Every gym you set foot into in this country has a whole slew of exercise machines on the premises. You can have your choice of stationary bikes, Stairmasters, elliptical machines, treadmills, rowing machines, and Versa Climbers.
But which one of these gives you the best all around workout without attempting to kill you?
Many people believe that Versa Climbers and rowing machines were invented by a sadistic serial killer. All kidding aside, these machines are not intended for beginners, but for people in good shape. Stationary bikes let you sit while exercising so you use fewer calories and is a little safer for the newbie.
These are all good pieces of cardio equipment, but the best overall machine for practically anybody is the treadmill.
Treadmills A Great Choice For Beginners
For most people, treadmill exercise equipment is a good choice to start exercising on. You would start by walking and as you get in shape, you can move on to jogging and running.
Regular walking strengthens the muscles in the hips, legs, feet, and torso. Walking also improves spine stability and conditions the muscles that are responsible for keeping your body in an upright position. Walking also encourages strong circulation and improves your posture and flexibility.
You should incorporate regular stretching with your walking exercise to give yourself greater range of motion and to reduce your susceptibility to injury.
Treadmill Cardio Exercise
Walking, jogging, or running on a treadmill definitely has its share of cardiovascular benefits.
You will be moving the main muscles in your legs, hips, and arms which in turn increases your breathing and heart rate. Blood flow between the lungs and muscles increases because blood vessels in the muscles dilate.
When you exercise, your muscles need more oxygen, glucose, amino acids, and ATP, and the blood is how these nutrients travel. At the same time the muscles are delivering waste products such as lactic acid and carbon dioxide which the blood carries away.
This aerobic exercise will make your heart stronger and decrease your resting heart rate. This reduces the risk of a heart attack or a stroke.
Treadmills Effect On Bone Density
Walking on a treadmill can increase bone density and reduce the risk of getting a bone thinning disease like osteoporosis.
In fact, the evidence indicates that exercise helps build and maintain your bone density regardless of your age. Exercise tends to stimulate bone formation and also to retain calcium in the bones that are subject to load bearing exercises.
Bicycling and swimming are not regarded as weight bearing exercises, so they do nothing to help with bone density. In fact, a number of elite level cyclists have actually lost bone density when they are involved in high intensity training and racing.
Increase Your Calorie Burn
It is estimated that running on a treadmill may burn between 600 and 1200 calories an hour. If you set the treadmill to have an incline and then run, you have found one of the best ways to increase your metabolism for many hours after your workout.
If you just walk on the treadmill you may burn just 150 to 400 calories an hour. If your joints are able to handle it, try running or jogging on the treadmill, or walking with an increased incline. Try not to constantly hold on to the handrails unless you have balance problems.
An Exercise Machine For Every Body
The treadmill can give you an efficient aerobic workout so it is a good choice for practically everybody. Most people can tolerate walking fairly well, so there is no learning curve.
As your fitness level increases, you can use the treadmill for running on an incline and for interval training.