Trekking: the new treadmill workout

By Britney Glaser - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - "Trekking" has historically been known as a long and challenging journey on foot, but it's re-emerging within the walls of some fitness facilities as the new treadmill workout.

It is not your momma's stroll on the treadmill.  Gigi's Fitness Centers instructors Dustin Guidry and Ellen Papania are leading a group of walkers and runners on a physical journey, called trekking.  "We don't focus on speed," says Papania, "we focus on inclines for the intervals."

For 35 minutes, trekkers go through a series of elevations and speeds on the treadmill to maximize calorie burning and endurance.  "The intervals will increase your performance and your fitness level," says Papania, "it's the quickest way to increase your VO2 max and get you more fit for whatever it is that you want to do."

After three years of being out of the exercise circuit because of an injury, 50-year-old Kathie Krielow decided to give trekking a try.  "I've never looked forward to cardio," she says, "and I find myself looking forward to it and the energy I've gotten in just those few classes is pretty phenomenal."

The short bursts of intensity are appealing to exercisers who might be intimidated by hour-long fitness classes.  Papania says, "It's very intense for shorter periods of time, so people feel more successful because it's a short period of time and they can do almost anything for those three minutes or one minute intervals."

The fast pace is what is keeping Kathie coming back for more.  "It's diversified, high-calorie burning and it's 35 minutes," says Kathie, "so if you have ADD like me, it's quick and it's great results."

Another added benefit with interval training is that you continue to burn calories after your workout is complete.

*Kathie says after three classes, she's already lost close to an inch in her waist.

*You don't have to be a member of Gigi's fitness to take part in the trekking classes.  They are $7/class and happen every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Gigi's on Nelson Road in Lake Charles. Call 474-6601 for more information.

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