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How Effective is Treadmill Running?

How Effective is Treadmill Running?

We found the following quote about treadmills on www.google.co.uk:

“Competition is like a treadmill. If you stand still, you get swept off…”*

It made #TeamRBF smile, simply because it is a great analogy. One of Roger Black Fitness’ mantras is to ‘Keep Britain Moving…’ so the link and advice is both real and metaphorical – but how effective is running on a treadmill?

Does Running on a Treadmill Work?

Well, as an initial response, it depends on what you want to achieve. A treadmill is designed for walking, jogging, running and a mixture of all three disciplines. As we approach Halloween and enter the winter months, even more hardy road runners sometimes choose to bring their workouts indoors, for a few months at least.

We fully appreciate that buying a home or office treadmill is a commitment and financial investment. Infinite information on the internet can also sometimes be confusing. We would always suggest you consider your budget and the amount of space you have at home as two key questions prior to clicking ‘BUY’.

If you are looking for a folding treadmill that doesn’t require assembly and is priced at under £400, we would suggest our Roger Black Folding Treadmill | Roger Black Fitness. The Easy Fold Treadmill is our second best-seller and is straightforward to use. It is also compatible with a Zwift Run Pod, priced at under £40 – see Running the roads of Zwift couldn’t be easier. Even if you are a treadmill novice, easy-to-follow treadmill programmes can help you find your running, jogging and walking mojo, 365 days a year.

Treadmill VS Road Running

Running on a treadmill for those who are used to running outdoors can be viewed as workout maintenance, complementary to trail or road running and also as an integral part of your fitness and wellbeing routine. It can be equally efficient from a calorie and fat-burning perspective plus you don’t have to worry about insects, rain or wind.

On the flip side, running inside you may miss the sights, sounds and smells of Mother Nature. For some, running on the spot can be a little repetitive so if you are easily bored, it’s best to mix up your indoor routine into intervals, sprint-rest-sprint runs or competing against family members or friends.

For those of you who are more experienced runners and perhaps training for a half or full marathon, even with regular treadmill workouts, we would recommend you keep up with some road running. The physical experience and impact upon your joints are quite different and regular road runners may need different footwear.

How often should you run on a treadmill?

As with the first question in this blog, there are multiple answers to this one… We would, however, recommend that you build up gradually and literally find your feet, confidence and pace before you embark upon any long runs or sprints.

Running or jogging on a daily basis for anywhere between 3km-5km is a reasonable workout. Even moving 1km a day is to be celebrated for those who struggle with movement. The aim is to include any form of exercise into your daily routine, so it becomes a habit rather than a chore. Workouts should also be enjoyable so make sure you find a rhythm that works for you and your body.

We also recommend that you don’t beat yourselves up if you miss a workout or do a few minutes less on any particular day. Our energy levels vary throughout the month. Ditto, if you have an injury or have pulled a muscle. Be gentle on yourself and listen to your body. If you aren’t sure about your running style, you can always go to a fitness store and get your gait checked or get it checked online Free Online Gait Analysis | Running Gait Check | SportsShoes.com

Can Running on a Treadmill make you Faster?

For more experienced runners or those seeking to improve your speed and running efficiency, a treadmill is a great way to help you to better understand and improve your running speed Vs time, in a precise and organised way, at any time of the day or night.

If you are hoping to beat a previous personal best competitive running time, there are a number or online tools and Apps to help you analyse your performance. Most marathon training support manuals and websites also usually offer help and tools as well.

It’s really important to remember that running on a treadmill is a different experience to road running. Unless you have programmed a gradient into your machine console, a treadmill run is flat and consistent – roads, woods and trails are more uneven. So if you are looking for a like-for-like experience, it may be a little unrealistic.

For beginners, however, it is best not to over-stress about speed and time. Build up at your own pace and do ask for help from a running buddy or personal trainer if you need support or guidance. Roger and #TeamRBF are also happy to answer specific questions (if we can!) so feel free to email us at hello@rogerblackfitness.com.

For now, enjoy Halloween… a whole different take on being swept off (your feet)… but less likely when you are indoors on your new treadmill!

*Source: www.brainyquote.com

How To Improve Fitness at Home

How To Improve Fitness at Home

October is here, welcoming sunshine, blustery rain, a fuel crisis and the première of ‘No Time To Die’, Daniel Craig - Wikipedia’s final outing as James Bond. You may decide to work out at home to save fuel or you might just prefer to exercise at home. Regardless, we can’t guarantee a Bond-like transformation, but we can help get you started with some tips and guidance on how to improve overall fitness and wellbeing in the comfort of your home living or workspace. 

General guidelines vary in terms of how frequently (and for how long) you should exercise every day – see NHS’ 10-minute home cardio workout - NHS (www.nhs.uk). For Roger and #TeamRBF, the message is simple: start to move and keep on moving every day and remain as physically and mentally active as you can.

How to Improve Your Cardiovascular Fitness at Home?

Before we get into more detail, it is important to differentiate between the various types of physical activity you can do. In this blog, we are focusing specifically on cardiovascular health (literally translated as ‘blood vessel health’. Other types of slightly lower impact exercise include strength training, tone and shape as well as muscle lengthening and stretching such as Yoga and Pilates.

What is Cardiovascular Fitness?

According to the www.nhs.uk website, “Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels… CVD is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK, but it can often largely be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle”.

The purpose of improving your cardiovascular fitness, ie an improved functionality of blood flow and efficiency of your heart and lungs, is to support life longevity and to enable the prevention of some life-limiting diseases. Based on the information medical experts have accrued about Covid-19 and the devastating impact it has had around the world since the start of 2020, those who are or were overweight, with Diabetes or heart or lung conditions were and still considered to be vulnerable in relation to the pandemic. So, it is never too late to start getting in better ‘cardiovascular shape’ as a preventative measure.

How to build your cardiovascular fitness?

We would recommend that you start at the beginning! Don’t try to run on a treadmill like the Roger Black Gold Treadmill | Roger Black Fitness for 10 miles if you have never run before. Start slowly, with five, 10 or 15 minute walks or jogs and build up. Don’t worry if you can only walk to begin with but feel impatient. Some of the highest ranking www.BlueZone.com countries attribute their old age to good food, the occasional drink and walking everywhere! Salute!

How to measure your cardiovascular fitness?

Before you start exercising, take your resting pulse and ask yourself a few questions around when you last exercised, your lifestyle, weight, diet etc. If you know you have a history of high blood pressure or a chronic health condition, make sure you check with your GP first before you embark on your cardio journey. Write down notes around your fitness journey – measurements, pulse, blood pressure etc. 

As a rule of thumb, as your cardiovascular fitness increases, your blood pressure should go down, as should your weight (or inches if not weight) and your pulse should decrease. Clearly, there are exceptions to every rule (and certain medications can impact upon your blood pressure and pulse) but you should notice a difference in how you feel. Exercise generates nature’s feelgood factor in the form of endorphin release.

What Exercises Improve Your Cardiovascular Fitness

In additional to walking and running, cardiovascular fitness can be improved through any form of activity that gets your heart pumping and brings on a bit of a sweat. So if you like dancing, bring the disco into your home; consider skipping or jumping jacks if you don’t want to get on a machine; invest in a cross trainer or exercise bike or simply run or walk up and down the stairs. There is no one size fits all approach to improving cardiovascular health – the most important thing to consider though is that you enjoy what you are doing.

Essential Home Gym Equipment

If you are saving up for a piece of home fitness equipment or if you are ready to buy, the Roger Black Fitness range is perfect for those starting out on their journey and for ongoing health maintenance, 365 days a year. However, as with any home fitness equipment purchase, consider a few things before you press ‘buy’:

  • How much space do I have at home?
  • What is my budget?
  • What form(s) of exercise do I currently enjoy?

These three questions will help you filter out equipment that might be suitable for you and your home. The entire Roger Black Fitness range is priced under £500, with lead-in prices starting at just £159.00 for a folding exercise bike.

If you currently enjoy going to exercise classes such as spinning and want to get a bike to spin at home, check whether the bike you are buying has clips. In the case of Roger Black Fitness bikes, they are not suitable for spin enthusiasts but perfect for getting a hearty cardio and leg workout.

If you have less space at home, a folding exercise bike or Roger Black Treadmills are brilliant choices. If you are feeling competitive, you can also use a Zwift Run Pod on your folding treadmill!

If you enjoy rowing, you can purchase from a wide variety of rowers for a more substantial upper body cardio workout or a cross trainer, if you can manage the arm-leg coordination.

In short, Roger and his team simply wants to get the nation moving and their hearts pumping to increase cardio health and mental wellbeing. We can’t guarantee you’ll be eligible for the Bond role any time soon but a Roger Black Fitness ‘Cardio Crusader’, one hundred per cent.  

Which Muscles Does an Exercise Bike Work?

Which Muscles Does an Exercise Bike Work?

As the nights start to draw in and puddles start to fill on-road cycle paths, our thoughts may turn to which types of exercise we can do at home. Some of you may already use a static (stationary) exercise bike. Others may be reluctant to buy one, might think you don’t have enough room or may not have considered the need. So, what might the benefits be, and can an exercise bike really give you a decent workout and help to build muscle?

Before we start, let’s be clear that different types of bikes are designed for different levels of workout, fitness and usage. So, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. However, there are key fundamental muscle groups used when you do a home (or road) bike ride.

Primarily, and as you can see from the diagram below, you are mainly using the bottom half of your body – your glutes, the top of the thighs and your calves. Depending on the type of bike you have and your posture, you also can be working your lower back and core. We would always recommend you to be aware of your posture and core when doing any workout.

For example, a spinning bike where you stand and ‘hover’ within a workout, allows you to use additional muscle groups, compared with a stationary bike where the workout is 100% seated. Having said that, the body is all inter-linked so one muscle group interacts with another, directly or indirectly. Hence the need to stretch after a workout and not to put too much pressure on another part of the body.

If you opt for an exercise bike to improve heart health, don’t forget that your heart is a brilliant muscle and you need to keep it working properly to keep blood pressure down and pumping correctly, particularly as you get older. 

So, with all of this in mind, can an exercise bike home workout actually build muscle?

Do Exercise Bikes Build Muscle?

If you are starting to exercise at home on a static or folding exercise bike, as per 

Roger Black Fitness & Exercise Bikes | Full Range | Roger Black Fitness range, you need to consider your overall fitness and health goals, but “yes” in principle, although other factors need to be taken into account. 

If building muscle is your main intention, then you also need to think about your weight, diet and any pre-existing health conditions that you may have that can influence your body’s ability to build muscle. The NHS website is great for general information about strength (and also body building, but you won’t be quite there yet!) and loads of detail is available online How to improve your strength and flexibility - NHS (www.nhs.uk). As to specific parts of the body, here is some more detail:

Does an Exercise Bike Tone Your Stomach?

Whilst a basic bike workout doesn’t directly engage your core and tone your stomach, your ability to lose body fat and engage stomach muscles becomes greater, coupled with a decent sleep pattern and corrected eating (and drinking) habits. Your posture may also improve, thereby engaging your core muscles in a more positive way.

As you become more aware of how you are seated on your exercise bike during your workout (and also see some results as you look down at your gut), you may automatically engage your core muscles more and help to increase muscle tone.

You should also bear in mind that muscle tone is also linked to genetics, your specific skin type and other elements such as whether you have regular massages, the skin products you use and other physical activity you engage in other than a bike workout.

As you improve your cardio fitness and increase your body strength, keep a record of your weight and what you eat and when. If you feel deflated when you stand on a set of scales, then use a tape measure or simply go by your clothes if you don’t want to be too prescriptive. The waistband never lies! So moving down the body, what about legs… does an exercise bike build leg muscle?

Does an Exercise Bike Build Leg Muscle?

So, the simple answer is “Yes” – working out on an exercise can and will build muscle in your legs but this is also dependent on your weight and the level of resistance you are using when pushing the pedals. The higher the intensity and also the more variation within your programme, the better for muscle tone, as well as fat loss and heart rate. 

As per the points about core-building, the ability to build muscle is also dependent on the amount of protein you eat within a balanced or calorie-deficit diet and your physical and genetic makeup. Nothing will happen overnight, and you need to regularly and consistently use your machine to generate results. Once you start to build muscle and lose weight, the next step towards visible results is muscle tone. 

Are Exercise Bikes Good for Toning Legs?

Well, we think so! You just have to look at a cyclist’s legs to see this is a truism although we don’t expect you to turn into Bradley Wiggins - Wikipedia overnight!

Exercise bikes are great for toning legs but you need to build muscle first and also think about your general levels of movement: walk up the stairs (if you are able); walk to the shops instead of driving (if you can). Keep your body moving. 

Swim in the sea or bath in Epsom Bath Salts - Organic – Westlab (westlabsalts.co.uk). Salts and salt water can act as a natural form of lymphatic drainage and cold water helps with muscle tone. Do bear in mind though that for conditions such as cellulite, this differs to standard muscle tone. 

So, all in all, we would recommend using an exercise bike for heart health, coupled with building strength, muscle and tone in the lower half of your body. Always remember to stretch and even incorporate some Yoga or Pilates into your regular workout programme. But most importantly, always enjoy your health and wellbeing journey, while you stare out the window at the Autumn rain. And be grateful. Always grateful for the gift of health.