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Now that we are in the dead of winter, no one wants to go outside for a run or to ride a bike. The weather leaves us no choice but to utilize the college gym for all of our exercise needs. Cardio at the gym gets very dull very fast. You can take exercise classes like spin, yoga or Zumba, but for a true cross training experience, eventually you should make friends with the elliptical, the treadmill and the bike. Follow these workout tips to get the most out of the basic cardio machines at your college gym!

Enter your information:

Before you start working out, get on the machine and enter your information such as your weight and age. This way, the machine will give you a more accurate reading on your calorie burn. If you go to the gym and decide you want to burn 300 calories, entering your information is the best way to achieve that goal.

Turn up the resistance:

Going on the elliptical or stationary bike for 30-40 minutes if a breeze is you don’t have any resistance. Without resistance, you won’t get the proper results because you are not burning as many calories as you can or working your muscles as hard as you can. Studies show that it’s better to do a shorter workout with more resistance (high intensity interval training) than to do a longer workout with little resistance. Your resistance doesn’t have to be set to 10+ for the whole workout—change up the resistance throughout your workout from low to high to for optimum results. On the treadmill, try running/walking with a steep incline instead of just flat.


Any cardio machine at the gym offers intervals. Interval training challenges and boosts your metabolism because it makes you work harder and pushes you. If you want to do intervals for your whole cardio machine workout, try doing about five-minutes of moderate intensity and then crank up the intensity for 30-seconds. Be sure to give yourself about 2-minutes of cool down at the end to give your heart rate a break.

Work your core:

Your core is what holds your whole body together. On any cardio machine at the gym, your core can be worked. Working your core will also lead to more calorie burning, and it’s always good to strengthen different parts of your body. On the treadmill, be sure to have good posture and not slouch. On the elliptical, try not using the handles. By doing this, you challenge your body’s balance and puts emphasis on your core.

It’s important to make the most out of your time at the gym. Keep these tips in mind next time you exercise for an energetic and productive workout.

What are some of your favorite workout tips?