Do you have a hard time fitting in cardiovascular activity as well as strength training? Both are equally important, especially as we age, to keep our heart healthy and our bones strong.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, “strength training can be very powerful in reducing the signs and symptoms of numerous diseases and chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, back pain and depression.”
My suggestion is to multi-task while on the treadmill and interval train or lift weights while walking. This can be done with short bursts of more intense aerobic activity. You should also not worry about this taking away from the quality of your aerobic activity.
As indicated by Edward R. Laskowski, M.D. on MayoClinc.com, “Longer, less frequent sessions of aerobic exercise have no clear advantage over shorter, more frequent sessions of activity. Any type of aerobic activity contributes to cardiovascular fitness.”
Let’s first start with the walking motion on a treadmill. One of the benefits of walking on a treadmill instead of on the pavement is that the treadmill will cause less impact. This is especially important if you have back or knee issues.
When walking step evenly, making sure your heels hit the treadmill first, then roll through your arch and push off with your toes.
Be careful not to hold onto the machine with a “death grip”. If you need to hang on, you’re either going to fast or have the treadmill on too much of an incline.
I would suggest doing this at a moderate pace for about 10 minutes before adding some weights.
Now, it is time for some upper body work while walking. First, bring the treadmill to a slower pace where you feel comfortable not holding on to the sides. Use light weights to perform the following exercises:
Hold weights at sides, palms facing out. Bend arms, bringing top of weight towards shoulders. Do 20 repetitions.
Overhead Sholder Press
Bend arms at a 90 degree angle, holding dumbbells. Hands should be in an overhand grip, with palms forward.