For the last week and a half, I've been out of town taking care of things to do with my father's funeral. Taking care of arrangements, thank-yous, making sure Mom is going to be OK, etc.
Also, during this time - there has been a cold snap in my hometown. I've been running outside everyday - and on a couple of days where I would have hit my treadmill if I'd been home. For example, this morning it was snowing, 15 degrees and 3 degree wind chill. But, down the road I went!
But it got me to thinking about everyone who stays on the treadmill all during the winter and then goes back to the roads in the Spring. Even though it's great that you're keeping up the mileage (and I totally recommend it), there are some things that you need to be aware of when you go back to the roads.
Start back outside slowly. When you first go out - do one run a week outside. Each week, do one or two more runs outside. Keep this up until you are doing all of your runs outdoors. This may take a month - but you want to give your joints ample time to get used to the different surface.
Another tip - don't make your first run back outside your long run of the week. You want to ease back into long miles outside, also.
Don't worry if your times are slower when you go back outside. This will happen because of wind resistance, but you'll be back to your normal pace in no time.
Take it easy with the hills when you go back outdoors. Even though you've probably done hill work on your treadmill, it will be different on the roads. Going down the hills will be rough on your legs at first.
Remember that you're back outside now with cars, dogs and other things that you won't encounter in your home on your treadmill. Remember to run smart and be more alert to everything.
Running on the treadmill is great - and I highly recommend it to keep fit during the winter. When you go back outside, it may feel like running is different than it was before your treadmill. But, don't worry, you're running will be back to normal after just a little while. And, in a much shorter period of time than if you have just taken the winter off.
If you're looking for a convenient way to get a cardiovascular workout, consider buying a treadmill machine for your home. With home treadmills, you won't have to worry about getting a babysitter for the kids, having the extra time to drive to your local gym, or even the weather conditions because you can get a great workout in the comfort of your own home anytime. An investment in this type of fitness machine is an investment in your health and future.
There are many things to consider ranging from general purchase questions to specific features. Consider the following two questions when you're looking at treadmills to ensure you make the best purchase possible.
How Will You Use Your Treadmill Machine?
Your use can determine the type you should buy. For example, a low end model with a smaller motor is probably just fine for those who only plan to walk on it a couple of times per week. Alternatively, if you're looking for treadmills that will help you aggressively train for a marathon, you need one with a powerful motor and long deck that is meant for heavy duty use. In addition, keep the other people in your household in mind. For example, if everyone in your household plans to lightly use it, all of this light use may add up to the need for a heavy duty model.
What Are Your Specific Fitness Goals?
Most people buy home treadmills for light duty walking use, but as they progress, many decide to start jogging as well. If you think you may want to increase the intensity of your walking workout by starting to run, consider this before buying a mschine. This will ensure it lasts a long time because it meets your fitness goals. If you buy a walking only treadmill, but then decide you want to run, you'll have to purchase a new machine to do so.
Home Treadmill Buyer's Checklist
Once you have answered the above two questions, you should know the type best for you. However, before you buy one, make sure you look for these specific aspects of a great machine.
** The Motor - Look for two to three horsepower motors with Continuous Duty ratings because they have better performance and a longer life.
** The Belt - The belt is what you walk on, so make sure it's of adequate size. Common belts are between 18" and 20" wide and are usually 48" long. Taller people over 6' usually prefer a wider and longer 54" belt to accommodate their longer stride.
** The Deck - Look for a deck between 3/4" and 1" thick and note any weight restrictions on the machines you consider. For example, someone over 300 pounds probably wants a thicker deck. In addition, look for low impact decks if you suffer from joint problems.
** The Control Panel - Choose a model with an easy to read electronic panel that is simple to use.
** The Frame - Only choose fitness equipment with sturdy aluminum or high allow steel frames. Stay away from plastic frames.
** Safety - In addition to starting and stopping smoothly, a good treadmill should have safety features like side rails, safety bars, and an emergency shut off.
If you keep these questions and features in mind when you set out to buy home treadmills, you are sure to make the right purchase that will set you on the path to achieving your fitness goals.
A person's basal metabolic rate refers to the number of calories his or her body burns while at rest. The human body needs some calories simply to breathe, pump blood, and maintain body temperature. It represents the minimum number of calories an individual needs to survive in the absence of any activity. Literally, basal metabolic rate represents the quantity of calories needed just to stay in bed and sleep all day.
The higher a person's basal metabolic rate, the more calories that individual burns off without engaging in any physical activity. Basal metabolic rate may vary significantly from one person to another. An individual's basal metabolic rate is partially grounded in genetics. Men typically have a higher basal metabolic rate than women, because they tend to naturally have both a greater muscle mass and a lower percentage of body fat.
Hormonal factors can also impact basal metabolic rate. Thyroxin, which is produced by the thyroid gland, is a very important factor in basal metabolic rate. If a person does not produce a sufficient quantity of thyroxin, his or her basal metabolic rate will slow. If too much thyroxin is produced, basal metabolic rate can increase by as much as 100 percent. This is the reason that untreated thyroid problems can lead to extreme weight fluctuations. Fortunately, thyroxin imbalances can be controlled by medication for most people.
Additionally, regardless of gender or other genetic factors, some people naturally have slower metabolisms, and others have higher basal metabolic rates. In addition to the impact of hereditary factors, basal metabolic rate also can change significantly with age and/or activity level. Generally speaking, the more lean body mass a person has, the higher his or her basal metabolic rate. Conversely, as body fat percentage increases, basal metabolic rate decreases.
One of the reasons that cardiovascular exercise and weight training play such an important role in weight loss is that these two activities can increase basal metabolic rate. The reason that people have a tendency to gain weight as they age if their exercise levels do not increase, is that basal metabolic rate tends to decrease as they age and naturally begin to lose lean muscle mass. After the age of 20, basal metabolic rate tends to decrease by about two percent each year. If calorie consumption remains constant but exercise levels do not increase, weight gain will occur as basal metabolic rate declines with age.
Individuals who are overweight or obese have a high risk for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. A person that is overweight should try to avoid gaining additional weight and increase their daily activity level. Additionally, if you are overweight with other risk factors (such as high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high blood pressure), you should try to lose weight. Even a small weight loss (just 10% of your current weight) may help in lowering the risk of disease. In order to lose weight, you simply need to increase your daily activity or consume fewer calories than those needed to maintain your weight.