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Which is the Best Exercise Machine to Burn Fat? Treadmills, cross trainers or exercise bikes!

 

Most gyms are equipped with treadmills, stationary bikes, rowing machines, elliptical trainer. As you are left to your own supervision while using these devices, I would like to briefly discuss each of the machines and provide some ideas that can maximize results when you use them.

Rowing Machines

The rowing machine is a fantastic method to achieve an aerobic workout. You are using many, if not all, of your body’s muscle groups with this form of exercise. Although this is one of the most effective forms of aerobic exercise, it is the machine that is the least likely to sustain your interest for long-term usage. For the best results on this machine, you should vary the intensity of you rowing pace. You may begin at a relatively relaxed pace, to bring your heart rate up to the 60% range, and after a few minutes take it up to 70%. At the ten-minute mark, begin to perform your interval training. Do this by increasing your heart rate to 80% for two minutes and bring it back down to 70% for three minutes. Five minutes before the end of your exercise session, reduce your heart rate to 60% for the remainder of the exercise. Each day you exercise on the rowing machine, begin the interval training 30 seconds sooner. After only a short time, you will be starting your interval training at the one-minute mark. When you have reached this point, begin extending the intervals at which you achieve 85% of your maximum heart rate by 15 seconds, and decreasing by 15 seconds the portion of the interval where you are at 80% of your maximum heart rate.

Exercise Bike

The stationary bike is one of the most used machines at the gym, and my opinion, one of the least effective at giving you a sufficient cardiovascular workout, primarily because the entire upper portion of your body is not in motion. When you are walking or jogging, rowing or skiing, the arms are swinging or moving. As a result, the heart must be called upon the pump blood to these limbs, increasing both your circulation and heart rate. If you choose to use the stationary bike, you should always create arm movement. Pump your arms, use one or two pound dumbbells for curls and an assortment of tricep exercises, or even try boxing-like motions with your arms to involve your upper body and increase your heart rate. If you do not involve your arms with some kind of motion, you will have to pedal furiously to get your heart rate up, and you may not finish your aerobic workout. If you involve the arms with some kind of movement, it is best to select a random course setting where you can effectively raise and lower the intensity of resistance. The random course will simulate riding up and down an assortment of hills and ask you to increase and decrease the speed at which you do so. Most computerized stationary bikes have a number of course selections, and you should use a different course each time you exercise on this machine. If the stationary bike you are using does not have computerized controls, simply increase and decrease the resistance level in specific time intervals and change those intervals each time you exercise on that machine.

The Treadmill

The treadmill is an excellent machine to take you into your aerobic target zone. This machine is best utilized by not holding onto the handrails. Like the stationary bike, the machine is maximized when you involve the half of your body. When you walk or jog on the treadmill and do not hold onto the handrails, your arms will naturally swing back and forth. Like many other aerobic machines at the gym, a computer will often control the treadmill you use. The computer controls will increase the incline level you are walking or jogging on to simulate the experience of going up and down hills. These are a number of courses to choose from, with a wide array of speeds. Make a note of what you did today and do a different course tomorrow.

The Stair Master

 

The step machine, otherwise known as the Stair Master, is another fine choice to give you an excellent aerobic workout. While some find this a difficult workout, it is actually my personal preference. Like the stationary bike and the treadmill, this machine is most effective when you can involve your arms. Most people who have used this machine complain that is not effective. Most people who use this machine also use it incorrectly because they hold onto the handrails and let their arms support most of their weight. Used correctly, these handrails should only give you balance. If you can avoid using the handrails altogether, this machine actually provides a challenging and invigorating aerobic workout. Where exercising on the treadmill will provide periods when you are walking or jogging over a flat terrain, the step machine always simulates the experience of going the uphill. Choose a different computerized course each day to get the greatest results. Aside from providing a great sweat, this machine also can bring definition to the calves, the thighs, and gluteal (butt) muscles.

The Elliptical Trainer

The elliptical trainer is arguably the finest possible choice of gym equipment to meet your aerobic needs. The elliptical trainer uses the best attributes of all the machines previously mentioned and combines them all into one effective device. The footrests are designed to move in the shape of a football, and because of this design, the machine is termed low impact, reducing the risk o injury to the knees and joints. This machine is usually equipped with the most sophisticated computer, which regulates the incline level in an almost endless array of courses. Each course selection can be quite different, and ensures you will not become bored with frequent use. In essence, the elliptical trainer gives you the low-impact workout you would get on the stationary bike, simulates the walking or jogging motion that you would enjoy on the treadmill, and trains over a hilly terrain not unlike the Stair Master. In addition to providing a fantastic workout that eliminates the possibility of injury, the elliptical trainer also provides secondary benefits in terms of developing and defining the musculature in the thighs, calves, and buttocks. Like the stationary bike and Stair Master, you must consciously involve the arms when using this machine. The more movement in your arms, the greater the circulation. And, of course, the greater the circulation, the greater the health benefits associated with aerobic exercise.

Overhaul Your Health

Feeling a little worse for wear after the break? Chances are you’re not alone.

Tiredness, tight waistbands and illnesses that linger can all be signs your health is in need of an overhaul.

The good news is setting yourself up for a year of feeling and looking good needn’t be an overwhelming leap. In fact, making bite-size changes will increase the likelihood of lasting success.

For suggestions on how to improve your health for good, Life&Style contacted three health practitioners; a doctor, a naturopath and a dietitian. Here’s what they had to say. Read More…

EATING FOR YOUR WORKOUT:

1. If you are a runner/jogger running three to six times per week for any length of time or distance.

“Consume 300 to 600 calories before a run… an apple is not enough.”

PRE-WORKOUT DIET: You will need lots of energy. Eat about 1.5 hours or more before your run. YOu want plenty of slow-burning carbohydrates, also known as low glycemic index (GI) carbs. These will allow you to use the slow-burning energy throughout your run. Read More…