It's your day to cross-train, but you still want to get your heart rate up some. Although you may need a break from the impact of running, you're still craving a good sweat session. To increase leg and core strength and your endurance, you head for the indoor cycling studio.
But, maybe your gym doesn't offer Spinning?. Or, you woke up early and rushed to the cycle studio only to find the last bike was taken. Fear not—you can still squeeze in a good workout.
While indoor cycling is a lot more exciting in a darkened room, music blaring, with your favorite instructor cueing every move, when it's all you've got, the stationary bike is a more than acceptable alternative.
However, the temptation on any cardio machine is to hit the manual setting, find a comfortable level of effort, then sit back and enjoy (magazine in hand). While this is right for a recovery day, if your aim is to increase your aerobic fitness, some level of sweating must occur. Did you trek all the way to the gym to get a mediocre workout? I didn't think so.
Here is a super fat-burning workout designed to kick your metabolism into high gear in only 40 minutes. This workout is perfect for those just beginning a running program who want to increase fitness without impact, those returning after a break from training, or the over-trained (you know who you are). For the rest of us, endurance is a necessary balance to the fierce high-intensity runs we tend to favor.
By staying within an aerobic, as opposed to anaerobic, rate of exertion, you will increase your stamina to build or maintain a strong base. This necessary foundation will serve as a springboard to take your fitness to the next level.
Cross-Training Gear You'll Need
You will need everything you normally tote to class: water bottle, towel, sneakers and heart rate monitor (optional). Add some rocking tunes, and you're good to go.
Training With a Heart Rate Monitor
A heart rate monitor makes a terrific addition to your wish list if you are still riding without. Online calculators, while somewhat imperfect, will give you a quick definition of your maximum heart rate (MHR) and various percentages (65, 70, 75 and 80 percent of your MHR will be needed). Write these numbers on an index card to carry in your gym bag, or program them into your monitor. Otherwise, you'll be relying on rate of perceived exertion (RPE), or how vigorously you feel you are working.