A Variety of Treadmill Workouts
Running on a treadmill need not be the same thing over and over again. There are many kinds of treadmill workouts. This article discusses just a few of them.
The simplest treadmill workout is based on minimum duration and intensity levels. For example, if you can run comfortably at 3.0 mph for twenty minutes, then start with that and gradually increase your speed to what feels fast for you. Then increase the time from 20 minutes to 30 minutes. The danger of this approach is doing too much too soon, getting sore or injured and losing your enthusiasm and motivation.
Another category of workouts involves a heart rate monitor. Most treadmills come with “contact” monitors that are metal sensors built into the handles. However, for those who like to run with their arms swinging, a wireless monitor that straps around the chest is also available. As you change your speed and length of use, you can see how it affects your heart rate. Some heart rates are better for burning fat, some for building cardio capacity. Using the heart rate monitor to maintain the speed and duration that meets your goal is a discipline that adds an ability to track progress that makes workouts more interesting.
In the past few year, interval training has also become popular. Interval training combines low and high intensity intervals within the same workout. High intensity provides great benefits, but it is impossible to maintain this level of exertion for longer than about 30 seconds so different levels of effort are used during the same workout. For example, for a total workout of twenty minutes, two minutes would be at low intensity, followed by 30 seconds of high intensity. This cycle is the repeated throughout the twenty minute workout. The total time of high intensity exercise is the same as if you did it continuously, but it is much easier to do. Just be sure to perform a proper workout and cool down when taking part in an interval program. For many people, these workouts are the best because they not only burn fat, they also build cardiovascular health. Those unsure whether they can perform high intensity exercise should consult their physician before starting an program of high intensity exercise.
There is much more variety in workouts than many people realize. The best one is based on your own individual goals. The many built-in programs that come standard on many treadmills can provide further templates for customizing and developing your workouts.
By Robert Braun
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