Comments (0)November 20th, 2009Posted by Dr. Charles D.C. in Everything Cardio

3 Downfalls To The Traditional Stationary Cardio Machine Like Treadmills

The treadmill is often a default workout that people turn to when they are trying to get a workout. The perceived benefits of a treadmill: you can watch television while running, you don’t have to run all the way somewhere and back. However, the drawbacks to treadmills completely overwhelm the benefits. The same problems exist with elliptical trainers, and stationary bikes. These machines are a waste of time and money.

The first problem that these stationary cardio machines have is that they are boring—without the television or other distraction while running on treadmills, they are invariably the most boring, repetitive workout. If you really want to go jogging, go outside! Running outdoors is preferable to treadmills because there is scenery to look at, fresh air to breathe, and most importantly, it’s a better workout. Running on treadmills does not burn as many calories as running outside and promotes bad running form—which leads to inefficiency, imbalanced muscles, and awkwardness.

The next problem that machines like treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes have is that they create an unhealthy gap between your mind and body when you work out. It’s important to feel yourself as you run or bike, and be paying attention to what you’re doing. Just like any other activity in life, doing a workout is more effective when you’re focused on it. If you mindlessly run, you will not feel yourself, which detracts from your form and your speed. If you can feel where your foot hits the ground and how that impact feels up your leg and to the rest of your body, you can adjust your form accordingly. Paying attention while you workout is just as important as doing things like hydrating properly and warming up correctly!

The final, and most important problem with these machines for most people is cost. When you could just as easily go running outside, why buy a machine that makes you do so less efficiently for thousands of dollars? If you want a good home workout, buy tools like a jump-rope, weights, tension bands, and inflatable balls. The most important thing to do when devising a home workout plan is learning the right exercises. Doing this type of exercise is not only cheaper than jogging on a treadmill, but much more helpful. Jogging, unlike sprinting and variable speed running, is not a very good workout for the time and energy it takes. It does not workout your cardiovascular system because your heart is beating at the same pace the whole time, and it does not workout your lungs very well either.

There do exist, however, great home workout alternatives. One of the easiest and cheapest options is using a jump-rope. You might associate this with elementary school playgrounds, but it’s one of the best workouts you can get—it’s cardio, improves your vertical jump, and increases your speed—which is why most NFL and NBA players jump rope for at least 30 minutes per day. Another option is exercises like mountain climbers, squats, lunges, pushups, jumping squats, etc. These cardio exercises all workout slightly different muscles and your heart, and doing a good variety of exercise like this is great for workouts at home. Sprinting is a great option for cardio, stamina, and speed as well—and it does not take as long. Sprint on flat surfaces, up hills, and sprint up stairs as well. These will all work out your whole body wonderfully. As you can see, there are plenty of superb alternatives to working out on a treadmill that are cheaper, more fun, easier, and more beneficial to your health and body.

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