Cardio training machines used in indoor aerobic exercise are all about getting the heart pumping. While treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes are generally marketed as tools to lose weight, they are classified as cardiovascular workouts or cardio for short.
Benefits of Cardio Training
Let’s start by explaining that aerobics can be described as any extended physical activity that makes you breathe hard and increases your heart rate for a sustained period. While it does burn calories – a lot of them – aerobics also conditions your heart and lungs, makes your muscles stronger, and provides a host of other health benefits such as lowering your blood pressure.
Most any aerobic activity can be tailored to your needs, and cardio workouts don’t have to be strenuous to give you results. You can engage in a low-impact aerobic activity that is easy on the joints yet will still help improve your cardiovascular system.
Workouts to Choose From
What types of cardio training would be the right choice for your needs? Here’s a sampling:
The treadmill remains the most popular machine for fat-burning indoor aerobic exercise. Keep up a steady pace for an hour and you could cover 4 miles and burn up to 350 calories or more. As an added benefit, most of the new budget priced machines include such advanced features as power incline motors, interactive programming, and entertainment features such as mp3 plug-ins.
An hour spent on a stationary bicycle in front of the TV at home, or in a spinning class at your health club, seems to fly by!. Like the other indoor aerobic exercise activities listed here, cycling on a regular basis increases your body’s production of endorphins; those neurotransmitters in your brain that make you feel good – they are the body’s natural painkillers. Who knew pursuing sweat and pain could be such a “feel good” rush?
Rowing machines (and row stations on home gyms) provide cardio and strength-building exercise. It’s low impact and many people love the rhythmic motion of rowing. It works all major muscles groups including your legs and core, as well as the heart and lungs.
Less popular is the Stair climber that can burn upwards of 400 calories per hour. Climbing steps has been an unofficial fitness regime for people for centuries but these torture machines will get your glutes and thighs toned and FIT! For best results, use a stair climber in addition to other cardio machines and indoor aerobic exercise activities.
The elliptical trainer is another popular machine that provides a total body conditioning workout. Like the treadmill, elliptical machines have a host of read-outs on the console that display your exercise progress so that you can work in the Target Heart Range – which is the range of heartbeats per minutes that promote an efficient use of oxygen in your body, allowing you to achieve optimum cardio conditioning and progression.
Sculpting Classes are bodyweight training boot camps that will kick your butt for an hour with push-ups, squats, and cardio drills. This mix of resistance training and cardio forces your body to use stored carbohydrates as well as stored fats to produce energy for the training session.
A punching bag and/or heavy bag will get out your aggression, and get the heart pounding, as well as burn a ton of fat. For people who have never considered taking up boxing as an indoor aerobic exercise, boxers can attest to the fact that it is a high-energy sports activity. This great upper body exercise can be done on alternative days to other workouts. You can also do kickbox on the heavy bag for an exhausting lower body workout.
Jumping rope is a classic calisthenics type exercise that should be mentioned here as well. It gets your cardiovascular system stronger and to function more efficiently. Skipping rope is not just for kids and professional boxers; it works the lower body, and it’s gentler on your knees than running since you land on the balls of your feet rather than the heels or flat-footed.
Pick a Mode of Exercise
If you belong to a health club, take advantage of any of these types of machines that are available. If you prefer more privacy and convenience, invest in a treadmill or another method of indoor aerobic exercise to get your cardio workout without having to leave the house. It will only take an hour, just three or four days a week, and you will see improvements in your stamina, strength, and endurance, as well as the many other benefits already mentioned.
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