Although exercise is vital to any weight loss diet as well as any plan to achieve and maintain overall health, there is a great deal of information out there, and only some of it is right.
While there are some fantastic tricks and tips for using cardio machines at the gym to get in shape and stay there, there is also a great deal of misinformation that is circulating. The last thing that you want to do is waste your time or – even worse – hurt yourself by following the wrong advice.
So take this time to look at some of the most common myths about the cardio machines at your gym, so that you can be sure that you’re not falling victim to them.
• Myth: Using the machine’s fat burning program is the best way to lose weight and shed the fat.
Truth: These programs are designed to maintain a lower heart rate than you would if you were using other programs. This is because research has shown that if you maintain a heart rate in the lower bracket of your maximum, then you will start to burn more fat as fuel. Except – and this is important – due to the fact that you are not achieving a workout with a higher intensity, you are also burning through fewer calories. Therefore, if you use the fat burning program for a half hour, you might burn only 200 calories, whereas if you chose the interval option, you could have increased that by 50 percent.
• Myth: The display on the machine shows you exactly how many calories you have burned.
Truth: The machine calculates the burned calories based on average numbers that are, unfortunately, typically higher than the truth. Even when you enter information about yourself such as your weight, age, and gender, the number is still only an estimate and should be considered only a loose guideline.
• Myth: Using a treadmill is just as effective as doing the same activity outside.
Truth: While these cardio machines do give you the opportunity to run, jog, or walk in a safe environment, no matter the time or weather, by pounding the pavement outside, you’re actually getting a notably more challenging workout. The treadmill belt actually helps to pull your feet back a little, doing part of the work for you. Moreover, it is a much more even surface and raises and lowers at a more predictable rate. When you’re headed along the sidewalk, the odds are that you’re nearly always on at least a bit of an incline or decline and the surface is probably angled somewhat.