Or you could do some energetic "work" like splitting wood or building stone walls.

The important thing is to find something you enjoy doing and keep doing it. The body was made to move.

There are no real alternatives to aerobic activity and strength training if you want to maintain and maximize your health.  If you are not comfortable going to a gym or doing traditional exercise programs, there are ways to get in the fitness you need to maintain your fitness. Going for a walk or doing strenuous chores around the house counts as aerobic activity. Moving your furniture while cleaning, doing heavy yard work, or carrying your kids around counts as resistance training. These really aren’t alternatives since you’re still performing a resistance training and aerobic exercise program. If you do not engage in some type of activity regularly that challenges your cardiorespiratory system and challenges your muscoskeletal system you will experience a gradual decline in health and fitness. Not engaging in some form of training for these two systems can dramatically increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis. It’s important to find some form of these activities you enjoy doing. 
You should not really find alternatives to aerobic activity and strength training, however if you think "cardio equipment and weights" when you hear those two terms, you can have "alternatives."  Try a cardio dance class that incorporates getting your heart rate and some body weight strength training.  Try a boot camp class which also has a large cardio component and strength training.  Get creative with your workouts! Yard work is cardiovascular and strength building....the bottom line is to get moving and active!  You have to do something you enjoy to stick with it so go out there and explore your options!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.