Monday, March 10, 2014 • Greensboro , NC 27409
Like many fitness enthusiasts, I utilize outdoor running for a good portion of my cardio training. There are so many benefits to running on the street, paved paths, or nature trails. I enjoy the sights and sounds of being outdoors. I also like running with a natural and free range of motion that indoor machines don't quite offer. The topography of the land adds automatic incline and decline challenges without pressing a button. The outdoor setting also allows me to enjoy another hobby simultaneously: Bird Watching. With all the benefits of outdoor training, there is one obvious drawback. It's always dependent on the weather. Rain, snow, humidity, wind, and temperature extremes can make outdoor training less enjoyable, dangerous, or simply impossible. But fear not fitness fanatics! There is another way. Indoor cardio can be performed in the comfort of your own home without machines. Cardio machines can be a great addition to your fitness routine, but sometimes it's good to switch things up. Hallways, and steps or elevated fireplaces can be used to get a serious heart pounding workout! Find a simple routine in your house that takes about five minutes and gets your heart rate to the desired level. Repeat this routine six or more times to get a rigorous indoor workout. The routine can consist of running in place or down hallways, stepping up and down a single step repeatedly, running up and down a flight of stairs, farmer's walk with dumbbells or kettlebells, or virtually any bodyweight, or ploymetric exercise. Repeat the routine for at lease thirty minutes after a good warm up, and follow with five to ten minutes of cool down work, and stretching. A heart rate monitor can really help track your output and ensure that the intensity is enough to provide cardioresperatory benefits. You can also check your HR by using various smartphone apps, or the old-fashioned way by pressing down on the radial side of your forearm a few inches from the wrist, and multiplying the number of beats in six or ten seconds by the appropriate number to obtain your beats per minute. Next time weather conditions are less than optimal, give indoor cardio a try. With a little creativity and experimentation you can create fun and effective indoor routines that will provide a weatherproof solution for not so beautiful days!