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The Question

I am 54 years old and have been running on a treadmill since I was 40. I broke my right foot last summer; now running is almost impossible. Can you suggest some alternative cardio workouts that are still challenging?

The Answer

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Try these workouts:

1. Treadmill pyramid hill climb: Start by doing a five-minute warm-up. At the end of the warm-up, you should be walking at a speed that is challenging but doable. For the next five minutes, increase your incline by one every minute until you are at an incline of five. Hold that speed and incline for 10 minutes. Then decrease your incline by one every minute for five minutes. Finish with a five-minute cool-down.

2. Elliptical intervals: Choose the manual program. Warm up for five minutes at an easy to moderate intensity. The main part of the workout is six to eight intervals. Each interval consists of three minutes of intense work followed by two minutes of moderate work. Cool down for five minutes.

3. The Neapolitan workout: Do 10 minutes on three different machines back to back without resting (elliptical, stairclimber and bike is one example). On each machine, increase your speed and resistance slightly every two minutes so that the last two minutes on every machine is challenging. Finish with a five-minute cool-down.

Trainer's tip: Make sure you are also doing balance and strength work to help your foot and ankle continue to recover. For example, stand on one foot and balance without your other foot touching the ground. Once you can balance for 30 seconds, try closing your eyes.

Send certified personal trainer Kathleen Trotter your questions at She will answer select questions, which could appear in The Globe and Mail and/or on The Globe and Mail web site. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.

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The content provided in The Globe and Mail's Ask a Health Expert centre is for information purposes only and is neither intended to be relied upon nor to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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