If fitness is your goal, you'll need to do both aerobic exercise and strength training. One of the best options for indoor aerobic exercise is the treadmill. On a treadmill you can not only do a variety of exercises, but you can torch extra calories and fat with an intense workout. For a well-rounded workout, consider adding strength training exercises during, before or after your treadmill workout.
The payback for including aerobic exercises such as jogging or walking on a treadmill includes a stronger heart, more calories burned during the workout and at rest, potential weight loss, and increased energy and muscle endurance. Strength training can also strengthen your heart, and increase your muscle strength and endurance, enhancing your shape and making you more fit. So dust off the treadmill and dumbbells and incorporate a fat blasting workout several times a week.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should include at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as brisk walking or jogging every week. Include at least two days of strength training exercises focusing on all of the major muscle groups. This will help you get the biceps you always wanted, improve your overall muscle strength and increase muscle mass .
Treadmills are versatile in that you can choose the speed, direction and incline level. An example of a treadmill routine is called an interval workout. After a five-minute warmup, you will alternate between one minute of sprinting at full effort and two minutes of light jogging or brisk walking. Repeat this interval eight to 10 times to get optimal results.
Strength Training Routines
Strength training routines are wide-ranging. Some include your own body weight as resistance. These exercises are excellent to engage in at your home or office, because they require little to no equipment and only a little space. Try pushups, situps, lunges and squats. Other strength training exercises involve equipment: You can use dumbbells, barbells, weight benches and other machines to strengthen a variety of muscles with, for example, bicep or tricep curls, leg presses and hamstring curls. When you do your strength training can depend on your goals: If your focus is on improving cardio health and endurance, do strength training after your treadmill workout. If you’re more interested in strength and building muscle, focus on your strength training first and then incorporate your treadmill workout.
Strength Training on the Treadmill
If you’re pressed for time or you want to increase the intensity of your workout, consider completing your strength training workout while on the treadmill. There are specific guidelines you must follow if you are considering lifting during your treadmill workout. The American Council on Exercise suggests only using one- to three-pound weights during a walking treadmill workout to increase the heart rate by five to 10 beats per minute. Any weight over three pounds is not recommended because it may cause undue stress to the arm and shoulder muscles as well as the joints of the wrists and elbows. You can complete upper body strength training exercises such as bicep curls, tricep curls or chest presses using dumbbells while completing a walking treadmill workout.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Ace Fitness: Strength Training 101
- Spine Health: Treadmills for Exercise and Pain Relief
- MayoClinic.com: Weight Training Exercises
- The American Council on Exercise: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks if Individuals Hold Dumbbells in Their Hands While Doing Step Aerobics or Other Cardio Activities
Danielle Clark has been a writer since 2009, specializing in environmental and health and fitness topics. She has contributed to magazines and several online publications. Clark holds a Bachelor of Science in ecology and environmental science.