Ah, the new year. A time when everyone resolves to “get back to the gym” and to lose the weight they gained during the holidays.
Many people who get started at the gym push themselves too hard, and feel sore and tired and then give up before they see real results, which take time.
In today’s post, I have ONE simple suggestion to help you burn calories but not kill yourself at the gym.
Many people who do cardio to lose weight believe they have to kill themselves by running fast on the treadmill to rack up a lot of calories burned. And while running will burn a lot of calories, there are many reasons why you may not want to run. It puts a lot of stress on your joints, particularly your ankles and knees. Also, unless you are already in great shape, you are not going to be able to sustain a run at a fast pace for any length of time. For some people, this might be a discouragement from exercising at all.
So, instead of getting on the treadmill and running, use the incline setting on the treadmill to increase the amount of calories burned, while walking at a brisk pace. Many treadmills have settings that go from 1 to 15, and at the upper range it’s like walking up a steep hill. You’ll have to hang onto the treadmill handles, but you can still walk, not run and burn loads of calories.
In the title to my post, I’ve used 400 calories as a target goal for the workout. I regularly exceed 400 calorie workouts on the treadmill, and I don’t run.
The key to achieving the calorie goal is extending the amount of time you spend on the treadmill as well. So, to burn 400 calories, you should plan to spend one hour on the treadmill so you can walk at a brisk pace but not feel exhausted when you’re done.
Use the incline setting and make sure you don’t go below 6, and alternate between 6, 8 and 10 on the treadmill as you are walking. Alternate speeds between 3.5 through 4.0, and as the incline is higher (let’s say 10) use the lower speed to get through that lap.
If you are just getting back to the gym, give yourself a more modest goal… perhaps a 200 calorie workout to start. Then, when you’ve easily achieved that goal, after a week or so of 200 calorie workouts, increase to 300 and then 400 calories.
Since I’m a “seasoned pro” at the gym – at this point I go to the gym at least five times a week, for a minimum of an hour each session – I’m able to achieve high calorie burns. Today I spent one hour on the treadmill and burned 600 calories. After I was done, I felt so good I hopped on the stair master and did another 100 calories in 15 minutes. I’m not going at blazing fast speeds, but that’s fine, I’m willing to put in the time.
When you consider that one pound is about 35o0 calories, losing one pound through effort at the gym comes into a whole new perspective.
I hope this treadmill tip is helpful for anyone getting back into a new workout routine. You CAN do it. Remember, it takes time to build up your endurance, but with a bit of effort you can burn off hundreds of calories.