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Treadmills

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Treadmills for Cardiovascular Training
 
The usage of a treadmill for the benefits of cardiovascular enhancement is highly encouraged to those of all age and fitness levels.  As with all other forms of exercise, consulting with your physician is highly recommended before beginning any type of activity which may be new to your body. 
 
Treadmills usually offer standard features including a sensor to display your relevant heart rate in beats per minute (BPM), and controls to adjust speed, incline, and time.  In fact, the majority of treadmills offer an emergency stop feature (usually in the form of an attachable clip) to prevent the occurrence of injury should the user slip or fall from the treadmill.
 
Some "more advanced" models of treadmills may offer additional features such as television screens, fans to cool down the exercising individual, audio connections for headphones to listen to music or for the television, and also bluetooth features for strap on heart rate monitors i.e. the brandname POLAR.
 
Maximum Heart Rate
 
Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) is an easy calculation to undertake which tells us the maximum number of times that the heart can "beat" usually measured in a minute.  It reflects the highest number of times that contractions of the heart occur during maximal physical exertion.  MHR should not be something that the individual strives to achieve while exercising as this can be very dangerous.  To determine ones' MHR, a simple calculation can be used which is simply:
 
220 - Age = MHR
 
As you can see, this is a general number attained which does not accurately represent the reality of ones' actual MHR but approximates an average for the persons' age.  Other physical parameters (such as disease, etc.) are not included into this calculation but this number should be just a rough estimate that the individual can follow while exercising. 
 
Example:
 
A person aged 30 years chooses to begin exercising.  What would be that individuals MHR?
 
You guessed it, the answer here is 190 bpm.
 
Target Heart Rate
 
Target Heart Rate (THR) represents the ideal number of heart beats per minute that the individual wishes to achieve depending on her objective (to be discussed later). 
 
Here is a brief list of percentile ranges and the corresponding fitness objective:
 
50-65%    --    Aerobic endurance; energy supplied primarily from fat oxidation
65-85%    --    Aerobic endurance; energy supplied from fat and glycogen reserves
85-100%  --   Anaerobic endurance; high risk; primarily glucose metabolism
 
It should be mentioned that low intensity cardiovascular activity tends to rely on energy drawn from the breakdown of fat while higher intensity activity is dependent on carbohydrate metabolism.  Since higher intensity activity can only be conducted for a short period of time (in respect of low intensity activity) fatigue generally results even though total caloric expenditure can be similar for both bouts of exercise.