Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

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travelspot
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by travelspot »

My back issues resolved with fusion surgery, but I’d be afraid of damaging the other discs with high impact exercise like jogging or treadmill. Even a rowing machine would make me nervous.

I highly recommend an elliptical for OP. Great aerobic workout using upper and lower body, without the impact.

Swimming is great low-impact exercise too.
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ElJefeDelQueso
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by ElJefeDelQueso »

RJC wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:19 pm Peloton. It has been a game-changer for us.
+1
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tre3sori
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by tre3sori »

For the 50+ crowd, walking the dog is a good long-term sustainable cardio alternative.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by Norsky19 »

https://www.roguefitness.com/concept-2-erg-package

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MDfan
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by MDfan »

MarkerFM wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:08 pm Another vote for elliptical and recumbent bike. We have both in our home gym in our summer home. Octane makes nice home ellipticals that don't need a lot of headroom. I've also used their derivative machines (lateral ellipticals, etc.) at our club and I'm not a fan. Have not used their recumbent ellipticals-they look interesting. I have back issues if I'm not careful, and rowing machines are not good for that.
What kind of recumbent bike do you have? We are looking at the Sole R92.

https://www.soletreadmills.com/bikes/r92-sole-bike
yohac
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by yohac »

Cruise wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:48 pm Have good knees and stairs in your house? That is a really good workout.
That's what I do in the winter when I can't go outside. Just have to be careful not to overdo it. I used a treadmill for many years, but not anymore. OP is right, as you get older they can cause back issues, even on flat or low incline.
GlennK
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by GlennK »

At my gym, they have two arc trainers next to the elliptical machines. I have done both and find the workout on the arc trainer to be more intense. Both give you great cardio workouts, especially if you change the level and inclines, but the arc trainer adds height to the pedals so it requires a little more effort.

I have a rarely used treadmill at home. I find that since the belt is actually moving your legs for you, it is a lot less of a workout than actually walking/running. I am currently doing my walking outside and will continue until it gets below 25 degrees F. (or a foot of snow).
MarkerFM
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by MarkerFM »

MDfan wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:25 am
MarkerFM wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:08 pm Another vote for elliptical and recumbent bike. We have both in our home gym in our summer home. Octane makes nice home ellipticals that don't need a lot of headroom. I've also used their derivative machines (lateral ellipticals, etc.) at our club and I'm not a fan. Have not used their recumbent ellipticals-they look interesting. I have back issues if I'm not careful, and rowing machines are not good for that.
What kind of recumbent bike do you have? We are looking at the Sole R92.

https://www.soletreadmills.com/bikes/r92-sole-bike
It's made by Vision Fitness, an older model of this https://www.visionfitness.com/us/eng/pr ... mbent-bike that we bought used a few years ago. There are many different models on the market, but I recommend you get a step-through model, much easier to get into.
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BogleFanGal
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by BogleFanGal »

ResearchMed wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:16 pm
Barkingsparrow wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:58 am I've suffered from back issues on and off through the years and my PT blames my usage of treadmills as a root cause, and strongly recommends that I power walk outside instead - but we did not discuss any alternative for the winter months. I know some fitness trainers who never use treadmills either, for the same reason. What are good alternative cardio options for the winter months that others may utilize? I've only use a treadmill for years and would like to hear from those who use other machines.
You might ask for suggestions, as the PT may have some idea about just what it is about the treadmill specifically, etc.

Other ideas: Elliptical (less pounding/impact), any sort of bike (recumbent or not, but the design/angle might be important for back issues).

What is it that is "okay" about power walking but not "treadmill" - ask the PT.

Good luck.

RM
curious about this as well - isn't power walking the same body motion and muscles used as walking on a treadmill? How does incline factor in - less stress, more stress? Interesting. I've used treadmills for years - so far, so good back-wise. But who knows?
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BogleFanGal
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by BogleFanGal »

tre3sori wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:38 pm For the 50+ crowd, walking the dog is a good long-term sustainable cardio alternative.
For many, true. But those who strive to stay in optimal shape for their age may want to walk a BIGGER dog - lol. It's challenging to maintain strong cardio health and minimize decline unless there's some minimal exertion level during the exercise - but of course, that all varies by health, physical capabilities and most importantly any excess weight the person carries- which is a huge stressor on back and knees.

Age itself: only a number - it's the other numbers that make all the difference. 8-)
Last edited by BogleFanGal on Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:32 am, edited 3 times in total.
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H-Town
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by H-Town »

Independent George wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:56 pm If you're having back problems, you might consider adding some strength training to your cardio - specifically, squats, deadlifts, and other posterior chain exercises. Start at low weight (or body-weight only), and gradually build up strength to help your back.
^ This.

OP: Resistance training is the best approach here. Look for an experienced personal trainer to help you with resistance training to fix your posture.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by stoptothink »

VeganBH wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:11 pm I'm an avid runner/biker - and know my way around a treadmill. But the funnest cardio DH and I discovered about two years ago is the ElliptiGo long-stride "bike" - it's similar to the elliptical machine you may be familiar with at the gym (which I never really enjoyed) - but SO much more fun - and a great workout.

It's low impact, easy on the joints (and back - unlike regular bikes for us) - and a great workout. Best thing: you can ride it outside (just like a road bike) - or buy an indoor trainer for it and ride in doors. If you're lucky, someone near you might be selling used, and you can try it out. Otherwise, you can only buy through the company ElliptiGO dot com. I have no ties to the company - just a fan. :D
Good luck finding something that works for you!
My neighbor's 13yr old daughter has one of these. I had no clue they were that expensive.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by coffeeblack »

Spend 20 minutes 2 x per week on a Schwinn Airdyne. Walk for an hours one day per week. Lift weights 2-3 days per week doing compound exercises.
Read Fast exercise. Science based workouts.
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ClevrChico
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by ClevrChico »

I love my Electra brand bicycle as it is very ergonomic. I typically ride daily if there is no ice and it's > 30 degrees.

I use an elliptical on the really bad winter days.
jrhampt
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by jrhampt »

I run/walk/hike outside all winter after having discovered kahtoola microspikes. They are very easy to slip on over your shoes and give you great traction in ice and snow. I do get a bit unhappy running when the temperature gets into single digits or below, but we don't get too many of those days. 20s and 30s are nice and refreshing with a good hat and gloves.
Independent George
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by Independent George »

These are some really good back exercises which don't require any equipment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVnIAfmEox0
Old Sage(brush)
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by Old Sage(brush) »

Nordic Track. And yoga
Big Dog
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by Big Dog »

livesoft wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:14 pm Power walk outside in winter? I don't have any problems backpacking in winter. You might want some decent clothes and perhaps snowshoes, but those cost a fraction of a treadmill. I prefer cross-country skiing though.

Exactly. I used to train for marathons in the winter in Chicago. Just layer up. Running (or walking) in freshly fallen snow is wonderful.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by eggraid101 »

Walking on a treadmill seems pretty low-impact, so I would definitely consult your PT for ideas rather than investing in pricey equipment that will just make things worse. I know some people like to speed walk in malls, that might be an option depending on where you are.
Pdub
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by Pdub »

Just to clarify it is likely that treadmill itself is not what causes the back problem, but instead the treadmill brings about a manifestation of symptoms of a back problem.

The difference between using a treadmill and walking off a treadmill will likely be about how the treadmill locks you into a particular speed (unless you adjust the speed of course), while walking off a treadmill allows your body to make unconscious adjustments of speed as you walk. These adjustments of speed will impact different gait patterns and mechanics such as how your foot comes off the ground, how far your step or stride length is, how your foot impacts the ground and how much weight shift occurs between your legs - which in turn may impact how the back responds.

If you are looking for other “cardio” options, remember that anything can be “cardio” if it gets your heart rate up. Doing the dishes maybe cardio for someone who is just post op while a mile run might barely do anything for an ultramarathon runner. Thinking this way gives you options: You could go with many types of machines already mentioned such as bikes, rowers, ellipticals. Or you could do body weight circuit exercises that you can find on YouTube. Or you can find an activity you enjoy doing and just do it with more vigor.

Resistance training is likely an important thing to continue as long as it is done with the appropriate intensity (weight), volume (amount) and frequency (times per week). This will allow your body, not just your back, to get stronger, more resilient to stress, and desensitze finicky conditions that bring about pain. Resistance bands are nice, but they tend to limit progression choices.

Hope this helps
negwtg
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by negwtg »

find an in door pool. swimming is the perfect exercise. gives you an aerobic workout and works all the major muscle groups.
bondsr4me
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by bondsr4me »

I walk about 2 miles every morning after having a bagel and cup of coffee.
According to my Apple watch, my heart rate goes from about 59 (avg) up to 95 (avg).
I have osteoarthritis of the left knee, but I still can walk without much pain.
I am also dealing with polymyalgia rheumatica. The pain from this has been minimized with prednisone (4mg morning; 3mg afternoon).
I also take colchicine for calcium crystals on joints.
After all this, I can still play racquetball and golf and walk and yoga and pushups and lift lite weights.

I'm not much for treadmills; I enjoy outside walking as much as possible.
It is much more enjoyable outside.
I wish you well.
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bertilak
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by bertilak »

CanaBogle24 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:57 pm I’m a big proponent of rowing machines. Good full body workout that lets you get your heart rate up and even squeeze a pretty intense workout into ~10 minutes if you want to!
I used to row in high school crew. Coxswain first year, number 4 port oar next two years. (Number 4 oar is a power position. I put on 25 pounds between 1st and 2nd year.)

There was a time I looked at buying a rowing machine but I ended up as a runner instead. When in crew we probably spent as much time running as rowing. Now, decades later, my hips and knees are shot. I wonder if a rowing machine might be just the thing. Do you recommend any brands?
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by friar1610 »

Lotsa on-line cardio workouts available here: teambodyproject.com
They've replaced spin classes/Concept 2 rower/elliptical at the gym for me. And I've found the variety in the workouts very motivating.

Some of their workouts available on YouTube; a good sampling on the above web site for free. Full menu of workouts/programs require (modest, IMO) payment.
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owenmia
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by owenmia »

Recumbent bicycle.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by randomguy »

Norsky19 wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:57 am https://www.roguefitness.com/concept-2-erg-package

If you can afford it....get all three! Posterior chain, Anterior chain and legs......
I love the concept 2 but I would hesitate to recommend it to someone with back issues. Rowing isn't horrible but I am thinking it stress most back issues more than walking on a treadmil does...

I am not sure how power walking outside differs impact stress wise from power walking on a treadmill. Personally I think I would find some specialists that could suggest a strengthening routine and deal with the back problem now before it gets worse.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by BestCoast123 »

Rowing Machine. (I hate spin class.)

For what it's worth, Lebron James swears by the Versa Climber.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by randomguy »

bertilak wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:42 pm
CanaBogle24 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:57 pm I’m a big proponent of rowing machines. Good full body workout that lets you get your heart rate up and even squeeze a pretty intense workout into ~10 minutes if you want to!
I used to row in high school crew. Coxswain first year, number 4 port oar next two years. (Number 4 oar is a power position. I put on 25 pounds between 1st and 2nd year.)

There was a time I looked at buying a rowing machine but I ended up as a runner instead. When in crew we probably spent as much time running as rowing. Now, decades later, my hips and knees are shot. I wonder if a rowing machine might be just the thing. Do you recommend any brands?
Concept 2 is the gold standard for rowers. They aren't horribly expensive (around 1k) and retain their value really well (go see what used ones go for craigslist.).
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by boomergeneration »

On the days when I don't walk outside, I use a commericai xiser stepper. I bought it for $399. at Amazon years ago and use it on a regular basis. It can be used for regular as well as high intensity training. I like that it takes up little space and there is nothing to plug in. Also it is made in the United States.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by Lalamimi »

friend had a Gazelle. Easy on the knees.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by genestuart »

I use Concept2's Rower and SkiErg- both are great, durable machines, complement each other for a full cardio workout.
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MissHavisham
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by MissHavisham »

I LOVE my Peloton exercise bike. You could always just do Lesley Sansone's walk off the pounds for cardio.
EDosi
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by EDosi »

cnblure wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:27 pmJump rope.
I started jumping rope about six months ago and it has been great. It's a very efficient workout and you can get into doing tricks, which keeps it fun. This is all assuming that your back will be ok with it.

Also try bodyweight exercises in a circuit.
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Barkingsparrow
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by Barkingsparrow »

eggraid101 wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:30 am Walking on a treadmill seems pretty low-impact, so I would definitely consult your PT for ideas rather than investing in pricey equipment that will just make things worse. I know some people like to speed walk in malls, that might be an option depending on where you are.
I have a follow-up appointment with him next week and we'll discuss the equipment situation - as you say, I'm leery about going out and spending $$$ without a clear direction.

Unfortunately, I'm there to see him about a torn delt AFTER dealing with the back. No clue as to HOW that happened. But I do have a program of 2x daily stretches, yoga poses; and 3 days a week of low-impact strength. So where do you draw the line? I feel like I'm going to spend hours every day just trying to keep this body functional :) I think I'm paying for my days of varsity baseball, then tennis, then golf without doing the stretching/strength work to complement the sports.
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Barkingsparrow
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by Barkingsparrow »

EDosi wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:30 pm
cnblure wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:27 pmJump rope.
I started jumping rope about six months ago and it has been great. It's a very efficient workout and you can get into doing tricks, which keeps it fun. This is all assuming that your back will be ok with it.

Also try bodyweight exercises in a circuit.
Is jumping rope hard on the knees?
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Go Blue 99
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by Go Blue 99 »

We are likely going to buy a Sole elliptical soon. They have great reviews and it’s a low impact workout.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by flaccidsteele »

Barkingsparrow wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:58 am I've suffered from back issues on and off through the years and my PT blames my usage of treadmills as a root cause, and strongly recommends that I power walk outside instead - but we did not discuss any alternative for the winter months. I know some fitness trainers who never use treadmills either, for the same reason. What are good alternative cardio options for the winter months that others may utilize? I've only use a treadmill for years and would like to hear from those who use other machines.
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Always passive
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by Always passive »

texascrane wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:16 pm https://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers
I have a rowing machine. You need to watch your lower back. Many rowers have problems
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by MDfan »

Go Blue 99 wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:56 pm We are likely going to buy a Sole elliptical soon. They have great reviews and it’s a low impact workout.
Just bought the Sole R92 recumbent bike.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by Sandtrap »

Chuck107 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:37 pm As someone with back issues, 2 ruptured disks and severe spinal stenosis.
You need to see a spine doctor have an mri to determine exactly whats wrong.
Using the wrong equipment can do more damage.
It could also be your Si joint, (Sacroiliac) I have that as an issue as well.
I use an Si belt, it really helps a lot, and almost instant relief.
Best way to determine Si joint problems is to try a belt, you will know almost instantly.

Best thing to do on your own (common sense) if it hurts ...stop.
And go slow.
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JoMoney
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by JoMoney »

cnblure wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:27 pmJump rope.
:thumbsup
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by randomguy »

JoMoney wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:29 am
cnblure wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:27 pmJump rope.
:thumbsup
Jumping rope is higher impact than walking on a treadmill. Not sure if that is a great idea. Heck walking on a treadmill is such low impact that I am hesitant to suggest pretty much anything else. Swimming and rowing are both low impact but they do require the back muscles to work. Biking might have seat position issues. I guess ellipicalling might be fine...

If walking outside is ok and it is only the treadmill, maybe get a low impact treadmill? There is a lot to be said for sticking with an exercise that you already do. Obviously it is hard to figure out if the new treadmill would reduce impact enough to matter.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by CharacterCounts »

MDfan wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:25 am
MarkerFM wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:08 pm Another vote for elliptical and recumbent bike. We have both in our home gym in our summer home. Octane makes nice home ellipticals that don't need a lot of headroom. I've also used their derivative machines (lateral ellipticals, etc.) at our club and I'm not a fan. Have not used their recumbent ellipticals-they look interesting. I have back issues if I'm not careful, and rowing machines are not good for that.
What kind of recumbent bike do you have? We are looking at the Sole R92.

https://www..com/bikes/r92-sole-bike
We have a LeMond G Force RT (recumbent trainer) recumbent exercise bike. No problems over 8 years. Also very satisfied with Landice Treadmill.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by sixtyforty »

Stationary bike. Non weight bearing and you can achieve easy or hard workouts. I would stay away from rowing machines.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by phantom0308 »

Have you considered working with a running coach on your poor running form/posture?
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by whodidntante »

I like hiking. It's a form of interval training because some sections are more challenging. If you never get out of breath, hike faster, or carry weight. You can absolutely do it in the winter. I avoid subzero hikes, but I've done plenty below freezing. I sometimes intentionally remove some clothing because temperature stress has its own benefits.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by bhusa »

coffeeblack wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:31 am Spend 20 minutes 2 x per week on a Schwinn Airdyne. Walk for an hours one day per week. Lift weights 2-3 days per week doing compound exercises.
Read Fast exercise. Science based workouts.
I am in the late 70s, my exercise is very similar to what you described.
Could you explained a little more about "Read Fast exercise. Science based workouts."? Are you talking about HIIT workout?
PS: I bought a Schwinn Airdyne in 1980. So far I have put in more than 28000 miles.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by Barkingsparrow »

phantom0308 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:29 am Have you considered working with a running coach on your poor running form/posture?
I'm not sure it's poor form so much as I have a slight degenerative issue and the treadmill just seems to aggravate it.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by Barkingsparrow »

whodidntante wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:42 am I like hiking. It's a form of interval training because some sections are more challenging. If you never get out of breath, hike faster, or carry weight. You can absolutely do it in the winter. I avoid subzero hikes, but I've done plenty below freezing. I sometimes intentionally remove some clothing because temperature stress has its own benefits.
Unfortunately - I live in an area nearly devoid of good hiking trails but yes, I like hiking also, and have done the Milford/Routeburn/Greenstone tracks in NZ. I find carrying some weight with a backpack to actually help because I can raise my hands up and slip them under the straps for support.
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Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

Post by coffeeblack »

bhusa wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:47 am
coffeeblack wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:31 am Spend 20 minutes 2 x per week on a Schwinn Airdyne. Walk for an hours one day per week. Lift weights 2-3 days per week doing compound exercises.
Read Fast exercise. Science based workouts.
I am in the late 70s, my exercise is very similar to what you described.
Could you explained a little more about "Read Fast exercise. Science based workouts."? Are you talking about HIIT workout?
PS: I bought a Schwinn Airdyne in 1980. So far I have put in more than 28000 miles.

Then you are doing it right. Are you lifting as well?

Yes, the book fast exercise has science based HIIT workout routines. But it sounds like you are already doing it. :sharebeer
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