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Busting the Top 4 Cardio Machine Myths

Don't Let These Myths Sabotage Your Success


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  • Tip: don't eat what you burn. Defeats the purpose.
  • The Polar ft4 monitor works well for me so far. I got it for this very reason, and have not regretted it. Good article :)
  • Hi! I love treadmill so much because its give me best work than any oyher exercise equipment.... :-)
    Through this link you can know the best & affordable product information.
    I've had tremendous success with treadmills. I walk(fast) outdoors-weather permitting, but I use a treadmill in the winter/bad weather. I can feel that it is a very different movement, although if I loosen my hold the handle bars, it is similar to walking outdoors. anyway, I walk about 2.5 miles a day, on the treadmill I walk at a speed of 4.8-5 miles per hour. Sometimes 4.8 mph with an incline of 1 degree. This has helped me just as much as walking outdoors, maybe moreso. I eat sensibly but not particularly low cal, & I have steadily, albeit slowly, burned fat at a pretty constant rate(other than the holidays). My cholesterol & triglyceride #'s have improved drastically, with the help of fish oil. To sum it up, I've had a lot of success with treadmills, so, to each their own.
  • I don't believe the machine a whole lot anyway. For the heck of it, I'll do an hour at a time.
    I also use a fitness app on my watch (googlefit; gwatch) and it defiantly gives me a more accurate counts than any machine I use.
  • I use a stationary bike at home. As a general rule of thumb, I don't do less than 20-30 minutes. That is the average amount of exercise recommended on a daily basis by fitness experts. I to try and mix up workout routines - bike faster for ten minutes, slow down for five, then work on arms, etc. About three times a week I aim for 50-60 minute work outs. I always feel great after that. So, don't worry too much about how many calories you burn off - I tend to focus on length of workouts and intensity.
  • I wholeheartedly agree with the suggestion to get a chest strap heart rate monitor. They're easy to use, they're comfortable, and a no-frills model (like mine - Polar FT7) costs around $60. It was well worth the spend, and I wear it every time I work out - both to get an accurate calorie count AND to monitor my heart rate to make sure I'm exercising at the proper intensity. It helps me know when to pick up the pace and when to slow down.
  • I tested my Elliptical against the SparkPeople data and against the data reported from my heart monitor; Doing 30 minutes at level 1 resistance without incline comes within a couple calories of these other indicators. I believe my machine is properly calibrated at this time. I do test it a couple times a year to make certain it remains accurate.

    While I do believe that not every machine will be properly calibrated, I also believe that when one starts taking away the trust of those machines, one stands to risk the loss of the motivators. It starts feeling the same as with people who cheat on the Leader Boards: everyone knows they are cheating and it is pointless to try to achieve I higher rank because you know it won't happen unless you cheat too. So what is the point of having them.
  • I have a treadmill (I have now had 3) a rowing machine and an exercise bike. None are even close to my heart monitor with calorie burn.

    My last treadmill always read about twice the calorie burn while my new one is way under, after 10 minutes it can be 50 out.

    The others are much the same. So it is worth getting a HRM
  • MMGAGE1701
    I use a heart-rate monitor when I work out to give me a more accurate calorie count. I will second the article's statement about running outside to prep for races too. It's very different than on the treadmill, and the thing about increasing your incline to more closely mimic running outside is a myth. I use my treadmill to give my shins a break from the pavement and because it's great for doing intervals (and avoiding rain/snow/ice).
  • I don't pay attention to monitors; I just do as much as I can until I'm worn out and have to stop. I'll adjust the intensity of my workout to fit the amount of time I have: maybe a long fast walk one day, a shorter walk mixed with short sprints another day, and all day doing work in the garden another, maybe with some short and very intense karate practice here and there. Weights three days a week too of course. Variety in exercise is good. Also, if exercise can involve a practical skill you get more bang for your exercise buck. That's why I do things like karate, running, gardening, and so on. Even things like laundry and house cleaning can be good exercise if you do them right.
  • I am one of those people that get excited when I see I have burned 700+ calories but always think it is not correct. But then when I see that my spark tracker, "sparky" as I have named it, tells me it is damn close on when I am uploaded to Sparkpeople. I feel a bit more at ease that the treadmills we have at the local gym may be somewhat closer than your old run of the mill treadmills at the other gyms around my areas. These treadmills have a lot of bells and whistles with inclines and declines (something I haven't seen before.) And it has been working for me so far.
  • While this article is a great warning not to take the numbers on the calorie readout too seriously, I believe there is some flawed information. DADKAT had several valid nutritional points that were not covered or considered. Calories in vs. calories out may be a simple calculation as for WEIGHT loss, but those that are concerned about FAT loss and MUSCLE MAINTENANCE, which will give the APPEARANCE of more weight loss should be doing longer, lower intensity workouts so they are not tearing away hard-earned muscle mass. Tefular cardio workouts that are too high in intensity will result in a small version of exactly the same body you had before. If you don't care about muscle maintenance and fat loss and a lower body far composition, go for those high-intensity cardio workouts. This is not to say that the occasional high intensity workout doesn't have it's place in your workout plan, though. And APACHESTEVE, I'd guess that the reason for the lower calorie output on the incumbent vs. the elliptical is that on the elliptical your entire body weight is being supported on your feet and your core has to work harder to keep you upright and balanced, a feat in engineering in itself. This is also the reason you would burn more calories walking or running outside vs. on a treadmill-uneven surfaces will require more body work. In the end, it's all relative to your goals-more fat loss vs. ANY weight loss. I'll take the former :)
  • I think the most important thing to consider is the mentality we subject ourselves to when doing cardio. The point of burning calories is not to replace those calories with more food - particularly foods that are low in nutrients and high in unhealthy fats, unhealthy carbs, sodium and unnecessary sugars. Just because you supposedly burned 200 calories on the treadmill today does NOT mean you should go and eat a whole candy bar that's the same amount of calories. It's not just about calories in vs. calories out. What's in the calories you're consuming makes a HUGE difference when it comes to weight loss. I mean, maybe you do yard work each day and burn an average of 500 calories each time. But do you really think that eating cheese burgers that are 500 calories won't show up on your body just because you supposedly "burned" that food off?

    I came across a body building forum about a week ago while researching nutrition science degree programs. There ways a guy who referred to women who do mostly cardio as "cardio bunnies" and proceeded to make fun of their attempts at weight loss. While I don't appreciate his slight to women who focus on cardio, he made a very valid point in all of his sexist talk. Many people who do cardio often make the mistake of thinking that burning calories earns them the right to eat whatever they want. I can have 2 huge slices of cake if I burn 600 calories today. That's the wrong way to think, and I completely agree with that guy on that point. If your only purpose for jumping on the treadmill is so you don't have to feel guilty come Thanksgiving, think again. It's what's in your "calories in" that truly counts. You won't lose weight by replacing the calories you burn with unhealthy, greasy or processed foods - no matter how many calories you burn in a day or week.

    I think the point of this article isn't so much to cast a negative light on cardio machines as it is to make us really think about the mentality we take on when using those machines. It is highly likely that they aren't as accurate as they could be for several reasons. Knowing this, it isn't a good idea to assume that you can jump on for an hour, supposedly burn 300 or 400 calories and then turn right around and eat a few slices of pizza from a fast food place. To lose weight, you need to consume less empty calories AND burn more calories. Otherwise, that cardio machine will barely help you maintain your weight, and the emptier the calories you take in, the less energy you'll have to even completely a truly intense workout.

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