Cardio is a word that many people hate to hear. People may think of heavy breathing, fatigued muscles, and sore
joints and dread getting on the treadmill. However, there are many ways you can beat the treadmill, learn to use cardio equipment to your advantage and get yourself to tolerate getting in your daily cardiovascular training.

Take Small Steps (literally)

Cardio training doesn’t have to be brutal and you don’t have to leave the treadmill feeling completely exhausted each time. If you’re just getting started on a training regime, walking is a great place to start for all age groups. Walking has significantly less impact on the joints as compared to running or a light jog. If you find that walking is too easy and you aren’t getting the same benefit as jogging, you can put the treadmill on an incline. The incline feature of the treadmill is one of the most underutilized features by many people.

Getting Started

When you get on the treadmill, set it to a walking pace you are comfortable at. Instead of increasing the speed of the treadmill, increase the incline. Each passing minute, increase the incline of the treadmill by a half percentage. You want your breathing to be at a ‘conversational pace,’ and still able to talk to the person next to you if you needed to. Once the incline increases to the point where you feel you can only get a couple words out, that’s when you need to reduce the percentage of the incline. Note: don’t hold onto the treadmill as the incline increases. Holding onto the treadmill makes the workout easier, defeating the purpose of increasing the incline.

Add Variety!

Don’t be a slave to only one piece of cardio equipment. It is important to keep your training variable so you don’t get bored of doing the same thing every day. Try mixing up cardio training by adding an elliptical machine or a stationary bike. Ellipticals and bikes have even less impact on the joints compared to walking. They can be great alternatives if you are not ready to fully commit to a walking regime. Adding variety to your cardio regime is a great way to use cardio equipment to your advantage.

Weekly Guidelines

Thirty minutes of moderate paced activity five days a week is the recommendation to be classified as an ‘active person’ according to The American College of Sport Medicine. Busy people can break up those thirty minutes throughout the day. Try ten minutes in the morning, ten minutes at your lunch break, and ten minutes when you walk the dog.  This will help you get your daily exercise while being flexible to your schedule.

What if you don’t have five days a week to exercise? No problem, you can perform 20 minutes of vigorous activity three days a week. What constitutes vigorous activity? Faster paced cardio that gets you breathing above a comfortable conversation pace. This could include walking on the treadmill at a faster than usual pace, or doing interval work with battle ropes or medicine balls. Performing bouts of high intensity exercise that adds up to 20 minutes three days a week will get you to your cardio goal. This form of training can save you time by having a faster more efficient workout!

Schedule a Training Session!

If you’re unfamiliar on how to perform high intensity training with battle ropes or medicine balls you can schedule a free one on one training session with a certified personal trainer at Fit Focus Laconia. The free workout will give you an idea on how to do high intensity training and how to incorporate new methods into your workout regime at the very least.

To schedule your free session, just go to the front desk and pick a time that works for you!

Warren Bartlett. NSCA CSCS. Personal trainer at Fit Focus Laconia