The weather is warming up and starting to feel perfect for outdoor workouts on a sunny day - my FAVORITE time of the year! I love my indoor weight lifting and resistance sessions, but there is something about working out outside that is just SO refreshing, freeing, and empowering.
But you know what they say: April showers bring May flowers. We can't have beautiful blooms next month without several rain storms here and there during this time of the year.
The other day I was SO excited to work out outside. The weather was sunny, 75, and there was a nice breeze - um, yes please! I'll take an outdoor sweat session. But then, out of NO WHERE a thunderstorm blew in and suddenly I realized my outdoor workout was going to have to move back inside. I love going on distance runs outside, so I was in the mood to do some jogging and sprints. I may have had to move from the track to the treadmill, but that does not mean I had to sacrifice any of the benefits from my workout.
A lot of people HATE the treadmill. They find themselves slaving away at a steady state run for 45+ minutes at a time, getting bored and just wanting the workout to end! Trust me, I have been there. I actually do enjoy long distance, steady state cardio from time to time because it is mindless and relaxing, but it can get very repetitive and boring without mixing up the speed and incline levels on the treadmill.
Lately, I have been doing a lot of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). The great thing about HIIT is that you actually end up burning MORE calories during the 24 hours following your workout in comparison to long distance steady state running or walking. HIIT involves time intervals of exerting maximum effort and spiking your heart rate into the "fat burning zone" followed by a rest period to allow the heart rate to slow back down.
I love doing HIIT on the treadmill because I can control the speed manually as well as increase the incline. Walking on an incline is a great way to target your glutes and hamstrings (the backs of your legs) as opposed to when you run and more stress is placed on your quads (the front of your legs/thighs). Incline walking ALWAYS gets my heart rate going!
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Check out this treadmill interval workout for the next time your outdoor run gets moved inside. This workout uses periods of high intensity followed by ACTIVE resting periods (jogging). I do this workout pretty much every time I hop on the treadmill now, because it mixes things up, gets my heart rate going, and leaves me drenched in sweat by the time it's over.
*Please note: all of the fitness tips I share are suggestions only. Before implementing them into your workout routine, consult with your physician to make sure they are right for you.*
These speeds are EASILY customizable to whatever level of fitness you are at right now. Do not feel like just because the suggested speed on the treadmill is a certain number you HAVE to start there. If you find that you need to go slower or faster, then DO IT! Listen to your body. Some days I may feel like I can up the intensity and start out at a faster pace, other days I may feel drained and slow it down. It is totally up to you and how your body feels.
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