- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Using Machines for Exercise
Many of us do not have the availability to go outside and exercise. Whether it be a bike ride, run, walk, hike, swim, or any outdoor exercise, it is not always convenient, or possible to get outside. A great alternative is to use machines for your cardio exercise.
There are several machines that can be used to get a good workout in. If you belong to a gym, you have probably seen them all. Most gyms have the latest most current cardio machines available. Or you may want to work out at home, and these same machines can be bought for home use.
Treadmills are very common, and have been around for a very long time. The first treadmill ever invented was created in 1875. It was not meant for human use however, but for animals to harness their power for help in churning butter, spinning wheels, or water pumps. It wasn't until 1952 that a Doctor from Washington University in Seattle created a treadmill for use in stress tests for humans.
This was the beginning of treadmills and humans using them for exercise. Treadmills can be used for running, walking, cross training, and elevation. Depending on your weight and effort, you can burn hundreds of calories in an hour on a treadmill. It is better to use a treadmill with a soft platform so that you can avoid shin splints, knee, and foot issues. Treadmills are great to use for your cardio exercise.
Elliptical machines are another great way to get a work out in. The first elliptical machine was invented by Precor and introduced to the public in 1995. I was at the fitness show when these were first shown. I remember thinking how strange they were, and thought maybe it was something that would not catch on. How wrong I was! They not only caught on, they took over.
Elliptical's are very efficient and are non impact, which is great for people who have issues with impact to their knee's, backs, ankles, hips, and shin's. They also have the added benefit of using the upper body on many of the models. Whenever you add in your arms, your calorie burn goes up! Again depending on your weight and effort you can burn 700 to 800 calories in an hour on an elliptical.
Stationary bikes are just one more way to get a cardio workout in. Interesting that I can not find out who invented them or when. I do believe that Schwinn was one of the first companies that marketed them to the public. They certainly were at the top of this market, if not the first to do so.
Stationary bikes are excellent for indoor exercise. Besides being non impact, they are good for people with knee problems. When I have had knee issues, riding a bike has never bothered them. When I owned a gym, a local Doctor would send his knee patients in to rehab on our bikes. They are definitely kinder to our knees than many other types of cardio.
Once again depending on your weight and effort, you can burn 600 to 800 calories in an hour on a exercise bike. The other benefits to riding indoors is that you do not have to worry about traffic or road hazards. Balance is never an issue, or deciding where you will go. You just get on and peddle. No worry's here!
I am not a big supporter of Stairmaster, or other climbing machines. I have seen too many knee injury's, and lack of results with them. If they are done properly, they can have a good effect, but it is easy to use them with bad form.
So if you have to exercise indoors due to time, weather, or other issues, exercise machines are a great alternative to outdoor exercise. They are also great for cross training. (see cross training blog) You can split your exercise time up by using two or three different machines in one session. Great for your body, and for your mind!