INSTRUMENTS CARDIO WORKOUT
LIST OF INDOOR CARDIO MACHINES
- Cycling Bicycle (Stationary Bike)
- Elliptical Cross Trainer
- Stepper/Step Mill
One of the most popular types of home exercise equipment is the treadmill, which provides a straightforward, efficient aerobic workout. For many, treadmills are a good choice to begin a new exercise routine because walking is well tolerated by most individuals regardless of fitness level and for most back conditions. As strength and endurance are developed, the treadmill can be used for jogging and/or for interval training.
The treadmill works using a wide conveyor belt and an electric motor so that you are able to run or walk indoors while staying in one place. The more expensive, heavy-duty treadmills tend to be motor-driven. The less expensive, simpler treadmills work by passively resists motion, thus moving only when you move.
The treadmill is an alternative to outdoor running. While some people may simply prefer the consistency and steady environment of running in doors compared to out door running, others choose the treadmill for many choose the treadmill for different reasons.
BENEFITS OF TREADMILL EXERCISE:
Musculoskeletal Strength and Tone
Walking regularly on a treadmill helps you maintain a healthy musculoskeletal system, which includes your muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons and joints. As a weight-bearing exercise, treadmill walking exerts a pulling force on your bones that helps prevent age-related bone loss. Walking also tones the muscles of your legs and buttocks. Adjusting the treadmill to an incline position improves the toning effect on your legs.
Moderate-intensity exercise, such as walking, keeps your joints flexible. This is particularly important if you have arthritis. Walking on a treadmill instead of pavement has the added benefit of reducing the impact on your ankle, knee and hip joints because the deck and belt cushion your strides. This shock-absorbing capacity allows you to walk with less stress on your joints than typically occurs with outdoor walking. Treadmill walking may also reduce the possibility of joint injuries caused by uneven surfaces that commonly occur outdoors.
Brisk treadmill walking can improve your cardiovascular fitness, strengthening your heart and potentially reducing your blood pressure. Regular walking also helps reduce your cholesterol level, lowering your risk for a heart attack and stroke. Some treadmill models are equipped with a heart rate monitor to help you optimize your cardiovascular conditioning.
Reduced Disease Risk
Regular treadmill walking can reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, degenerative arthritis, high blood pressure, depression, insomnia and breast and colon cancer. Walking on a treadmill or participating in another form of moderate-intensity exercise for at least 150 minutes per week reduces your risk of dying prematurely.
Walking on a treadmill or outdoors aids in weight management by burning excess calories and keeping your metabolic rate up. Many treadmills feature a calorie counter that estimates the number of calories burned during your workout. This information proves useful in diet planning, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
Walking on a treadmill instead of outdoors avoids some of the drawbacks that may keep you from exercising regularly. You do not have to worry about the weather or outdoor air quality, which is an important consideration if you have asthma or seasonal allergies. With a home treadmill, you can enjoy the freedom of exercising anytime you wish. If you’re a committed multitasker, being able to catch up on reading, current affairs or other chores while walking on the treadmill is a powerful draw.
CYCLING BICYCLE (STATIONARY BIKE)
One of the most popular pieces of home exercise equipment is the stationary bike. The bikes come in a variety of sizes, styles and price ranges, making them suitable for many different people. People who have a room dedicated to working out may choose a larger model that can’t be moved. Apartment dwellers may have limited space, so they can select one that is smaller and can be pushed into a corner when not in use.
Regular physical exercise helps you manage your weight, boosts your immune system and reduces your risk of developing chronic disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise weekly for adults. You can fulfill this recommendation and experience all the health benefits and more with a stationary bike. Beginners at working out can easily manage moderate activity on a stationary bike and people who are more in shape can easily increase the intensity to achieve a solid workout.
A half hour on a stationary bicycle helps up your daily calorie burn. Burning a greater number of daily calories means that you will have an easier time managing your weight. If you go at a moderate pace for 30 minutes and weigh 155 pounds, expect to burn about 260 calories. If you weigh more, or work at a higher intensity, you’ll burn even more.
Many types of aerobic activity, such as jogging or team sports, can be hard on your joints because of the impact involved. A stationary cycle enables you to get your heart pumping without putting undue stress on your joints. The Cleveland Clinic notes that a bike is especially good for people who are more than 50 pounds overweight because it reduces mechanical stress on the back, hips, knees and ankles — even when compared to walking. You can indulge in daily exercise with a lower risk of injury.
Riding a stationary bicycle counts as cardiovascular exercise. Regular cardio exercise helps lower high blood pressure, regulates blood sugar and may prevent heart attacks, especially if you’ve already suffered from one. According to the Mayo Clinic, regularly riding a stationary bike helps your heart become more efficient at pumping blood. It also increases the amount of good cholesterol while lowering the amount of bad cholesterol in your system to result in less plaque build-up in your arteries. The simple act of riding a stationary bicycle 30 minutes a day, five times per week may even extend your life.
Gradually work up to longer rides if 150 minutes per week is too much to start with. Although riding a stationary bicycle is an effective cardiovascular activity, consider cross training with another activity once or twice per week to challenge different muscles and prevent burn out. The elliptical trainer or swimming laps are examples of other low-impact activities that can also help you burn calories and improve heart health.
ELLIPTICAL CROSS TRAINER
When you step into a gym, you will likely see several lines of cardiovascular machines, including treadmills, exercise bikes, stationary bikes, rowers and stair climbers. Another popular piece of machinery is the elliptical machine. Not only are they available at most gyms, but they are also used in homes. To use an elliptical, stand on top of the pedals and grab the handles. Move your legs in a gliding back-and-forth motion. Other than their ease of use, these machines feature with an array of additional benefits.
Abdominal Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
When it comes to burning unwanted abdominal fat, aerobic exercise is key. While many previously thought resistance training was more effective for fat burning, a Duke University study published in the “American Journal of Physiology” found that aerobic exercise is the most effective means for burning the abdominal fat responsible for heart disease, diabetes and certain forms of cancer. Because the elliptical machine provides heart-healthy aerobic exercise, burns high amounts of calories in a short amount of time and is low impact, it is a good option for those whose goals are to lose weight and get rid of belly fat.
The elliptical machine is one of the most versatile pieces of gym equipment because it allows you to involve both your upper and lower body, move in either a forward or backward direction and adjust the speed, resistance and intensity of your workout. Because of this versatility, muscle groups targeted by elliptical movement include the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, biceps and triceps, as well as muscles of the chest and back. The elliptical machine is also effective for whittling your waistline, because you must rely on your core abdominal muscles to keep your body upright and your posture straight as you move through your stride. To further activate your core muscles, remove your hands from the poles while you move.
Weight-Bearing Exercise Without the Impact
Elliptical movement differs from the type of movements performed on a treadmill or stationary bike. Because the machine requires an upright position, you benefit from weight-bearing activity, but your feet remain planted on the pedals throughout the duration of your workout, which reduces joint impact. This makes using an elliptical machine an attractive option for those who suffer from joint pain. For people with back pain, using an elliptical machine is especially recommended because it strengthens the back and abdominal muscles without the jarring impact that often accompanies other weight-bearing activities, such as running. As with any exercise, however, you should always consult your physician before using an elliptical machine.
Making the Most of Your Elliptical Workout
If the elliptical machine is already part of your gym regimen and you are not getting the benefits you want, your posture could be to blame. If you are leaning against the poles as you move through your stride, you are not engaging your core muscles. This not only prevents you from achieving the abdominal workout you desire, but also lessens your overall calorie burn. For the most benefit, monitor your posture and make sure your back remains straight while you exercise.
However, elliptical machines might offer some advantages over treadmills. For example:
Using an elliptical machine can be less stressful on your knees, hips and back than is running on a treadmill. Walking on a treadmill, however, exerts about the same force as using an elliptical machine.
Unlike treadmills, some elliptical machines are equipped with movable upper body handles or poles, similar to ski poles. These allow you to exercise both your arms and your legs.
Most elliptical machines can be pedaled in reverse, which allows you to work your calf and hamstring muscles a bit more than does forward motion.
Exercising on an exercise stepper can give you a low-impact aerobic cardiovascular workout. It will also target the leg and gluteal (buttock) muscles, making your legs and buttocks more toned and shapely and keeping excess pounds off. The machine can also target the core muscles in your abdomen and lower back if you use the machine correctly.