So the holidays ended, resolutions were made, and now the local gym you joined is counting on you to nix your newfound cardio routine.
Perhaps the fervor to be fit fizzled out around the same time your vegan diet and juice detox did, or maybe it just... never happened at all. Now it’s February and that abdominal adipose inner tube has resurfaced in your life like an unwelcome ex-lover. You've already watched your home gym comprising one creaky infomercial machine turn into a dust den, and you've fondly hung your laundry over the handlebars as you simultaneously hung up your dreams of healthy lifestyle change.
Now, it doesn’t matter to you anymore that your arthritis is acting up or your back aches. Whether you choose a home or public gym, you’re done with the excuses. That muffin top needs to go – which means you do too. Fortunately for many, the road to Damascus can be as simple as finding the right machine. Before you know it, the recovery of your sexy is happening one low-impact step at a time - on equipment that doesn't murder your herniated disc.
Living Proof That Exercise Equipment Is EVIL!!! pic.twitter.com/IGtAOXSQeN
— David Coverdale (@davidcoverdale) February 5, 2014
Although anyone with a medical condition should consult a doctor before starting a routine (or buying equipment), there are many methods for managing weight while we manage pain. If we prefer using machines over other options, we just need to find the right one for a workout we won’t resent doing. Some low-impact options your doctor might suggest for a bad back are the elliptical trainer, stationary bike, treadmill, and the step climber. The nice thing these things have in common is that there’s no jolting your joints:
The elliptical is fantastic because it offers smooth motion with your feet fixed in place. Most settings allow you to change the challenge level with the flick of a button (versus adjusting heavy parts). As for fat blasting, the handles glide in a push pull fashion that’s synchronized with the foot pedals. This allows for full body motion and the result is more calories burned.
Step machines share similarities with the elliptical. Both have platforms or pedals that move without your feet leaving them, both are low-impact, and both provide high calorie-burning potential. One main difference is found in their names: the elliptical lets the feet move in the shape of a squashed circle (ellipsis), while feet on a step machine move in an up and down direction (like steps).
If you prefer to pick up your feet, the treadmill is still an option. Whether you walk or trot, a treadmill offers less impact than concrete and the belt lets your feet propel forward a little as you lift them. While this makes it easier, it can also feel a little awkward at first. So, find a fitting pace and posture that works for you.
Perhaps, you’d like to sit while you sweat. Why not try a stationary bike? There are multitudes of types to test out and consider. For those new to the workout world, a recumbent bike with a backrest might be best.
Embrace the cold: It may help you lose weight http://t.co/XRu2QDBHmG
— CBS News Health (@CBSHealth) February 6, 2014
On the other hand, if your desire to trim down is weaker than your torpidity, look for no further equipment than your own lethargy. According to a recent NIH study, some lose weight just by shivering away the pounds in the cold. However, that somehow seems a bit masochistic - although I can’t put my finger on why. Perhaps it’s that most of us want to lose weight because we’re already uncomfortable with our body’s status… and the whole non-logic of making ourselves uncomfortable to change being uncomfortable seems a bit confusing.
If none of the machines mentioned (or the shiver-me-thinner method) appeals to you or if you’re hindered by your pain level, ask your doctor what he or she suggests. There’s a wealth of alternatives out there, so don’t give up! Find a routine and fall in love with it!
Image via Youtube