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Rev Up Your Cardio Routine

Q and A with a fitness coach.

Dear Fitness Coach,

I know cardio is good for your heart and lungs, and I definitely need my daily fix of beta-endorphins.... But the tedium of running on the treadmill at the gym is getting to me and, to make matters worse, I am not seeing the same results I did when I first started a couple of months ago. What can I do to keep it interesting and effective?

Runnin’ on almost empty

Dear Runnin’,

Any exercise you do, whether it’s cardio or resistance training, must be switched out every six weeks or so to keep your body guessing. Your body has adapted to your current running routine and has learned to perform it using less effort and thus less calories. You need to introduce new cardio routines not only to keep your body guessing and your heart rate up but also to keep your sanity intact. They do not call it the “dreadmill” for nothing!

you mentioned that you do your running in the gym. Look around: I am sure there are at least a few different types of cardio equipment that you can use. Here are some examples of challenging ways to ramp up the cardio:

Upright Bike: Spin it! 

Adjust the bike’s workout setting to Interval Training. This routine will lead you through periods of high and low activity with varying levels of resistance. Then get into a “spinning” position: butt off the seat, arms braced on the handles, weight forward.

Elliptical: Back pedal!
Step onto an elliptical machine and stand with back straight, arms gripping both handles and feet firmly planted in footholds. Adjust the machine’s workout setting to Interval Training. This routine will lead you through periods of high and low activity with varying levels of resistance. Halfway through the routine, change directions by pedaling backward.

Treadmill: Cardio box!

Adjust the machine's workout setting to Interval Training. This routine will lead you through periods of high and low activity with varying levels of resistance.With abs tight, hold your fists in front of you at chin level or slightly below. Your arms should be bent about 90 degrees and held close to your body. Jab forward quickly with one hand, rotating your wrist so that your knuckles face away from your body when your arm is fully extended. Quickly recover by pulling back into the starting position. Alternate hands in a steady rhythm.

Got a question for the fitness coach? E-mail her at eross@goldsgym.net.


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