by Olivia Gilbertsen, Reporter
The treadmill is a staple gym cardio machine that is often overlooked or considered to be boring in the workout world.
“If you think the treadmill is a boring machine, try using interval training. This is a series of high and low intensity exercise bouts that can improve both speed and cardiovascular fitness,” Lindy Lunkenheimer, assistant director of fitness at Campus Recreation, said.
When practicing interval training, an individual should consider finding a pace that they can maintain for an extended period of time. Then intersperse intervals of increased speed, Lunkenheimer said.
“Depending on someone’s fitness level and goals, the intervals can be a ratio of one to one, two to one or really whatever works best for them,” she said.
Another way to keep a treadmill routine exciting other than using interval training is to incorporate exercises off of the treadmill, she added.
“The key to a new exercise program is to start slow and gradually increase the rate, time and distance. A good rule of thumb is to exercise at a rate where breathing increases, but you are still able to talk,” Jean Swearingen, medical director at Student Health Services, said.
It is beneficial to switch up workouts. It is important to do both steady state training and interval training for maximum health benefits, Lunkenheimer added.
A safe heart rate to maintain while exercising depends on factors such as the individual’s age, certain medical conditions they may have and medications they are on, Swearingen said.
“A rough estimate is 70 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate, which is 220 minus your age. However this can vary and should be discussed with your doctor if you are doubtful,” she said.
To calculate your own heart rate, count your pulse at the wrist or neck for 15 minutes, then multiply this number by four. This will give you your beats per minute, she added.
“My number one fitness tip is to not use a treadmill every day. Workouts should be kept interesting and there should be some lower impact options within your variety,” Lunkenheimer said.
To keep workouts fresh, individuals can try using an arc trainer, elliptical or stepmill. Also, Campus Recreation offers group fitness classes and rock climbing, she added.