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Personal Aerobic Exercise Program

Cross Training Aerobic Exercise

Go to the Beginning Cross Training Program
Go to the Intermediate Cross Training Program

This cross training program is specifically designed for those of you that exercise in a gym or have aerobic machines at home. This is a flexible program which allows you to mix and match the exercises to avoid boredom and to improve fitness in different areas. There is a weekly goal for each of the 12 weeks of the program. For example, week one of the beginner program the goal is twenty minutes of exercise three times that week. So, you could either walk or walk/jog for twenty minutes or cycle and swim ten minutes each for a total of twenty minutes. Or you could cycle for ten minutes and walk/jog for ten minutes. The combinations are endless. The maximum time listed for some exercises is 30 minutes and this is most often due to the 30-minute limit on aerobic machines rule that most gyms use.

Treadmills are one of the most popular aerobic machines since they are so easy to use. They allow you to walk or run in place as a belt moves under your feet. Treadmills burn approximately the same number of calories that you would burn walking or running outdoors.

  • Who is it for?
    Good for beginners since a minimal amount of coordination is necessary.
  • People that live in crowded cities that have busy streets and smoggy air.
  • Since treadmills are more shock-absorbing than cement or concrete they are easier on people with bad knees, back pain, or weak ankles.
Treadmill Tips
  • Start very slowly. Straddle the machine when starting the treadmill (place both feet on the outside of the belt). Step on the belt after it starts moving. Start out between 1 and 2 miles per hour.
  • Limit your usage of the handrails for balance and once you feel more comfortable swing your arms naturally.
  • Look in front of you. Focus your eyes on whatever is in front of you since your feet follow your eyes.
  • Make sure you keep your shoulders back and don't lean forward.
  • If you get psyched out watching your time tick along while on the treadmill place a magazine rack with a magazine or towel over it so you forget about how long you have been on the machine.
Stationary Bicycle
  • Stationary bikes allow you to work out inside in the winter and can be used anytime day or night. Some gyms have internet and e-mail access on bikes today. You can also watch the news or catch up on the newspaper but make sure you don't lose your focus and pedal too slowly.
  • First of all, there are two types of stationary bicycles: upright or recumbent. The recumbent bike does offer more back support but otherwise neither one is better than the other. It is a matter of personal preference.
  • Make sure the seat height is correct. You want to make sure that when the pedal is at the lowest position that your leg is almost straight. You should have a slight bend in the knee. Your legs shouldn't feel crunched for space when they are at the top of the pedal stroke and you should not have to move your hips a lot when you pedal.
  • While pedaling you should push down with the balls of your feet all the way through the heel and during the upstroke use the top of your foot. The footstraps attached to most stationary bikes make it much easier to do this.
  • Become familiar with the display panel on the machine. Understand the different levels; some have 10 while others can have 40. Keep an eye on the cadence or revolutions per minute (rpm) your cycling. This will help you to make sure you don't go too slow or too fast.
  • Resist the urge to hunch over. Many people develop back or neck pain as the result of rounding their back while cycling.

Stairclimbers are excellent for toning your butt or thighs. They are much easier on your joints than the local stadium stairs. Stairclimbers are also a great way to get in shape for skiing, hiking, climbing, or running.

Stairclimber Tips

  • This is the machine that proper form is seen less frequently than poor form. It must be said that it is better to have good form on this machine (or any machine) and to work out at a lower level than at a higher level with poor form.
  • Rest your hands or fingertips gently on the bar in front of you or on the side rails. Do not tightly grip the rails. Also, never reverse your wrists. It is okay to use the rails for balance but that is the only reason and you should aim towards using the machine without the assistance of the handrails.
  • Stand up straight but have a slight lean forward at the hips. You do not want to lock your knees or over arch your back.
  • Your entire foot should be placed on the pedal. This prevents you from overusing your calf muscles by focusing on using the thigh and butt muscles.
  • While stepping you should take even, deep steps. Many people take short, mini steps which decreases the number of calories you burn. Also, you do not want to take such deep steps that you stop at the bottom. Practice makes perfect on this machine.

Go to the Beginning Cross Training Program
Go to the Intermediate Cross Training Program

Walking Jogging Swimming
Cycling Cross Training in the Gym

Return to Introduction to Aerobic Program
Return to Introduction to Exercise

Not all exercises or diets are suitable for everyone. Before you begin this program, you should have permission from your doctor to participate in vigorous exercise and change of diet. If you feel discomfort or pain when you exercise, do not continue. The instructions and advice presented are in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. The creators, producers, participants and distributors of this site disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the exercise and advice provided here.

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