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Take It Inside: 3 (Not So Boring) Treadmill Workouts

It’s that time of year when everyone make New Year Resolutions, Think Healthier, Get Physical and Take Their Fitness Regimens to the next level. The treadmill or should I say dreadmill? can be a real drag, but I find that using a plan to guide my workout keeps me on track, interested, and motivated, so the time flies by. Here are three (not so boring) treadmill workouts to get you going. So Here’s To A Happy New Year &  A Happy New You!

workout

1. Walk-Jog-Sprint
This is one of my go-to workouts when I’m dreading my time on the treadmill. It keeps me guessing for a solid 45 minutes, so it’s over before I know it! And I feel like I’ve really worked hard when I’m done. I’m almost always a sweaty mess at the end!

Walk at 4.0 at 7.5 incline for 4 minutes
Jog at 6.5 at 1.0 incline for 5 minutes
Repeat walk and jog twice
Jog at 6.5 at 2.0 incline for 3 minutes
Run at 7.0 at 1.0 incline for 3 minutes
Sprint at 8.0 at 1.0 incline for 1 minute
Jog at 6.0 at 1.0 incline for 1 minute
Sprint at 8.0 at 1.0 incline for 1 minute
Run at 7.0 at 1.0 incline for 1 minute
Jog at 6.5 at 1.0 incline for 3 minutes
Cool down (walk) for 5 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

2. Roll Play
Changing my speed every two minutes keeps my interest and motivation high while running on the treadmill. I covered a little over 5.5 miles in 60 minutes during this workout. There’s a walking interval from minutes 30 to 35, so this workout can easily be shortened to 35 minutes if needed.

Keep on reading for two more treadmill workouts.

Incline: 1.0

Minutes 0 to 5: 4.2 mph
5 to 7: 6.3 mph
7 to 9: 6.5 mph
9 to 11: 6.7 mph
11 to 13: 6.5 mph
13 to 15: 6.3 mph
15 to 20: 4.5 mph
20 to 22: 6.4 mph
22 to 24: 6.6 mph
24 to 26: 6.8 mph
26 to 28: 6.6 mph
28 to 30: 6.4 mph
30 to 35: 4.4 mph
35 to 37: 6.5 mph
37 to 39: 6.7 mph
39 to 41: 6.9 mph
41 to 43: 6.7 mph
43 to 45: 6.5 mph
45 to 50: 4.2 mph
50 to 51: 7.0 mph
51 to 52: 6.9 mph
52 to 53: 6.8 mph
53 to 54: 6.7 mph
54 to 55: 6.6 mph
55 to 60: 4.2 mph

Total time: 60 minutes

3. Three-Mile Challenge
When I’m short on time, I like to challenge myself to run three miles as fast as I can. I love a challenge, so trying to beat my previous mile gets me excited about my workout. If you’re not into running, a three-mile power-walking challenge also will work!

Warm up for 10 minutes (walk or slow jog)
Run one mile
Recovery: two-minute walk
Run second mile. Try to improve your time from the first mile.
Recovery: two-minute walk
Run third mile. Try to improve your time from the previous two miles.
5 minute cool down (walk or slow jog)

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3 Treadmill Workouts

Health.com: Fun Ways to Get Fit Without a Gym

Walk-Jog-Sprint
This is one of my go-to workouts when I’m dreading my time on the treadmill. It keeps me guessing for a solid 45 minutes, so it’s over before I know it! And I feel like I’ve really worked hard when I’m done. I’m almost always a sweaty mess at the end!

Walk at 4.0 at 7.5 incline for 4 minutes
Jog at 6.5 at 1.0 incline for 5 minutes
Repeat walk and jog twice
Jog at 6.5 at 2.0 incline for 3 minutes
Run at 7.0 at 1.0 incline for 3 minutes
Sprint at 8.0 at 1.0 incline for 1 minute
Jog at 6.0 at 1.0 incline for 1 minute
Sprint at 8.0 at 1.0 incline for 1 minute
Run at 7.0 at 1.0 incline for 1 minute
Jog at 6.5 at 1.0 incline for 3 minutes
Cool down (walk) for 5 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Health.com: Winter-Proof Your Run

Roll Play
Changing my speed every two minutes keeps my interest and motivation high while running on the treadmill. I covered a little over 5.5 miles in 60 minutes during this workout. There’s a walking interval from minutes 30 to 35, so this workout can easily be shortened to 35 minutes if needed.

Keep on reading for two more treadmill workouts.

Incline: 1.0

Minutes 0 to 5: 4.2 mph
5 to 7: 6.3 mph
7 to 9: 6.5 mph
9 to 11: 6.7 mph
11 to 13: 6.5 mph
13 to 15: 6.3 mph
15 to 20: 4.5 mph
20 to 22: 6.4 mph
22 to 24: 6.6 mph
24 to 26: 6.8 mph
26 to 28: 6.6 mph
28 to 30: 6.4 mph
30 to 35: 4.4 mph
35 to 37: 6.5 mph
37 to 39: 6.7 mph
39 to 41: 6.9 mph
41 to 43: 6.7 mph
43 to 45: 6.5 mph
45 to 50: 4.2 mph
50 to 51: 7.0 mph
51 to 52: 6.9 mph
52 to 53: 6.8 mph
53 to 54: 6.7 mph
54 to 55: 6.6 mph
55 to 60: 4.2 mph

Total time: 60 minutes

Health.com: The Fastest Fat Burners Ever

Three-Mile Challenge
When I’m short on time, I like to challenge myself to run three miles as fast as I can. I love a challenge, so trying to beat my previous mile gets me excited about my workout. If you’re not into running, a three-mile power-walking challenge also will work!

Warm up for 10 minutes (walk or slow jog)
Run one mile
Recovery: two-minute walk
Run second mile. Try to improve your time from the first mile.
Recovery: two-minute walk
Run third mile. Try to improve your time from the previous two miles.
5 minute cool down (walk or slow jog)

Walking For The Cause!

Easy Exercises For Couch Potatoes

Anyone can improve their heart health and enjoy other exercise benefits — even if you spend most of your time on the couch. Get tips to help fitness newbies start exercising.

Convincing yourself it’s time to start exercising should be easy — given that there are many benefits to exercising. But finding an exercise routine that works for you — and beginning it the right way — that can be difficult.

If you try to jump from no exercise to running a mile or two, you’ll likely wind up so sore and exhausted that you give up again. It’s perfectly fine to start slowly with easy exercises — you’ll still get exercise benefits and improve your heart health.

“Recognize that small changes over time can yield big results,” says personal trainer Alice Burron, MS, spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise and author ofFour Weeks to Fabulous. Starting out slowly also enables your body to get used to more physical activity and reduces the risk of injury, she adds.

To start making a difference in your heart health and get the most exercise benefits, put a plan in place and have specific goals in mind. “You will see that, with a gradual start and the right mindset, a fitness routine can significantly improve your cardiovascular health within three months,” says Jonathan H. Whiteson, MD, medical director of the cardiac and pulmonary wellness and rehabilitation program at the New York University Langone Medical Center.

Let’s Start Exercising: First Steps

You don’t need to push yourself to the limit on your first day. “Remind yourself that fitness starts with just doing more today than you did yesterday,” says Dr. Whiteson. “So for the couch potato, even spending 30 minutes doing something active instead of sitting down is the beginning of a fitness program.”

To figure out how much you’re currently moving, pick up an inexpensive pedometer. “Using a pedometer is one of the best ways to start increasing activity,” Burron says. Record your steps for about three days to get an average. Then use that number to set a goal, increasing your steps by 20 percent every day to eventually reach 10,000 steps per day.

“Walking is just one of many choices to get active,” says Burron. “However, it is often a good way to get back into fitness if you’ve strayed.” It’s easy exercise, convenient, and enjoyable.

Do Activities You Enjoy

Don’t force yourself to run every day if you hate running, and don’t spend hours cursing the elliptical machine or stationary bike at the gym if those workouts don’t appeal to you. “Finding an exercise that you enjoy is a part of a strategy to change lifestyle behavior and stay active throughout your life,” says Burron. “The type of exercise you choose truly affects your motivation to get moving.” Maybe it’s a yoga class some days and tennis or hiking with a buddy on others. Doing a variety of exercises will help keep your workouts fresh and keep you interested.

Easy Exercises at Home and Work

With a hectic work schedule followed by demands at home, it may be hard to squeeze in a trip to the gym. The good news is you may not have to go anywhere to get a good workout. “Any kind of movement can be considered activity and will burn calories,” says Burron.

Try these ways to incorporate easy exercises into your day:

  • Park in the back of the parking lot so that you have to walk a little farther to your destination. For an added workout, carry your groceries instead of pushing them in a cart.
  • Give your house a really good cleaning. To burn even more calories, sing and dance while you work.
  • When you have a choice, use stairs instead of an escalator or elevator. Try to climb stairs quickly instead of taking your time.
  • When feasible, walk instead of driving, taking a train, or riding the bus.
  • Getting antsy in your chair at work? Fidgeting is fine — and burns calories.
  • Use an exercise ball instead of a chair. It forces you to continually contract your core muscles in the abdomen and back to stay balanced.
  • Play with your kids — tag is a great game to get the heart pumping.
  • Laugh, jump up and down, dance, and just enjoy life.

Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore on your to-do list or something that you dread. If you make choices throughout each day to help you move a little more, your heart will reap the benefits.

© 2012 EverydayHealth.com; all rights reserved.

Walking Away Your Pounds

Lose Weight, Feel Better by Walking

If you’re looking to spring into shape and shed unwanted weight, get out your walking shoes. Here are 5 tips for getting started.

Walk The Walk

Walking is one of the easiest and least expensive forms of exercise — and as the days become milder, it’s a great way to clear the mind of winter cobwebs. All you need is a sturdy pair of walking shoes, comfortable clothing, and, of course, a hefty dose of motivation. A brisk 10-minute walk outside (or on a treadmill) will usually do the trick. Do this every day for a week, and then begin to add five minutes to your walk the following week. Continue to add five minutes to each workout until you are walking as long as desired. Remember, the goal is to walk fast enough to reach your target heart rate, yet slow enough that you can still maintain a conversation.

Don’t Skip The Strecthes

Incorporate a warm-up, cool-down and stretches into your fitness routine. Start your walk at a slow warm-up pace, and then stop to do your stretches. It is important to not begin stretching until you are 5-7 minutes into your walk. (Think of your body as a car engine and your blood as oil. You need to lubricate your joints before you start.) End your walk with a slower cool-down pace and stretch well. Stretching not only feels great, but it also helps to prevent injury.

Maintain Good Posture

Remember your mother’s advice about standing up straight? Using good posture allows you to breathe easier, be more comfortable and avoid back pain. Here are some good posture pointers:

–Do not arch your back or lean forward or backwards. This will put strain on the back muscles.

–Keep your eyes focused forward, not looking down, but rather 20 feet ahead.

–Reduce strain on your neck and back by keeping your chin parallel to the ground.

–Shrug once and let your shoulders fall and relax, with shoulders slightly back.

–Suck in your stomach.

–Tuck in your behind and rotate your hip forward slightly. This will keep you from arching your back.

Keep The Water Bottle Handy

Prevent dehydration by drinking lots of fluids before, during, and after a walk. Ideally, you should take a drink every 15 to 30 minutes. Remember that thirst is not an accurate indicator of how much fluid you have lost. If you wait until you are thirsty to replenish body fluids, you may already be dehydrated. Most people do not become thirsty until they have lost more than 2 per cent of their body weight. And if you only drink enough to quench your thirst, you may still be dehydrated.

Make It A Habit

Schedule your walk or exercise time as you would any other appointment. Once you make exercise a habit, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it! (Need some inspiration? Arrange to walk with a friend — or how about a Virtual fitness coach ? It also helps to vary your route whenever possible.)

How Much Exercise Is Enough?

There has been a slew of contradictory information on how much exercise is enough to reap the healthy benefits of exercise — and to facilitate and maintain weight loss. While most health experts agree that 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week reduces the risk for cardiovascular disease and other illnesses, when it comes to keeping off unwanted pounds, recommendations are often confusing and contradictory. A recent study from the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, for example, indicated that in addition to limiting calories, overweight and obese women may need to exercise as much as 55 minutes a day for five days per week to sustain a weight loss. This is at the high end of the Health Canada physical activity guide, which calls for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity per day most days of the week.

Easy Ways To Incorporate More Walking Into Your Life

– Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

– As much as possible, do your errands on foot. If you are driving, select the parking space furthest from the store.

– On your daily commute, get off the bus or streetcar a stop earlier and walk the extra distance.

– If taking the escalator, walk rather than remaining stationary.

– Take a walk during your lunch break. Not only will the physical activity burn calories, it will help your brain to perform better. (For more ways to incorporate more physical activity into your day-to-day routine see Want to get fit? No sweat.) Remember, if you’re new to walking, start off with slow, short sessions and build up your endurance gradually.

And as with any fitness regimen, if you have any health concerns or medical conditions, be sure to check with your physician before you begin.

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