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Wendy Bumgardner

Lose Weight with Your Treadmill Workouts

By October 15, 2012

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OK, time to take the laundry off the treadmill, give it a quick dusting and start using it to burn calories. I have a weekly treadmill workout schedule for you to follow to lose weight. A survey once found that treadmills are the best cardio exercise machine to burn calories -- because most of us can just hop on and walk or run. This schedule helps you do it effectively with a variety of workouts. These include steady state workouts, hill workouts, and speed intervals. You will be less likely to develop treadmill boredom if you mix it up. But also, you challenge your body to develop new muscle and energy systems and burn fat. Let's get moving!

Photo courtesy of Smooth Fitness

January 5, 2007 at 4:15 pm
(1) Laura says:

I attend a therapeutic exercise program at a hospital three times a week. It is for people with disabilities and I have problems with balance and am totally blind. For some reason that I have never understood, I can’t walk, jog or run in place because I keep moving but don’t know it. They make me hold onto the rails even though they are supervising me one-on-one most of the time. If they are called away momentarily (they’re still in the room but may be in conversation with a supervisor or someone else who needs something. Even then, they’re watching but couldn’t get to me if I fell backwards off the treadmill because I didn’t know I was getting close to the edge. I usually don’t lean on the rails but do hold onto them tightly enough to stay in place. Yes, I’m sure it does decrease the calorie burn. But you may want to emphasize that some people, for various reasons, have trouble when they get older or if they’re blind or something like that, even if they’re not in a formal therapeutic exercise program and, if they need to, they shouldn’t have to feel bad or guilty if they need the rails. If some people didn’t need them, why would manufacturers put rails along the sides?
Thanks for reading this. I don’t mean to contradict a guide but I just wanted to add another dimension to the information provided. Thanks.


January 5, 2007 at 5:39 pm
(2) Wendy B says:

Thanks, Laura, for your comment.
Within the article on walking hands-free on the treadmill, our guest writer talks about how to “wean” yourself from using the handrails. She definitely advises anybody who needs them for stability/safety issues to use them. But she believes that most people without balance and vision problems can learn to use the treadmill without the handrails.

January 6, 2007 at 1:49 pm
(3) Lorra Garrick says:

This is in response to Laura’s feedback about my “don’t hold onto the treadmill” articles. When I wrote the series, I automatically assumed that readers would know that I did not include blind exercisers in my recommendations that walkers should not hold onto the treadmill. It’s a given that a person who has visual problems absolutely must hold on, as they would if they were walking outdoors and holding onto a guide person or guide dog leash.
As to why the manufacturer provides the handrails on the machine? There are several reasons, none having to do with the idea that people need to hold on for sustainded walking.
No. 1: We live in a sue-happy society. What if the rails were not there, and someone fell off after turning around to greet a friend entering the area? The walker may then sue for injuries due to lack of rails. The rails are there for liability. This is akin to warnings on drying machines not to let kids play in them, or warnings on hair dryers of not to use while in the bathtub. People will sue over anything and everything (i.e., McDonald’s case of woman who spilled their coffee on her lap). Who’d ever think?
No. 2: As dead-set-against holding onto the machine as I am, I myself use the side rails for the following purposes: to turn to look behind me; to prop a foot up and adjust a shoe lace or scratch my foot; to hold onto while momentarily stretching hamstrings or calves while both feet are off the tread and on either side of it; to turn around on the machine and walk/jog backwards (I hold on only while making the 180-degree turn, but once I begin moving backwards, I release my hands); and to momentarily hold on while transitioning from sprints to walking–the holding on here lasts a second, but is still important.
No. 3: My articles leave room for those walkers who DO need the rails. Yes, some people do need them, such as, for instance, a former client of mine who used a walker to get around; he’d had a stroke, was severely overweight and older. He needed a walker in everyday life, so he definitely needed the handrails on the treadmill. But by teaching him how to use the handrails minimally, instead of clutching them like so many able-bodied walkers do, he eventually lost his need for the walker and graduated to a four-pronged cane. This improvement was not inevitable recovery from his stroke–he’d had the stroke years before and had been stuck on that walker all that time!
I hope this helps.

October 23, 2012 at 8:36 am
(4) Lucy says:

Sρot on with this write-uр, I seriously
feеl this sitе nеedѕ far more attention.
I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the info!

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