What’s the Best Form of Cardio for You – Riding, Running, or Rowing?

With summer just around the corner and people getting back into the swing of their workout routine, you may be wondering which type of cardiovascular exercise is the best for you? Although you may be an avid runner, cyclist, rower, etc. it doesn’t hurt to try different types of cardio to expand your fitness horizons. While they all technically fall under the category of “Cardio,” each has some unique benefits, depending on you and your end fitness goal. Check out what the XPRO’s for Xponential+ have to say about varying your workouts with types of cardio.

 

Riding

Cycling is a great way to burn calories and fat while working and sculpting your lower body muscles. This form of cardio can also improve aerobic capacity and heart health. Although you are stationed in one place, by adding weights and changing your resistance and/or speed, you can greatly vary the workout and challenge yourself. And because it’s low impact, it’s easy on your joints!


“Indoor cycling classes are known as some of the most high-energy in the fitness world and can often feel like a party on the bike,” said Emily Jacques, CycleBar XPRO for XPLUS.

This immersive, body-moving atmosphere can provide a mental health outlet and lift your mood. If you're willing to cycle outside too, the modality become a practical combination of exercise and transportation.

If any of the above ideas align with your fitness desires and goals, then cycling indoors or outdoors may be for you!

 

Running

Much like cycling, running can burn a good number of calories and torch fat. It’s also highly beneficial for your heart - just a few minutes a day can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. Another benefit of running that is less talked about is the coveted “runner’s high.” When you run, your brain pushes out endocannabinoids, cannabis-like molecules that keep runners happy—and hooked.

Furthermore, running is one of the few forms of cardio that doesn’t require any equipment, unless you choose to run on a treadmill of course.

“On a treadmill, you have the advantage of controlling your speed and incline,” said Josh Honore, STRIDE XPRO for XPLUS. “Plus, it’s safer and can be done year-round, even in the thick of a snowy winter.”

 

Rowing

When used correctly, rowing can be a challenging cardio workout. Although you do have to pay more attention to your form compared to other types of cardio, rowing pays off. Like running, it's a workout that challenges multiple major muscle groups, including legs, core, and arms all at once. The best part of rowing though – it’s low-impact, protecting your joints and allowing you to do it day after day without breaking your body down.

If you row correctly, you can attain results more quickly than you might with other forms of cardio, as well as build strength, because every stroke recruits over 86% of your body's muscles.

“If you’re looking for more bang for your buck, rowing may be the best form of cardio for you!” said Caley Crawford, Row House XPRO for XPLUS.

 

A Combination? 

All of these workouts target different areas of your body, therefore it's good to switch up your go-to form of cardio every now and then. By combining all of these forms of cardio, you create a more holistic fitness routine and allow overused joints, ligaments and muscles a chance to rest and recuperate. If you are easily bored by doing the same thing multiple times a week, a combination of cardiovascular workouts is probably the solution for you.

 

At the end of the day, no matter what form of cardio you choose, you benefit both your body and your mind, so don’t be afraid to get your blood flowing!