Are you looking to do sports to improve your cardio?

You might want to practice some sport to feel healthier. Or maybe you’re looking to burn fats with cardio? Note that’s actually good because, with cardio, you will burn fats and lose some weight at the same time. But now, you can ask yourself how to improve your cardio?

The answer is simple, all sports are able to do it, but some more than others.

So, in this Pret-a-Train article, you’ll read about what are the best sports or activities that can improve your cardio to feel better with yourself.

To note: Sport is great to improve your cardio and your overall health. Also, it can help you to meet people and make some friends.

10 best sports to improve cardio


1) Running

First of all, running is one of the best sports to improve cardio and on top of that, it can be easy to do.

Indeed, it’s not complicated to run. You just have to find a park, or you can also practice it in the street. Plus, for this sport, you don’t need a gym or any sports facilities. You’ll only need a pair of sneakers, that’s it!

In addition, to improve your cardio, running works the abdominal packs, the back, and the lower body in general.

Finally, you just need to have the motivation at the beginning and to keep it to stay motivated to achieve your goals.

Good to know: if you run over 10km/h, it’s one of the activities that will burn most of your calories. Just start slowly and enjoy it.

TIP: Find a good pair of running shoes to protect your body from injuries or pains. To stay motivated or to just have the motivation, you can find a buddy to run with you.


Read –> 8 different exercises to lose weight by Newairz


2) Practising Martial Arts

When you practice some martial arts like MMA, Judo, Karate.., you will work all your body. They strengthen your muscles, hone your balance and improve your cardio at the same time.

If you can hold a full one-hour session, you will burn a lot of calories and therefore improve your cardio.

TIP: If you have a friend who is practicing some martial arts, ask if it’s possible to try with him. You will see how it will make your work and how you will be out of breath from the first session.

sports to improve cardio arts


3) Swimming

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

So, therefore, it is one of the best sports to improve cardio.

A good way to improve cardio with this activity is to keep swimming as long as possible, and 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 practicing sports.

TIP: If you like swimming, even if you just do it sometimes, take a pass that will allow you to have 10 entries. This system exists practically in all swimming pools and it will motivate you to go more often.



4) Playing Racket Sports

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

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

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

TIP: If there is a racket sport you like and one of your friends as well, try to practice it with him. After your first session, you can take the habit of always plays with this friend.


5) Rowing

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

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

Another benefit is that rowing will sculpt your arms and back, and it will boost your metabolism in the meantime.

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



6) Playing Basketball

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

Furthermore, it is strengthening all your body, develop stronger bones and this is great to get to better health as well.

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

TIP: Just get a ball, 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.



7) Cycling

This sport works the legs and it can be effective for burning fats and calories if you would step on those pedals hard.

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

It could also be beneficial for you to ride uphill to get to a higher intensity.

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

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

cycling to improve cardio


8) Playing Beach Volleyball

Volleyball is also one of the healthiest sport, so one which will improve your cardio as well.

When you’re playing beach volleyball, you’re under the sun and you lose even more calories. Moreover, it’s a low-impact sport because of the sand.

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

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

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


9) Boxing

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

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

As you can notice all the boxing people are very shredded, as we can say. 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: Go to any boxing club and have a try to see if it’s a sport which is for you. Another option will be to take a personal trainer to do some pad works. This can give you a good boost and good confidence to start boxing then.

Sport to improve your cardio boxing



10/ Trekking/Hiking

Walking, Trekking and hiking are not sports that we are going to think about at first. But I really 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 are using 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 depends on the elevation and the distance, some hikes or treks can be really cardio.

It acts on your muscle, is great to consolidate joints and work on your structure, and is finally great to make your heart pumping. 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 and a good pair of shoes.

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

Hiking great cardio sports



Some other activities

It exists other activities or sports to improve cardio. For instance, skipping rope is often used to improve your capacities for other sports.

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

Rollerblading, gymnastics are also part of them.

And finally, go to the gym to tone up your body will increase muscles, cardio and will enable you to lose fats and weight as well. It depends on the intensity you put in.



To sum up, there are many different sports you can practice to improve your cardio.

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

They will enable you to reach a healthy lifestyle whatever it is: if it’s a team sport like basketball and volleyball or if you will be alone like running or swimming.

In addition, we really advise you to practice them with friends or to meet people for that. For instance, to have a partner to play squash, tennis, or all other sports because it can be cool to work with someone else and to stay motivated as well. Always have fun. Don’t go for too much sport straight, just 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.


Further reading:

The Top Mental Benefits of Sports

5 reasons to do some sport

Best Sports for overall workout


Categories: HealthSport

Pret a train

Pret-a-Train is a team of personal trainers, expert in fitness. We deliver in person and online personal training and we also share some tips and advice to make you healthier and fitter. Be happy, be healthy.


Romain · 25th July 2021 at 5:36 pm

This is a great concise list of sport to improve cardio. Also with some tips which can be useful. Let’s start now and be healthy!

    Charlène · 25th July 2021 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks for all these advice. This article brought me some good tips and ideas for my practise.

Etienne · 25th July 2021 at 5:56 pm

That’s a good article that goes through all the different ways to work on your cardio. My favourite one is to play tennis

Pierro · 26th July 2021 at 8:36 am

What a great article ! Thank you for the knowledge !

John Chipperfield · 26th July 2021 at 12:46 pm

Great article thanks, personally I love boulder climbing!

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