Trainerkristinw's Blog

Elpiticals, Treadmills, and Stairs, OH MY!

Posted on: November 10, 2010

Three days a week, I instruct a boot camp which mostly consists of strength training.

On the off days, I tell my campers to try to do some sort of cardio, even if it’s only 20 minutes. The trick with cardio is not the amount of time, it’s all about the intensity. If you were to put your effort on a scale of one to ten, always stick to an eight or nine when pushing your hardest.

That said, you should think of your cardio in the form of a hill.

Let’s say you want to use the treadmill, you can alternate between walking and running, or running and running hills (if you’re advanced). The point is that you’re constantly raising and lowering your heart rate. This puts your body into EPOC (excess post exercise consumption) which essentially keeps your body burning calories long after you leave the gym.

So this if your challenge, Sacramento! Go outside or to your local gym and try to give me an 8 or 9! Again, it’s not about endless walking for 2 hours on the treadmill, it’s all about intervals. Here are some easy workouts for your cardio days:

  • Walking/Running: Warm up for about 3-5 minutes. Run for one minute, walk one minute. Do this for 20 minutes. Cool down for 3-5 minutes. Note: if you’re a beginner, alternate walking at a slower pace and walking faster, a pace that makes you out of breath. For those more advanced, alternate running and sprinting. Also, this is something you can do outside anywhere, just find a nice park or neighborhood that will provide a nice calming environment.
  • Elliptical: This machine has a settling for intervals which will raise and lower the level of intensity for you. You may choose this setting or pick the manual settling and chose the levels yourself. Do this for 20 minutes after your warm up and build up to 45 minutes.
  • Stairs: This along with walking or running can be done either at the gym or anywhere your can find stairs (local school, parking lot).  If using the machine, again you can use the machine’s program for intervals. If choosing not to, alternate between walking and running the stairs.

I want you to really take this challenge and have fun with it. Load some fun songs on your ipod, grab a friend, and get moving! Remember, the harder you work the more benefits you’re receiving. You can burn more calories in half the time of going at a steady pace with your cardio.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s all about intensity!

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