Most of us are already aware that cardiovascular fitness is a specific and crucial form of muscular endurance. Just as you train the other muscles of your body for conditioning (by lifting weights and providing resistance), heart, lung and vascular muscles also need conditioning. An efficient cardiovascular (aka cardio) system delivers oxygen (and also blood and nutrients) to the working muscles so that prolonged physical work is sustainable. This in turn is dependent on factors such as heart rate, stroke volume, maximal oxygen consumption (VO2) etc.
A cardiovascular conditioning workout addresses each of these factors and also delivers the following benefits:
1. Reduced stress
2. Increased bone density
3. Weight loss (and for some the desired weight gain)
4. Stronger heart and lungs
5. Revitalized energy
6. Better sleep
7. Relief from depression
I am sure by now you would have figured out why cardio conditioning forms the core of any exercise regimen around which other routines are built. No other single routine delivers such a multitude of goodies. Strength training, flexibility, stability and endurance routines are all built around the cardio workout.
The treadmill is the Alpha cardio conditioning equipment. It is simple to operate, basic in nature and provides a cardio workout of the level of your choice. It gives you the freedom with speeds and ramp inclinations – both of which add to intensity of your workout. It helps you keep track of your target heart rate, the distance covered, the total numbers of calories burnt among other statistics.
Look where treadmill running is in the list of the best cardiovascular exercises (if calorie burning is the decisive parameter). All readings are averages for a 150 pound person for a 30-minute activity.
- Step aerobics – 340 cals
- Running @ 5mph – 270 cals
- Swimming – 260 cals
- Stationary bike – 240 cals
- Mowing the lawn with a manual mower – 200 cals
With treadmills, you have the advantage that swimming does not have. It can be done in the dead of winters. It also beats open air running on this count. It is not weather dependent. Gyms are also more in number than swimming pools, making them more easily accessible. If you do not have access to a gym in your area, you can buy a home treadmill (more compact versions) and get your daily dose of cardio fitness. All in all, if you need to address the core fitness issue, you must go for the first among equals in the cardio equipments, namely the treadmill and take control of your conditioning goals.