By: Ken Hunt, Owner of Steel Gym and AFI-Certified fitness expert
Happy New Year and New You. The holidays are SO over and its time to concentrate on Memorial Day and looking your best in shorts, Speedos or even less. Chances are you put on a few extra pounds over the holidays. Now lets try to get rid of them as quickly as possible And one of the best ways is to ramp up your treadmill or elliptical time. Now I know this can be boring. I also know that we tend to do the same kinds of aerobic routine on these machines. But if you spice it up and vary it a bit, you are going to see great results. So update your iPod, get your headphones and give these suggestions a try.
Tired of your legs doing all the work while your arms just hang there – or worse, grip the safety bars? Try raising and lowering five- to ten-pound hand weights as you walk along. Start slowly so that you don’t fall and then simply increase speed as you gain confidence. By the end of a vigorous walk, you will have given your upper and lower body a good treadmill workout.
Walking Backwardsâ€”It’s best to do this at a slow pace, and without hanging onto the bars. Walking backwards uses the muscles in your legs in a whole new way and challenges you to pay attention to your balance as well, which is incredibly important in any sort of exercise routine.
Another suggestion is to try speed intervals. The best way to do this is to walk or run as fast as you can for one minute. Then slow your pace down for a two-minute breather. After the two minutes are up, do another minute at full speed, and so on. Repeat this cycle five to eight times.
Or, try incline intervals. Now be sure to warm up before you try this exercise. Walk as you normally would for five minutes. Then set the incline on your machine to four or five. Continue walking for another five minutes, then return the incline to zero. Repeat this cycle two times for maximum benefit.
I call this one, On Your Toes! Walk as you normally would for five minutes. Then slow down your speed and walk on your tiptoes for thirty seconds. Resume your normal walk for another five minutes, then slow down again and walk on your heels for thirty seconds. Repeat this cycle twice to exercise different muscles in your legs and feet.
Do you have a favorite routine or program on the treadmill? Well, make a deal with yourself NOT to use that program for 2 weeks. Try a program that you have never done before. You will be amazed at how different your workout will feel.
Let me know how this works for you. And if you have any ideas or suggestions, I would love to hear from you. Any questionsâ€”please shoot me an email. Ken