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The Best Cardio Sports

Cardio sports can strengthen your immune system, boost your mood, and make your heart healthier. They can also help increase strength, stamina, and endurance, which will obviously improve cardio.

So if you want to find the best cardio sports, you are at the right spot. Have a read, boost your motivation, pick up one or two and get the benefits of what these activities can bring to you.

Also, note that with cardio, you will burn fats and lose some weight simultaneously. Finally, on the social side, you can meet up with people and make new friends, which can benefit your overall happiness.

Let’s go.


Cardio sports list


1) Running

best cardio sport running

First, running is one of the best sports to improve cardio, and it can be easy.
Indeed, it’s simple to run. First, you have to find a park, or you can also practice it in the street. Plus, you don’t need a gym or any sports facilities for this sport. You’ll only need a pair of sneakers, that’s it!

In addition, running works the abdominal packs, the back, and the lower body while improving your cardio.
Finally, you need to have the motivation at the beginning and keep it to stay motivated to achieve your goals.
Good to know: running over 10km/h is one of the activities that will burn most of your calories. Just start slowly and enjoy it.

TIP for this sport: Find good running shoes to protect your body from injuries or pains. You can find a buddy to run with you to stay motivated or have motivation.


2) Practising Martial Arts

best cardio sport martial art

You will work all your body when you practice martial arts like MMA, Judo, Karate, Tai chi… They strengthen your muscles, hone your balance and improve your cardio simultaneously.

If you can hold an entire one-hour session, you will burn many calories and boost your cardio and stamina.

TIP for this cardio sport: If you have a friend practising martial arts, ask if it’s possible to try with him. You will see how it will do your work and how you will be out of breath from the first session.


3) Swimming

swimming sport very cardio

More than a complete physical workout, swimming is an excellent sport for your heart and a low-stress activity.

So, therefore, it is one of the best cardio activities.

An excellent way to improve cardio with this activity is to keep swimming as long as possible. For that, you can try all the swimming strokes, like the breaststroke or the backstroke.

This complete sport will enable you to feel all the health benefits of practising sports, and this a great sport to enjoy when you are after-40 or injured as this is a non-impact sport.

TIP for this sport: If you like swimming, even if you do it sometimes, take a pass allowing you to have ten entries. This system exists practically in all swimming pools, and it will motivate you to go more often.


4) Playing Racket Sports

racquet sport best cardio sport

Racket sports, like badminton, squash, and tennis, offer rigorous workouts because of the quick exchanges. When you play racket sports, you realize small movements, but they are speedy, like sprints, pivots, and others.

Indeed, you burn energy in short but powerful bursts with solid legs and arms.

Moreover, you can burn 600 calories while playing for one hour.

TIP for this cardio sport: If there is a racket sport you like and one of your friends, try to practise it with him. After your first session, you can make a habit of always playing with this friend.


5) Rowing

best cardio sports rowing

It exists two ways to row: on a river or in a gym. If you are already going to a gym, we recommend you do some rowing because it exercises all your muscles.

On the other hand, if you prefer to be outside and try a new activity, some clubs for rowing exist.

Another benefit is that rowing will sculpt your arms and back, boosting your metabolism.

TIP for this cardio sport: Try to row for 10 minutes before using machines in the gym. Breathe well. Step by step, increase your time in rowing, which will improve your cardio.

Related –> 4 breathing techniques for better exercise performance


6) Playing Basketball

best cardio sports basketball

Basketball is another sport that will improve your cardio with endurance.

Furthermore, it strengthens your body and develops stronger bones, which is excellent for better health.

One of the only constraints for other team sports is that you need many other players. So, if you like this sport, the best way to practise it is to join a basketball club.

So to answer to: is basketball good cardio? Grab a ball, get some mates and discover how it will pump up your heart.

TIP for this cardio sport: Get a ball, and find a court. You’ll meet some people playing in it. Then you could play with it. Plus, basketball and collective sports, in general, are great ways to socialize.

Related –> Tips for better health with healthy habits to start


7) Cycling

Cycling in the shade

This sport works the legs and can effectively burn fats and calories if you step on those pedals hard.

Moreover, it could be one of your choices to change your bike’s speed to make more effort.

It could also benefit you to ride uphill to get higher intensity.

In general, when you cycle, it lasts a long time. That’s why you will improve your endurance and your cardio at the same time.

TIP for this cardio sport: Get a bike, even a second hand, to start. And use your bike to go to work or to others. It will help to improve your daily cardio. That’s a great way to be active without doing any real sport.


8) Playing Beach Volleyball

cardio sports beach volley

Volleyball is also one of the healthiest sports, so it will also improve your cardio.

You’ll usually be under the sun when playing beach volleyball, making you lose even more calories. Moreover, it’s a low-impact sport because of the sand.

It conditions the body (pecs, shoulders, arms, back, core, calves, thighs).

So finally, playing this sport regularly will enable you to improve your cardio.

TIP for this cardio sport: Even if you can’t play all year, when you’re on holiday with friends or family, don’t wait a minute to play with other people on the beach. Again it will be a great way to boost your cardio and socialize. 

Related –> Best sports for overall workouts


9) Football

Guys playing football to increase cardio

Football is a great friendly and collective sport, as your teammates are playing that sport with you. It is one of the most fantastic cardio sports ever. When you are playing football, even if you don’t have the ball, you have to move around the pitch to move with your partners and find solutions with them to get the ball and go forward.

The great thing with football is that it can work your aerobic and anaerobic systems between long running distances and short boosts. The first one will work the cardio and insurance, and the other will work the strength and condition of your muscle.

Playing sports like football or rugby, you must be consistent as your teammate and coach count on you to be present during training and games. This is a great thing to be active and healthy.

Tip for this cardio sport: Join a club next to your home, as football is usually played everywhere. Do a test session, get to know the team and see if that fits you.

Related –> Why consistency is important and can change your life


10) Boxing

Boxing man black and white picture

Boxing might not be the sport you’re thinking of as cardio, like running or cycling. But boxing is an intense sport that can improve your cardio a lot!

When you’re boxing, all your body and muscles are moving. From head to toe. Then, you’re driving, pushing, and even kicking (depending on the type of boxing).

As you can notice, all the boxing people are very shredded, as we can say. But, of course, this sport boosts the cardio as it’s intense, and the training session is based on body weight and cardio exercises.

Thus boxing can help you to lose weight, build toned muscle and improve your cardio.

TIP for this cardio sport: Go to any boxing club and see if it’s a sport for you. Another option will be to take a personal trainer to do some pad work. This can give you a good boost and reasonable confidence to start boxing.

Related –> Why having a Personal trainer


11/ Trekking/Hiking

Hiking sport with view

Walking, Trekking and hiking are not sports we will initially consider. But I recommend you to try it as it can be one of the great cardio sports on our list. Plus, it can be done at any age. Many people use apps to see what kind of hike can be done; you can see how much elevation or distance you’ll do. And I can promise you depending on the hill and the length, some hikes or treks can be cardio.

It acts on your muscle, is excellent for consolidating joints and working on your structure, and is finally great for making your heart pump. Plus, it’s good for the brain, and your mental health, to be surrounded by the beauty of nature. Finally, you can do it everywhere without (almost) anything: the desire to do it and a good pair of shoes.

TIP for this cardio sport: download an app for hiking and look at what is around to do. Start with a beginner one and have some fun. 


Some other cardio activities

woman skipping rope

There are other activities or sports to improve cardio. For instance, skipping rope is often used to improve your capacities for different sports.

Also, skiing is another sport that can improve your cardio, but it’s not necessarily an activity you can practice all year.

Rollerblading and gymnastics are also part of them.

And finally, going to the gym or doing some callisthenics or street workout to tone up your body will increase muscles and cardio and enable you to lose fats and weight. It depends on the intensity you put in.


Improve your cardio now

So what is the most challenging cardio sport that you tried? Which activities are best to improve your cardio? You should be able to answer this now. And if you haven’t tried one of these sports, use our tips and improve your cardio on the pitch.

Try to join a collective sport. Get some running shoes. A racquet, a ball and find a partner. Whatever your choice is, try to see what fits you the best, considering your likes, condition and capacity. Practising sport is so much beneficial for you and your life.



To summarize, you can practise many sports to improve your cardio.

These sports will burn calories, so therefore fats and weight.

They will enable you to reach a healthy lifestyle, whether it’s a team sport like Basketball and volleyball or if you will be alone like running or swimming.

In addition, we advise you to practise them with friends or to meet people for that. For instance, having a partner to play squash, tennis, or all other sports can be fantastic for working with someone else and staying motivated. Always have fun. Don’t go for too much sport straight. Pick up something and start slowly.

Are you ready to begin a physical activity?

It’s your turn now! Pick up one sport and enjoy it.

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