Will Power Walking or Jogging Burn More Calories?

With the abundance of information at our fingertips these days it’s easy to be confused about walking vs. jogging when it comes to your overall health. Let’s weigh the pros and cons for each method and you can decide for yourself what is best for YOU. The bottom line is that you know yourself and your body best!

What Is Your Goal?

If your primary exercise goal is weight loss, running wins, hands down. Calorie burn is at the core of weight loss – you must have a caloric deficit to lose weight. Jogging or power walking is an efficient way to generate that deficit. Think of your body like a car motor and calories like gasoline. The larger or heavier the car the more gasoline will be used per mile. It is the same with our bodies. The larger you are, the more energy that’s required to run your engine which will cause you to burn more calories.

How Quickly Are You Moving?

The speed at which you walk or jog will also influence your calorie burn. With jogging you will cover longer distance in a shorter amount of time. It’s more efficient for calorie-burning than power walking. But what about other factors when it comes to jogging? Is this a new regimen? How do your joints feel? Cardio health comes along much quicker than our joint health. We could injur our joints if we push them past their capabilities. If you can’t jog long distances because your knees are pounding for days after, take a step back and try a 10 minute brisk walk warm-up followed by a minute of sprinting, then 5 minutes of brisk walking again. Alternate the two for 30-60 minutes and gradually increase your running time while decreasing your walking time over the following weeks of training. This will build the muscles in your legs and relieve pressure put on your knees while running.

To maximize your calorie-burning during power walking you can increase the efficiency by going up hill, carrying weights along with you, and pumping your arms while walking briskly. A smart watch is very helpful in tracking your workouts but if you don’t have one a great rule of thumb to follow is that you should be working hard enough that it would be difficult to carry a conversation with someone.

Whichever method you choose remember this: You’re moving your body and burning calories while increasing your cardiovascular and joint health. Consistency is key in our physical health! Be patient with yourself and always go a little more than you think you can. In the long run (no pun intended) your bones will thank you for it and your heart will continue to work as the amazing muscle machine it is.

Breathing Techniques To Boost Cardio Stamina

Proper breathing techniques during exercise can fully oxygenate the muscles and clear the body of built up carbon dioxide giving you an all around better performance. Too much CO2 will unnecessarily increase heart rate and lactic acid production and decrease endurance. Good breathing techniques have benefits like preventing dizziness and side cramping, increased fat burn and improved physical performance.

RUNNING

Maintaining correct running form and tempo can be challenging enough for runners but huffing and puffing your way along a run can make it so much harder on your body! There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for proper breathing technique while running, however, many runners find it most comfortable to breath a 2:2 inhale-to-exhale ratio. This means you inhale for two foot strikes and exhale for two foot strikes. Getting your breaths in sync with your running cadence will help maintain a lower heart rate while running faster and provide you the energy you need to the go strong all the way through the finish line.

Breathing through your mouth provides a path for the least resistance and is more efficient for oxygen intake. But some would argue that the nose helps to warm up the air entering your body while decreasing allergens and may also provide a calming effect on the body.

STRENGTH TRAINING

Running isn’t the only way to get in a good cardio work out. If you’ve ever had a full weight training session at the gym you know that you can maintain a good aerobic heart rate for the entire work out. Each training session can benefit greatly from proper training technique. Exhaling on the effort phase (or exertion) of a lift is the way to go. Contracting the breathing muscles will help brace the load during lifts and provide and maintain lumbar stability. A good example to use is the bench press. Exhale slowly and continually while pressing the bar then inhale at the top of the lift or on the return. Remember to keep the core muscles engaged to protect the spine.

HIGH-INTENSITY SPORTS AND EXERCISE

When mixing aerobic activity with a stop-go pattern and possibly some body contact there is a lot to consider in your breathing technique. When bracing for impact or a load take a deep breath and brace your core muscles. This helps balance and strength while also protecting the spine. Each breath should come from the diaphragm, not the chest. Your rib cage should expand in all directions when utilizing the diaphragm muscle not just top to bottom or back to front. When in a recovery or break period take deep calm breaths to more efficiently stabilize the heart rate and be ready to jump back into action.

Maximize your potential for success by listening to your lungs and trying some of these stabilizing and stamina building techniques whether running laps, bulking up at the gym or enduring through the fourth quarter of the game.

Putting NordicTrack’s Incline Trainer To The Test: Can You Really Burn 5x The Calories?

One of the big claims NordicTrack makes for their incline trainer treadmills is the ability to burn 5 times the calories at a 40% incline. This makes sense, as a workout is nothing more than putting stress on your body for positive results. However, if you follow the little asterisk next to the claim to the bottom of the page, you will find the small print saying the average user it was based off of was 200 lbs.

Well, here at Treadmill Reviews, we were curious about that claim and decided to test it out on the NordicTrack x11i. It’s on eof our favorite treadmills so we decided to test NordicTrack’s claim for ourselves!

Testing Parameters For The x11i

To make sure we tested this claim fairly, we came up with a few testing parameters. First, we walked at 2.5 mph and 0% incline. Wearing the chest strap heart rate monitor, we walked until the x11i told us we burned 100 calories. This test was performed without any previous strain or exercise previously done that day. Our starting heart rate, final heart rate, and duration were recorded and compared.

Then we tested the x11i by walking at 2.5 mph (no change in speed) at 40% incline wearing the chest strap heart rate monitor. We walked until the x11i told us we had burned 100 calories. Then we recorded our starting heart rate, final heart rate, and duration were recorded and compared. Again for this test, no exercise was previously performed this day.

We chose 100 calories as our testing metric because it is when you start to really feel the calorie-burn and those who are looking to burn more calories can easily assess which type of workout is more worth it. At a 40% incline, 100 burned calories was quickly obtained; however, it was very difficult.

Meet The Treadmill Testers

None of our testers were 200 lbs; on average, our testers were 140-170 lbs with varying levels of athleticism. We ranked the athleticism by:

  • Athletic – Works out 6-7 days a week, for 1-2 hours at a time
  • Average – Works out 4-5 days a week, for 60 minutes at a time
  • Casual – Works out 1-3 days a week, for 30 minutes at a time

As for the testers themselves, we had:

Braden – Athletic. He is an avid mountain biker, rock climber, canyoneer, and speed kite flyer. Braden spends his work week peddling through trails, in the office, and at the gym. But you’ll never see him in town on the weekend. He is always off conquering a new canyon or climbing a terrifying wall in the desert.

Paige – Average. With two kids and a dog in tow, Paige runs 3-4 times per week and enjoys lifting things that are heavy. You’ll see her in our treadmill review videos from time to time picking out the pros and cons for consumers.

Diana – Average. Diana runs regularly and has a number of races under her belt. She’s an avid fan of local hiking trails and enjoys a good amount of movement through out her week.

The 0% Incline Test

BRADEN PAIGE DIANA
  Athletic Average Average
STARTING HR 68 79 78
ENDING HR 93 98 99
INCLINE 0% 0% 0%
SPEED 2.5 mph 2.5 mph 2.5 mph
TIME
(100 Calories Burned)span
00:23:16 sp 00:23:10 sp 00:23:16

The 40% Incline Test

If you haven’t tried out what 40% incline feels like, you really should (after you finish reading this!). Every one of our testers was breathing hard and sweating from testing the x11i at 40% incline and none of them had even been on the machine for more than 4½ minutes before they had burned 100 calories.

BRADEN PAIGE DIANA
Athletic Average Average
STARTING HR 72 77 73
ENDING HR 168 174 163
INCLINE 40% 40% 40%
SPEED 2.5 mph 2.5 mph 2.5 mph
TIME
(100 Calories Burned) span
00:04:02 sp 00:04:14 sp 00:04:09

Compared Test Results

Theoretically, we should have burned 100 calories at a 40% incline in 1/5 the time it took us to burn 100 calories at 0% incline. Did that happen? Not exactly. But it didn’t rattle our faith in the x11i. Undoubtedly, walking 2.5 miles at a 40% incline was an immense struggle for each of our testers. For anyone looking to squeeze in a thorough (butt-kicking) workout in a minimal amount of time, you’re going to want a NordicTrack incline trainer.

What Does 100 Calories Look Like?

  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1 oz low-fat cheese
  • 13 large, steamed shrimp
  • 15 cashew halves
  • 21 preztels
  • 33 seedless grapes
  • 50 seedless raisins
  • 60 green beans
  • 100 raspberries

Each serving is 100 calories, with so many more ideas all over the internet. Just 4 minutes on a 40% incline trainer can burn any one of these snacks. Imagine what kind of calories you could burn by doing 4 minute spurts multiple times through out your day?

If you want to learn more about the NordicTrack x11i incline trainer, check out our full review and pump up your workouts with a higher calorie burn.

The Marathon Cross-Training Guide: Winter Exercises

If you think training for a marathon is tough (it is, and incredibly so), then add winter weather into the mix. Low temperatures, miserable conditions, and shorter days will make you think twice before you roll out of bed and lace up those running shoes. Luckily, there are techniques and approaches for the winter that can help you get the most out of these unforgiving months — so that the next time snow hits, you can hit right back.

1. Get outside when you can

Running outside is more unpredictable and thus more challenging than running indoors. The gradient changes without warning. The road or trail has uneven patches, which forces you to engage your core more often, making your body and mind more responsive and flexible to change. If you can get in some outdoor miles twice a week, that would be great for the winter months. Be sure that you have the right gear: a moisture-wicking base layer, a wind-resistant jacket, and wind-resistant pants are all essentials if you want to brave the elements and not freeze in the process. That said, this section has “when you can” in the title for a reason. If you find that you’re doing more unintentional figure skating than running, it’s time to move the workout inside. It’s not worth injuring yourself..

2. Train your core

Remember that it’s not all about cardio and legs. Your core helps keep you stable and maintain your posture. When you extrapolate it out over the course of the marathon, a strong core helps minimize running inefficiency and prevent injury when you get tired. A good core routine two or three times a week can drastically improve your overall performance. You can find an entire core routine here, and below are some of the highlights:

3. Own the treadmill

When the weather outside is frightful, the treadmill can be your best friend. When training on a treadmill, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Incline: Make sure to vary your incline, and remember that a 0 percent incline on a treadmill is similar to running slightly downhill on a real road due to a lack of wind resistance. Try to keep your incline at more than 1 percent or 2 percent at all times to better simulate a level-incline run.
  • Vary your speed: Similar to the point about varying your incline, do the same with your speed, too. Varying even just a few miles per hour here and there during a run can help simulate what it would be like in the unpredictable outdoors.
  • Set goals: You can also dial in your ideal speed and incline using this chart. Take a moment to calculate your target time and then keep track so you know whether you’re up to speed. Training is great, but having goals is the only way to stay truly accountable.
  • Interval training: Want to get a better workout in less time? Do a little interval training. For example, after warming up for 10 minutes, alternate 30-second sprints (6-8 mph) with 30-second recovery periods where you’re standing off the belt with a foot on either side rail. Do a series of 10, then do an easy recovery jog for 5-10 minutes before resuming another interval of sprint and recovery. Don’t forget to cool down after you’re done with another easy 5-10-minute jog.
  • Go long: At least once or twice a week, push your run to 60 or 90 minutes, sticking somewhere in the neighborhood of 65 – 75 percent of your max heart rate.
  • Go fast: In at least one of your training sessions during the week, push yourself to 90 percent of your max heart rate. Start out with a steady jog to warm up and then crank it up for 3-5 minutes at 90 percent. Then dial it back down to a steady jog

4. Use this time to re-evaluate

If you don’t have a pending marathon on the immediate horizon, use this time to do things that you wouldn’t normally do when you’re training for a marathon. Build strength, do some yoga, work on your posture, take a spin class — maybe even swim a little if you have access to an indoor pool. When you’re in the thick of a final training push before a marathon, you might not be thinking about any of these things, but when you’re putting on boots and scraping ice off your windshield, you tend to look at life a little differently. And who knows — you might stumble upon something that works for you that you can fold into your ongoing routine.

5. Step up your nutrition

There are a few things you need to focus on that might not come naturally in the winter. For starters, make sure you’re getting plenty of hydration. If you go for a long run outside, you may not be sweaty, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to rehydrate. Secondly, make sure that you’re getting enough vitamin D. If you aren’t able to get outdoors very often, take some vitamin D supplements. Lastly, if you’re taking water or food on your outdoor run, make sure it isn’t going to be affected by the low temperatures. You don’t want to go for a drink of water and get a block of ice instead. Try wearing a hydration vest under your jacket. When it comes to food, go for things like fruit leather or granola bars that will hold up in the elements.

6. Focus on posterior chain

Your legs are everything, so make sure you’re giving them the care and attention that they deserve. Instead of just focusing on running, spend time strengthening your legs, particularly your posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, calves). It will help you create stability while you run and help prevent against injuries. Focus on a few low-weight exercises, including these:

  • Squats
  • squats (2)

  • Single-leg deadlifts
  • Single leg deadlift

  • Lunges
  • lunges

  • Step-ups
  • Step Ups

  • Donkey kicks
  • Donkey Kicks

With the right mindset and an effective training regiment, winter is just another season on the calendar for a runner. By taking advantage of what bad weather offers you (a chance to focus on getting stronger and experimenting with new things), you can get the most out of your body even when you can’t get the most out of the road. By following a few of these key principles discussed above, you’ll be one step ahead (or perhaps several) once springtime rolls around.

6 Apps That Can Make Any Couch Potato A Treadmill Lover

Making the transition from the couch to the treadmill can be difficult for anyone. Of course, technology is no substitute for hard work and goals, but these five apps can certainly make the process more enjoyable:

Couch to 5k

C25K offers an easy plan for beginning runners and couch potatoes. Use the official C25K app to go from sitting on the couch to your very first 5K. This app provides a plan in an easy to understand and moderate way making it ideal for the newbie.

Pros: Very easy to use, lists actual nearby 5ks, and provides manual entry for treadmill use.

Strava

Strava is an app often used by professional runners that also allows users to upload data running on the treadmill. It is recommended for a professional runner, for a newbie who is feeling particularly competitive, or for a social butterfly who wants to connect with other runners.

Pros: It tracks runs in detail and allows runners to compete against each other and connect through the app. Also great on the treadmill.

iFit

iFit not only tracks your workouts indoors and outdoors and knows the difference between the two, but it has one of the best personal coach components compared to every other fitness app out there. What’s better is that it can be uploaded to just about any NordicTrack machine, making your fitness tracking that much more accurate and simple.

Pros: Machine compatible and tracking is very accurate.

Runkeeper

Runkeeper offers a simple platform with highly accurate run tracking. It integrates advanced training plans designed by professional fitness coaches making it ideal for professional runners. It also syncs runners’ music libraries with their run, seamlessly matching their rhythm.

Pros: Highly accurate distance and calorie tracking, advanced training plans, music syncing, and good compatibility. Stopwatch Mode is designed for treadmills.

Endomondo

Endomondo is sleek. Plus it manages over 40 fitness activities, one of those being running. It’s recommended for beginners looking for a no-nonsense running app. Users can also send real-time audio pep talks from friends and coaches, making it great for the social runner.

Pros: Endomondo highlights a clutter-free, easy-to-use interface and the ability to receive real-time pep talks from friends. It also has multiple options for syncing with treadmills.

RockMyRun

RockMyRun adds the rock to your run with curated jams from some of the most talented DJ’s like Zedd, Afrojack, and David Guetta. It’s special Body Driven Music feature plays songs that match your running rhythm. This app is perfect for those runners that are sick of skipping tracks. Additionally, research shows that the right music can improve performance.

Pros: RockMyRun increases motivation, plus it integrates with other popular run tracking apps.

Use these apps to meet your goal, whether it be at the gym or at home.

Sources:

https://www.nordictrack.com/treadmills

http://www.rockmyrun.com/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/psychology-workout-music/

https://www.nordictrack.com/learn/5-reasons-for-owning-a-home-gym/

https://www.nordictrack.com/ifit?c3api=2898,188663691530,_cat%3Anordictrack.com&gclid=CMHOptKB_NICFQ-dfgod-AwCyQ

http://www.c25kfree.com/

https://www.treadmillreviews.com/nordictrack-commercial-1750-treadmill-review/

The Anatomy Of The Power-Walk, Maximizing Form & Function

Many people have realized the benefits of power walking.Though less intense than running, it is easier on joints, helps build endurance, and is the perfect solution for people who experience asthma or other ailments associated with exercise. But how do you know you are getting the very best results possible from your efforts?

It doesn’t take a personal trainer to get you started, and you don’t need any fancy equipment. There are a few simple ways you can maximize your calorie burn and improve the health benefits through monitoring your form and function.

Pick Up The Speed

If you really want to increase your calorie burn you need to get your heartbeat thrumming. The best way to do that is by picking up your speed; going faster, even a little bit, will make your body work harder.

A fitness watch can give you your average speed, but if you don’t have one it isn’t a problem. Just make sure you are still able to speak, albeit with a little difficulty, and you are maintaining a good pace.

Pump Those Arms

In addition to walking faster you can move your body more. Your arms should never be rigidly at your side when you power walk because it not only takes away a chance to increase heart rate, but it could cause strain in the back and shoulders that lead to discomfort or injury.

Try swinging them at a 90 degree angle while you walk, pumping back and forth in time with your steps.

Add In Weights

Have you seen those tiny hand weights that only weigh around two pounds? They are pretty useless for most workouts but not if you are wanting to add some resistance to a walk. These babies are great because you can either hold them in your hands, or you can pop them into a bag to settle on your body.

Just two 2-lb weights can add a new dimension to your workout that burns up to 20% more calories.

Try Some Hills

Really want to take things to the next level? Then try an uphill power walk! It will burn up to five times more calories when you walk on an incline, whether outside or on a treadmill, while helping you work muscles that aren’t used during a normal walk. The combination of speed plus incline is one of the best ways you can get the most out of every walk.

Small Steps To Replace Simple Sugars In Your Diet

It can be daunting to find most of your favorite foods are packed full of simple sugars. If you’re not ready to dump out all the sugar in your life, we understand.

But at the same time, you don’t want to waste the time you took finding a treadmill and then sweating buckets only not to lose weight, just because you ate the wrong things. Don’t worry, we’ve got a list of some starter steps you can take to phase some of the simple sugars out of your life.

1. Limit Preserved Food

Sugar is a great preservative, which means you need to limit the amount of preserved food you’re consuming.

One example of this would be frozen dinners. They’re a great time-saver but not so great on the nutrition side. It is recommend that men eat no more than 35 grams of added sugar a day and women only 25 grams in a day. So if you try to save some time with a “healthy” frozen meal like the Sesame Chicken from Lean Cuisine, you’re getting 14 grams of sugar in one tiny meal!

Look closely at labels when you grab any canned, frozen, pre-made mix and check how many grams of sugar it has per serving. If it makes up more than half your daily total, put the item back on the shelf and back away.

2. Stop Drinking Your Sugar

You already know that tasty alcoholic cocktails usually have a ton of sugar so you’ve already cut them, but did you suspect any other drinks that are supposedly “good for you”?

Gatorade is one such culprit. In their Gatorade Perform Cool Blue is a whopping 35 grams of sugar per 591 mL bottle. Pure Leaf is another example of a drink that is generally considered healthy, with their lemon tea containing 41 grams of sugar per 547 mL bottle.

But don’t worry, water isn’t your only option. There are other drinks with low-to-no sugar out there, all you have to do is give that label a closer look. Another option is to start creating your own smoothies and juices. You can control what is added, and it is easy to add flavoring like lemon or vanilla extract to your taste.

3. Spice Food Up

What is your morning oatmeal without some kind of sugar? Most of us would say it would be a real struggle to eat it plain. However, just because you aren’t adding brown sugar and honey to it doesn’t mean it has to be a daily morning let down. Add cinnamon and some nutmeg and see if that doesn’t improve your day.

Here are some other things you can try as healthy substitutes.

Simple Sugar Sugar Alternative
Syrup Fresh fruit
Coffee creamer Almond/Coconut milk
Milk chocolate Dark chocolate
Sugar (for tea) Lemon juice


By starting with these small steps, it is possible to begin phasing sugar out of your life. So start simple, watch those added sugars and try to find new ways to enjoy your old foods.

Building Cardio Endurance On Your Home Treadmill

What is more important than athletic skill? Endurance, which is something that anyone can build no matter what level they are beginning at. Stamina is an important part of improving overall ability, as well as increasing results from regular physical activity. But how do you build it when you have nothing but a treadmill at home?

Don’t worry, it is pretty simple. Just try these four helpful cardio building tips.

Try HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training

High-intensity interval training has been lauded for years as a way to gain greater aerobic returns using shorter activity bursts. For those who have difficulty maintaining a higher heart or respiratory rate, it also provides a good baseline for building up over time to longer stretches of exercise.

In addition to these benefits, researchers are also seeing a positive impact on mitochondria development and oxygen production/distribution (also known as your VO2max).

To begin HIIT training on your treadmill, simply start off using the same process you would for developing a running routine. However, with a small adjustment: fast-walk three minutes, run at the highest speed you can maintain for one minute, run at a lower intensity for one minute (to bring your heart rate down), then repeat three times. As you build endurance you can increase the number of burst cycles until you reach your desired workout length.

Try Polarized Training

Similar to HIIT, polarized training is about varying your workout by intensity for shorter blocks of time. However, polarized training has fewer bursts and longer stretches, based on intensity only. Here is how it works:

  • 80% of workout – Do it at a very easy but sustained pace
  • 20% of workout – Do it at a very intense but sustained pace

So if you were to do a 60 minute workout every day, you would be doing 48 minutes of that workout without straining yourself, and 12 minutes really pushing yourself. The trick is to make the easy part challenging enough to keep your heart rate up while not exhausting yourself completely. But you should be making that 20% as intense as possible, reaching your target max and maintaining it through the duration.

Try High Incline Training

If the above methods are a little much for you at the start of your cardio training, you can go a simpler route. Simply ramp up your incline on the treadmill so you are walking or running uphill. Not only does this help you to build endurance but it works various muscles that aren’t targeted by a flat surface, and increases the amount of calorie burn attained in each workout by as much as five times the average.

Try a Little Every Day

The most important tip is just to keep going every day. Even if you are just increasing your speed by a fraction with each workout, you are making progress over time. Little changes and improvements add up, and you will be amazed by where you are in just a few months time.

Making 10k Steps A Day Happen On Your Treadmill

We have all heard the conventional wisdom about getting 10,000 steps per day of walking to maintain a healthy body inside and out. Ideally, we would all be going far above that, but in a world of sedentary desk jobs and long commutes, it just isn’t always easy. For some of us, such as busy moms, it may even seem impossible.

The truth is that 10,000 steps is a rough estimate that studies have shown to be the average of active individuals. Low active is 7500+, and highly active is 12,000+. But though it is a rough estimate, it is still a great ballpark to help you reach your goals and a good way to make sure you are getting the exercise you need.

Does that mean it has to be done outside? No, it doesn’t.

Treadmills and Your Daily Steps

In the past, most pedometers didn’t count treadmill steps on the device, as it required forward movement for the metrics inside the device to track the movement. New devices are fortunately much better about this, using a more delicate internal mechanism that tracks steps even when they are done in one spot.

There are also many programs, such as the health apps on smartphones or fitness watches, that allow you to select treadmill workouts. It then calculates steps based on your average stride and heart rate, giving you a fairly accurate estimation of the steps involved in your workouts. Some treadmills even have a step feature.

This doesn’t just work on treadmills. Many people have started using programs like “Walk Away The Pounds”, walking in place in their homes. These steps count, though with somewhat less efficiency than if you were moving forward.

Getting More From Your Walking

You don’t have to worry about getting less from you walking when it is on a treadmill, even if they don’t tend to burn as much as if you were walking on a street. The trick is to increase your heartrate, and there are several ways to do that.

First, you can try increasing your speed. Power-walking (or walking at a brisk pace) has been found to have many health benefits, and to burn more calories than walking at a slower pace. So don’t be afraid to pump up the speed to really give yourself a good workout.

Second, you can try HIIT. This is a great way to build endurance and get the heart healthiest workout available. Start by walking for three minutes, then running or brisk walking for one, repeating the pattern until the end of your workout. Not only is this great for your health, but it is an easy way to increase your steps in less time.

Third, you can ramp up your incline. An incline of 40% (found in NordicTrack’s incline trainers) can increase your calorie burn by an astonishing five times the average. The higher the incline the higher that burn differential. That means you could be making your workouts five times or more effective every time you get on. It may not increase the speed of your steps, but it gives you a lot more for the time you put in.

Finding The Right Treadmill For You

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a treadmill. There are so many options, price ranges and features these days that you could customize it to fit your needs exactly without much trouble. Here is where to start:

  • Check Reviews – There is no better way to know how good a treadmill is than by the people who have bought it before you. Customers tend to be very vocal, whether that is in the positive or the negative. Look for treadmills that have been highly reviewed, and by a fair number of people. That will give you a good idea of how well it was received. You may also want to check for reviews from people who have had the treadmill for more than six months.
  • Look Over Feature Options – There are many features offered with modern treadmills. As mentioned before, some have pedometers built in, tracking each step as your foot strikes the belt. Others have heart rate monitors, either on the handles or comes with a chest strap, that can tell you how many calories you are burning, and/or help you remain in a target zone to improve your results based on your needs (cardio, fat burning, ect). Many will have smartphone app connections, built in internet capable screens, and other technological advances that make it better than what you would find in any gym. Then there are speed settings, storage options, incline rates and more.
  • Compare Prices – There is no singular price model for a treadmill. They run the gamut, from manuals that cost as little as $50, to high-end technologically advanced models that cost up to $10,000. You can find anything in between, often within your needed budget. Many sellers also provide payment plans and financing, so you can find the treadmill of your dreams.

Tips For Sneaking Those Steps In, Whatever Your Schedule

Now that you know the benefits of a treadmill, and how to get one, let’s look at how you can find the time to use it. We all have been guilty of turning that exercise equipment we swear we are going to use into clothing hangers and dust collectors. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The busiest person can find time to get in their 10,000 daily steps. Here are some ways to be creative about it!

  • Break it into chunks – Let’s say you take the dog out for a walk in the morning, walk around the office building on each break, get on the treadmill after dinner for half an hour, then take the dog out at night. That breaks your walking into manageable chunks that will get you to 10k in no time.
  • Combine it with other tasks – That book you have been wanting to read? Why not get the audio book and listen to it while you walk. Or make those phone calls you have to get through. Or make a grocery list, plan a party, or listen to a recorded lecture for that midterm.
  • Just do it! – You are busy, but you also need to take care of yourself. Everyone should have a little me-time each day. Failing to do so can increase stress, impact sleep, cause depression, and even spark health problems. Give yourself some time to walk.

How Inducing Real Stress on Your Body Reaps Positive Benefits

No pain, no gain. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. These may be old cliches, but when it comes to exercise, there is truth to both of them. While experts would urge you to stop working out if you feel pain, nausea, or light-headed, your muscles and cardiovascular system need to be put under some level of stress in order to get stronger.

The Benefits of an Intense Workout

If you are out of shape or have health challenges, you might feel like resigning yourself to very modest activity — or none at all. Recent studies, however, show that high-intensity workouts may have even more benefits than regular, moderate aerobic activity — even for people with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, or pulmonary disease.

Studies suggest that a shorter, more intense workout is safe for most people, but offers more disease-preventing or disease-reversing benefits. One form of short, high-intensity workout is referred to as high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. This consists of short bursts of very intense effort, alternated with periods of rest. This type of workout is gaining in popularity as more and more people discover the benefits to their bodies and their schedules. These workouts can be done with body weight exercises, outdoors, or on equipment like a treadmill.

Work = Strength

Robust physical exercise, done regularly, makes your heart, lungs, and muscles stronger. When your muscles endure that effort, their natural response is tiny “tears.” While this might not sound like a good thing on the surface, your body goes to work on repairing those overloaded muscles, and that’s what builds them and makes them stronger.

Let’s not forget; your heart is a muscle. To strengthen it, you must be willing to make it work harder. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (for moderately intense levels) on most days of the week. Those with active lifestyles have a 45% lower risk of heart disease. So you can see, making your heart work — with a workout — makes it stronger. The stress of regular exercise also keeps arteries healthy and offers a 35% lower risk of high blood pressure.

Like your biceps or abdominal muscles, if your heart and lungs are allowed to take it easy all the time, they can’t build strength. When you put some stress on your lungs with exercise, you breathe harder and take in more oxygen. This provides energy, reduces carbon dioxide in the body, and can increase your lung capacity.

Speaking of Stress…

Exercise has been shown to reduce the amount of mental and emotional stress in those who do it regularly. If your brain is damaged by stressful events, exercise can actually revers that damage. Stressed-out people can become more forgetful, for example. Regular exericse can help reverse that. And people report better moods, memory, and energy after a workout, along with lower tension and anxiety.

If you want to live longer and healthier, it’s important to allow your body to experience the temporary stress of regular exercise. Your efforts will be rewarded with stronger muscles, a more powerful heart and lungs, and a clearer mind.

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