The Only 20-Minute Treadmill Workout You Need to Build Muscle and Cardio Fitness Over 50


This 20-minute cardio workout on the treadmill gets your heart rate up while strengthening your entire body.

Photo credit:
yacobchuk/iStock/GettyImages

Prioritizing fitness as you age is important to promoting longevity, and just 20 minutes of exercise on the treadmill most days of the week is an excellent way to maintain your health and reach your cardiovascular fitness goals.

In fact, physical activity guidelines for Americans recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week.

And there’s a good reason for that: your cognition declines with age, but keeping up with an exercise routine and engaging your mind with brain games can help you stay sharp. According to a July 2018 review in the ​International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity​Physical activity programs for older adults that include cognitive exercise may help improve cognitive health, which declines with age.

Try this 20-minute treadmill cardio workout that includes some inclines and dumbbell upper-body exercises to help you keep up with your cardio routine.

The inclines activate your posterior chain (muscles in the back of your body) and strengthen your lower body and heart rate for your cardio work. The dumbbell exercises during the workout are unilateral (unilateral) to improve your upper body strength and coordination.

Remember to bring the treadmill to a complete stop before doing the floor exercises.

20-minute cardio and strength training session on the treadmill

  1. Begin by warming up on the treadmill at a 1 percent incline for 5 minutes with a brisk walk (approximately 5 km/h for beginners and 4 km/h for intermediates).
  2. For the next 2 minutes, take the incline up to 3 percent. If you walk, increase your speed to between 3.5 and 4.5 miles per hour. If you prefer to jog, increase the speed to between 4.5 and 5.5 mph. This should feel challenging.
  3. Stop the treadmill and get on the ground safely. Do 10 reps of each of the five upper body strength exercises listed below, then safely return to the treadmill.
  4. For the next 2 minutes, take the incline up to 4 percent. Return to the speed you used the last lap, or add a little more speed if you want a bigger challenge.
  5. Stop the treadmill and get on the ground safely. Do 10 reps for each of the five upper body strength exercises, then safely return to the treadmill.
  6. For the next 2 minutes, take the incline up to 5 percent. Go back to the speed you used on the previous round, or increase your speed if you want a bigger challenge.
  7. For the next three minutes, slow down and bring it back to your brisk walking pace with a 1 percent incline.
Also Read :  How old is DaVonté Black? Meet the fitness coach from Love Is Blind Season 3

Tip

Use your arms to propel yourself through the inclines as far as you can. Drive your elbows straight back at a 90-degree angle. If necessary, hold onto the rails for support.

As you hold onto the rails for support, lean forward slightly from your waist so you can reap the benefits of walking on an incline. Leaning backwards puts your back in an upright position, reducing the strength training that comes from adding the incline.

Always listen to your body with any cardio program. You want to feel challenged but always in control. You can use a heart rate monitor or a scale like Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) to determine your effort.

1 percent incline at 3 to 4 mph

5 minutes

3 percent incline at 3.5 to 4.5 mph (walk) or 4.5 to 5.5 (jog)

2 minutes

Get off the treadmill and do the floor exercises below

10 reps per move

4 percent incline at 3.5 to 4.5 mph (walk) or 4.5 to 5.5 (jog)

2 minutes

Get off the treadmill and do the floor exercises below

10 reps per move

5 percent incline at 3.5 to 4.5 mph (walk) or 4.5 to 5.5 (jog)

2 minutes

1 percent incline at 3 to 4 mph

3 minutes

5 Strength Exercises You Can Do While Training Off the Treadmill

As you age, it also becomes more important to incorporate unilateral (unilateral) exercises into your fitness routine. By working out one side of your body at a time, you’ll develop core strength while working on your balance and coordination.

Complete these exercises as part of steps 3 and 5 above.

1. Alternating bicep curl

JW Player placeholder image

sentences

2

repetitions

10

body part

weapons

  1. Stand hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Keeping your body still, bend your right elbow and bring the dumbbell to your right shoulder.
  3. Lower your right arm back down to your side. This is 1 rep.
  4. Repeat with your left arm.
  5. Continue alternating until you have performed a total of 10 reps.

Tip

Engage your core while you work. The weight imbalance in each alternating curl challenges you to keep your body in a straight line. This is where stability and coordination come into play.

JW Player placeholder image

sentences

2

repetitions

10

body part

chest

  1. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your chest with your elbows bent and touching the floor.
  3. Push your right arm toward the ceiling.
  4. Bend your right elbow and bring your arm back to the starting position. This is 1 rep.
  5. Repeat with your left arm.
  6. Continue alternating until you have performed a total of 10 reps.

Tip

Keep your elbows on the floor about 45 degrees from your shoulders to avoid extra pressure on your shoulder joints. As you press the barbell across your chest, tighten your core and push your back into the floor to increase the weight.

JW Player placeholder image

sentences

2

repetitions

10

body part

Section

  1. Start on all fours with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Your back should be flat.
  2. Simultaneously raise your right arm and left leg in a controlled manner until they are parallel to the floor.
  3. Bring your hand and knee back to the floor. This is 1 rep.
  4. Repeat with your left arm and right leg.
  5. Continue alternating until you have performed a total of 10 reps.

Tip

Your main engagement with this exercise comes from focusing on balancing on your supporting arm and leg.

JW Player placeholder image

sentences

2

repetitions

10

body part

The back

  1. Stand hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and push your hips back, creating a hinge in your hips, until your back is flat.
  3. With your arms outstretched and your palms facing each other, drive your right arm up by squeezing your shoulder blade.
  4. Back to the starting position. This is 1 rep
  5. Repeat with your left arm.
  6. Continue alternating until you have completed a total of 10 reps.

Tip

Engage your core as you drive your elbow back. Your body will naturally want to rotate, but keeping your core tight will help prevent this.

JW Player placeholder image

sentences

2

repetitions

10

body part

Shoulders

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders, palms facing forward.
  2. Push your right arm overhead until your biceps are against your ears, then return to the starting position. This is 1 rep.
  3. Repeat on the left side.
  4. Continue alternating until you have completed a total of 10 reps.

Tip

Brace your core to avoid pressure on your lower back and avoid leaning as you press the weight overhead.

Over 50? Here are some other workouts to try



Source link