This beginner program is designed to slowly introduce you to treadmill cardio conditioning, while gradually and painlessly strengthening your heart.
Over a recommended eight-week program, you will slowly increase your ability to work at longer durations with less effort. The benefits of this include greater endurance, increased strength, and improved flexibility.
This program requires the use of a treadmill. Treadmills are an excellent choice for beginning exercisers since they mimic a movement you perform every day walking. The treadmill is the easiest and most natural machine for beginners. Beyond ease-of-use, the treadmill is designed to provide a low-impact workout that can help to reduce injuries associated with walking and running outdoors.
Your initial goal during a beginner workout should be to work at a comfortable pace for 20 to 30 minutes a day. During your workout, listen to your body. Work at a comfortable pace, but allow your heart to beat at an increased rate. For a beginner, the level of intensity should feel comfortable (not too easy, not too difficult).
This eight-week program will increase your cardio conditioning while strengthening the ligaments and tendons that support your bone and muscle structure. In addition, this workout will enhance the delivery of oxygen throughout the entire body as well as improve circulation, increase energy levels, reduce stress, and enable a better night's sleep.
Machine: Any Incline Treadmill
Time: 20 - 30 minutes
Incline Level: 1 to 3%
Speed: 3 to 5 mph
Before You Begin
Warm-up by stretching 5 minutes before working out. You should be well-hydrated. Drink at least 1 cup of water 1 to 2 hours before exercise. You should eat within the 6 hours prior to you workout - a meal consisting of protein and carbohydrates. If at any point you feel out of breath or find it difficult to talk, reduce your workout levels. If at any point you experience a feeling of pain or exhaustion, discontinue your workout. Prior to starting any exercise program, consult with your physician.
At 0 minutes
Calculate your target heart rate. Stand on the treadmill with your feet on the side rails. Press Quick Start. As the belt begins to move and you begin walking, adjust the speed levels to between 3 and 5 mph. Your goal should be to establish a comfortable pace. Concentrate on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
At 3 minutes
Maintain a moderate speed. You should work to a level that feels comfortable yet vigorous, that will not cause over-exertion. Your speed should average between 3 and 5 mph. You can adjust the incline level to between 1 and 3 degrees to increase intensity without increasing speed. Use your entire foot as you walk through each movement, heel to toe. Use the handrail as needed for comfort and balance. Drop your arms alongside your body, moving them as you stroll, to increase overall strength.
At 6 minutes
Focus on breathing and a steady, controlled posture. Your pace should be comfortable and your body temperature should be building. Your hands should be in a comfortable position on the handrails, or moving alongside your body. Remember, the beginner is designed to gradually increase the strength of the heart. Do not over-exert.
At 12 minutes
Slow your speed to 1 mph and check your pulse. Your heart rate should be at 55% and 65% of your target heart rate. Once you have checked your heart rate, return to the settings you established at the start of this workout.
At 16 minutes
Your breathing should be at a comfortable, slow, and controlled pace. If at any point your body feels over-exerted to the extent that you feel out of breath, or you find it difficult to talk, reduce your workout levels. If you experience a feeling of pain or exhaustion, discontinue your workout. If you feel physically unchallenged, increase your speed by 1 mph.
At 18 minutes
Focus on taking longer strides with each movement. Spend the last two minutes picking up your pace, or slowing it down, to keep your heart rate in your target range.
At 20 minutes
Reduce your speed and incline. Cool down. Congratulations! Your treadmill cardio conditioning workout has come to an end.
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