There are cardio exercises you could do at home without any type of fitness equipment, but what is really the best cardio machine?
A simple Google search will point you in the right direction, and give you plenty of ideas.
There are also various types of equipment that will give you a great workout – an exercise bike, for example, is a low-cost piece of equipment that will give you a good workout, and many people find using an exercise bike to be quite enjoyable.
For the best cardio, toning, and fat-burning benefits, though, nothing beats a good treadmill.
The Best Cardio Workout – Walking and Running
Walking or running on a treadmill is fantastic exercise – the problem is that sometimes it can become repetitive and uninteresting.
When this happens, people tend to want to skip their workout. Also, if a workout isn’t done properly, it can result in discomfort or even injury.
The solution, of course, is to keep it safe, and also to find ways to make a cardio workout more interesting.
Here are some suggestions.
#1 Warm Up, Cool Down
With any workout, you need to remember that warming up and cooling down are important (AHA).
When you warm up, your muscles loosen up and become prepared for a good workout. Begin with a comfortable speed, and then increase it by one every couple of minutes for about ten minutes.
This gets you up to base speed.
Once you’ve finished your workout, cool down by reversing the process – decrease your speed by one every couple of minutes for five or ten minutes.
If you warm up before working out, and cool down afterward, you’ll reduce your risk of injury or cramping.
#2 Add Intervals
Adding intervals means that you vary your incline, your speed, or both (MAYO).
If you’re always changing the intensity of the workout, you’re motivating your heart to work harder. Adding intervals also helps you to target different groups of muscles.
Once you’ve reached base speed, try a two-minute sprint.
Then go back to two minutes at base speed.
Increasing the incline gives a great challenge.
#3 Add Lunges
Although your treadmill is the best cardio machine for walking and running, you don’t have to limit yourself.
You can add lunges to your routine.
This helps add toning to your cardio routine.
You’ll want to make sure the treadmill speed is set fairly low, so that you can do the lunge correctly – there’s not much point in doing it at all if your technique is off.
#4 Track Your Progress
It’s easy to track your speed, time, distance and so on with most treadmills.
When you know how you’re doing, you can identify the areas where you should try to improve. It’s helpful to have a set speed for when you’re warming up – this sets you up for the base pace. Once the base pace becomes easier, try to go faster. Keep track of your time and mileage, too.
This motivates you to increase your mileage.
#5 Make Yourself a Playlist
Almost any type of exercise goes better with music.
It keeps you moving, keeps you motivated and energized. You might make separate playlists for long and short workouts.
Choose songs with a great beat, ones that you really want to move to.
Treadmills today have so many different features, it’s easy to spice up your routine.
The better treadmills, for example the SOLE line of products, offer all kinds of different features that help you to get the most out of what’s known to be the best cardio workout going. Use the digital readout to monitor your time, speed, distance, etc. Record and monitor your progress. Switch up your routine with different inclines. You can even use the built-in speakers to listen to your iPod or MP3 player while working out, and you’ll work out in comfort thanks to the built-in cooling fans.
Working out on the treadmill couldn’t be better for your cardio health, and couldn’t be easier or more pleasant with the features available.
Get the reviews, news and rants on treadmills and cardio here.