A stepper is a small, low-cost and easy-to-use piece of home fitness equipment that can burn calories and help in your weight loss program. Though you shouldn't rely on a single piece of equipment for your weight loss, a stepper can provide an effective aerobic workout that can increase your metabolism and burn fat. The variety of workouts you can do depends on the design of your stepper, but each should provide some aerobic benefits after 15 minutes of use.
Stretch for 5 minutes before using your stepper. The types of stretches you do are unimportant; stretching will warm your muscles up before beginning aerobic exercise, which will reduce your chances of injury and discomfort.
Adjust the resistance on your stepper to one of its lowest resistance settings while you learn how to operate the machine. Most steppers feature a dial near the pedals or on the pistons that you can turn to adjust resistance.
Stand with both feet on the stepper. While some steppers may be used from a sitting position, you will burn more calories standing because you engage more of your body at once.
Grasp the handrails if your stepper includes this optional upper-body accessory. Do not lean or put any body weight on these handles, as this will reduce the intensity of the workout and you'll burn fewer calories.
Push down on the stepper, alternating legs. The movement should feel as if you are climbing stairs. Swing your arms normally as you step.
Vary your workout with occasional low-intensity "sprints." This will keep your routine more interesting and also engage different muscle fibers for a more well-rounded workout.
Climb on your stepper for 15 to 30 minutes, increasing resistance if you feel the exercise is too easy and will not leave you fatigued at the end of your workout. Fifteen minutes on the stepper will burn 90 calories.
Add an upper-body component to your stepper routine as you get more advanced. Hold small dumbbells in your hands or wear wrist weights as you step in order to burn even more calories and help tone the muscles in your arms and shoulders.
Incorporate other aerobic exercises into your workout routine. A long-term study of individuals who successfully lost and kept weight off revealed that 90 percent of them exercise for around 1 hour every day, according to the National Weight Control Registry.
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- The National Weight Control Registry: NWCR Facts
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