Keep your heart healthy with a treadmill

Advertising feature / 09 May 2019

Staying youthful and living long is top of the agenda for many over-50s, trying to keep up with playful grandchildren and stay sharp in the mind.

The treadmill can be the perfect tool for over-50s to lose weight and maintain a healthy heart when it matters most. The key to having a healthy heart is introducing cardiovascular exercise into your routine. Maintaining a healthy weight and keeping active will dramatically reduce the chances of heart-related illness such as heart attack or stroke.

Using your treadmill for the first time

First of all, find your comfort zone by starting at a slow speed and getting used to how it feels to walk on the moving treadmill belt. It is recommended to raise your heart rate to 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate to achieve health benefits (unless told not to by your GP). You can calculate your target heart rate with this simple calculation: 220 - Age = Maximum heart rate (MHR). Whatever speed raises your heart rate to a level which is up to 85 percent of your MHR and which you can maintain for a length of time, is the right speed for you to start with. 

Remember, you should always consult your GP before starting a new exercise regime, particularly if you are not in the habit of taking regular exercise.

Frequent and consistent trumps high intensity

The aim of a treadmill workout for seniors is not to go flat out and reach your limit in one session. If you over exert yourself, you'll be at risk of burnout - where you feel you can't exercise for several days following a workout. Avoiding burnout and keeping a consistently active lifestyle is key to reducing any excess weight and working your heart as part of your daily routine.

Low impact, big results

Taking good care of your joints becomes more important as you get older, and that's why treadmills are not always just for runners. Walking on a treadmill can be just as effective but less tough on the joints. How hard you work out is not only based on speed but on incline, so up the incline to mimic walking uphill if you feel you can push yourself harder.

Walking or jogging on the treadmill burns calories, builds muscle and improves cardiovascular health – without putting too much strain on your joints. A treadmill in your home means you can hop on whenever you feel a burst of energy or have a spare 30 minutes, so you'll fit in much more cardio than ever before. You'll find your mood is lifted and your weight comes under control thanks to these simple treadmill walking exercises... So what are you waiting for?

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.