If you have committed to getting yourself on track (pardon the pun) to a healthier lifestyle including daily exercise, one of the challenges you will face is fighting what we call the “inner excuse maker”. You know that voice that tells you that you are “too tired” to go for a walk or the “weather is bad’. It’s too hot, too cold, too damp and too bad that we are all susceptible to the demotivating dialogue that talks us out of what we need the most. Regular exercise.
Some people will avoid the gym not because they don’t want to exercise but simply because of the inconvenience of packing a bag and driving to another location. Getting to the gym is half the battle it’s true but for most people, it’s the half of the battle that they will never win. Does that mean that you can’t build a qualitative exercise routine into your weekly schedule? No. What it means is that you have to develop some healthy habits that support your fitness and health goals in your own home.
And that’s exactly where a treadmill comes in. Starting with an article we found called “Health Benefits of Treadmill Exercise” we decided to elaborate in a little more detail on the real measurable benefits of using a treadmill to exercise.
The Benefits of Walking
You don’t have to look like an athlete and run on your treadmill in order to get a health benefit from your cardio exercise. Walking benefits the heart and the circulatory system by raising your HDL (also known as good cholesterol) and effectively burning carbohydrates. Some medical studies such as one published in the New England Journal of Medicine “Walking and Mortality in Older Men” suggest a number of more significant benefits to walking including a reduced risk of stroke, pulmonary disease and cancer.
For post menopausal women another study published by the New England Journal of Medicine “Walking Compared with Vigorous Exercise for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Women” indicated similar findings which included walking as an effective means of getting vigorous exercise. That exercise was also found to reduce coronary heart events and cancer.
The conclusion is that all types of walking (whether outdoor or indoor on a treadmill) have a tremendous health benefit and help to reduce the risk factors of a significant number of life threatening diseases. If you thought that walking was only good for trimming off a few extra inches then it’s time to take a look at the added benefits of creating a walking routine for your health and well being.
Creating A New Habit
When it comes to physical fitness there is no such thing as a “quick fix”. One of the reasons that people commence a fitness regime and abandon it is the lack of immediate results. Before you begin you should understand that walking for three hours on your treadmill is not what your body needs for healthful living. Enthusiastic about your fitness goals? That’s great but you should understand that it is about creating a lasting habit. Making fitness part of your everyday routine just like any other positive part of your day.
It takes the average person about twenty-one days (according to experts) to develop a new and lasting habit. It is about training yourself into a routine that becomes a part of your day without effort (or excuses). If you know you need to be more active (and most of us rate physical fitness as a health concern worth addressing) then you should develop a way to incorporate at least one hour of physical activity into your day.
So how do you get excited about exercise and make it stick? We love some of the new mobile apps that help people train for a marathon. Even if you have no intention of ever participating in one, the mobile apps on the market are a great way to track your progress and set goals. A walkers best friend is always an affordable pedometer which can both record your steps as well as motivate you to achieve your daily goal of walking for good health.
Two of the most popular mobile apps available for walkers are the FitBit and MapMyWalk. The fit bit functions much like a pedometer with a number of extra features that make it fun to use. It can track steps, calories burned and the distance you walk as well as the number of hours you have slept and the estimated quality of your sleep.
We like the interactivity of MapMyWalk which allows you to share your fitness goals with your friends through social networks. You can challenge your family members and keep track of the results of their walking, measuring distance, speed, elevation and calories burned and a convenient training log that you can review.
If you don’t feel confident about walking alone or if the weather is holding you back from your fitness goals it might be time to dust off the treadmill (and the excuses) and start recovering your health by incorporating walking into your daily routine. Your body will thank you.
Louise Alvarez is a fitness writer and a graduate from New York University, who likes to spread awareness regarding Health Benefits of Treadmill Exercise. When she’s not writing, she loves to hike with her dog and read motivational books.