Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cardio Machines, Good or Bad?

Been a busy week! Sorry I've been so late in posting this week. But here's something for you all :).

Cardio machines. I’m not a big fan. I think they have their place, in a garbage heap.

Okay, that’s harsh and I don’t really mean that fully.

The one I hate least- Treamills. I think treadmills are good for only when going outside is a bad idea (like snow covered ice). Pro’s- I think it immitates our natural rhythm as closely as any machine can because our own bodymechanics are allowed to take precedence. There is no spot to place hands and feet leading to irregular patterns. Although those patterns in ellipticals, bikes, and stair climbers are probably good, our own stride is better in my opinion. Cons: people place their arms on the siderails which decrease calorie burn and also decrease our natural gait pattern. People then tend to lean forward when holding onto the machine. Also, for interval drills, this is a bad piece of equipment. The speed changes are not instant like if a person was running outside. Max speed on a machine for 20-30 seconds also takes some practice to learn what that top speed is. Otherwise it’s a guessing game getting to that top mark. And hitting top speed on a treadmill is more dangerous than hitting top speed outside. I’m definitely not going to fall off the back of the sidewalk but for someone maxing out their speed on a treadmill, hitting the button to slow it back down could be a bit tougher.

Ellipticals- pro’s: Not to hard on the joints so they’re better for people with joint pain and osteoarthritis and osteopenia. Negs: well, the calories burned readout seems pretty wack to me. I’d alternate that and the treadmill. I’m sure people lose weight with this, but there are better options waiting on the sidewalk. 

Steppers- I’ll admit, I’ve only used a stepper twice, maybe three times tops. I can’t really say what is good or bad about them, just that they’re a machine and that I don’t like machines.

Bikes- I love bikes people ride outside for fitness purposes although I do still have a bit of fear of them. Yes that was 10 years ago, yes I’m still anxious. Indoor bikes such as in spinning classes’n'stuff I’m not a huge fan of. It doesn’t challenge balance because it’s stablized on a frame. The benefits of riding outside totally beat riding an indoor bike.

Recumbent bikes- I’m totally prejudiced against these things. I think they’re the lazy person’s way out. It’s like being able to say I did something without actually doing anything. No core work at all, not even having to hold yourself up, just lean back and rest why dont ya? No pro’s at all other than at least it’s better than sitting doing nothing but I dont think these can hardly be called exercise. Cardio, okay fine, call it that, but it’s not real exercise unless you’re an extremely deconditioned person.

Cardio I like: intervals with swimming, running/walking, boxing, tennis, and many others. Not golf. And not ping-pong either ;).

And now, even though I don't like recumbent bikes, I own one. Yes I do. It makes a good place to hang clothes to dry. I do use it occasionally. Fine, more like rarely.

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