Workout: Cardiologist on the health benefits of walking

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Cardiovascular training is a usually a necessity when it comes to burning fat quickly, with the UK Chief Medical Officers currently recomending at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week. Whether this is in bouts of 10 minutes or more, cardio can get boring, especially at the gym.

Adding cardio to the end of a workout is a great way to burn more calories however, the thought of walking or running on a treadmill for any length of time can be daunting and many are put off from the get-go.

So why not give the dreaded cardio workout a makeover?

Gym-goers have various options to do cardio, whether it’s on the treadmill, cross-trainer, bike or rowing machine.

It’s the same with non-gymmers.

Just going for a brisk walk, run, swim or cycle every day is enough to boost the cardio workout to the max.

But if a person finds themselves stuck in the same old routine day in day out, it might be time to change it up.

In the gym, slimmers can try a new routine without even leaving their favourite machine.

Many of the new gyms offer machines with built in programmes.

They are designed to vary the speed, grade or resistance, simulating rolling hills, large mountains or high-intensity intervals.

The programmes can vary in levels of effort, which can help manage engagement.

It also provides a fun challenge to up desired fitness gains.

Switching daily cardio activities every day is also a great way to engage the body and mind.

If a person prefers a treadmill, try a cross-trainer instead.

This can help reduce the risk of injury by challenging and strengthening muscles and joints that don’t get used much during the normal routine.

Likewise with running; a cross-country walk will tone muscles and helps keep bones strong while protecting the hip and knee joints from the harsh impact of running.

Finally, fitness lovers could opt to really push themselves to the limit and incorporate multiple activities within the same workout.

The “10-10-10” approach is a fast growing favourite for many, as it offers a time scale to focus on.

For example, start on one machine for 10 minutes, then move to a second machine for the next 10 minutes and finish off with a third machine for the last 10 minutes.

Not only does it work different muscles, but it offers a little change of scenery, which will make the minutes fly by.

Moving quickly between the three activities also keeps the heart-rate elevated.

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