Switch it up!

Do More Than One Type of Cardio!

Do you do your cardio on the treadmill or the elliptical machine? How about trying a little of both? Does the thought scare you a bit? Most people like to stick to one machine for cardio, but I want you to change your mind-set. To reach your fitness goals, you have to let go of that all-or-nothing mentality. And let’s face it — eventually, you’ll need more than one cardio option. One day, the weather may not be cooperative for your usual outdoor jog, or all the ellipticals will be in use, or the pool will be closed, or your bike will be in the repair shop. Be flexible.

To get you thinking of the big picture, let’s take a look at all the options available in the always-popular walk-jog-run trio.

You can perform any of these activities on a treadmill or outdoors. The key is to mix it up and keep it challenging. To burn maximum calories, you have a few options: you can walk on an incline, walk fast, jog, or run, depending on what you’re ready for at your current fitness level.

Try performing intervals by running or jogging in quarter-mile bursts. You can also work different muscles in your legs by running backward every once in a while — obviously you can’t do this everywhere. You might also try sports drills like running sideways, or karaokes, in which you run sideways by crossing your right foot first in front of your left foot and then behind your left foot; you then switch directions, crossing the left foot in front and then behind the right foot.

Don’t Forget About Stairs

Stair-climbers and step-mills are a great cardio option. The key to getting the most out of this exercise is to take full steps. Make sure you let your bottom leg fully extend without touching the ground before stepping back up. Don’t lean on the machine or hold on to anything. If you need to set the speed lower in order to go hands-free, do it — you’re better off moving your upper body as you step. You can also perform this exercise sideways, and you can alternate your right leg over your left leg, and vice versa
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