Treadmills remain the most popular machines for cardio exercise – even ahead of stationary bikes.
These machines offer a convenient way to work out and are a great alternative to hitting the pavement for a run or jog. So, a lot of runners use treadmills when the weather outside isn’t agreeable.
Unfortunately, some people have trouble getting used to the treadmill.
You might find it boring or repetitive. You might not think that you’re getting the best results. These issues can keep you from including the treadmill in your standard workout routine.
If you need a break from the outdoors, then use the following tips to get more out of your treadmill workout and actually have more fun. It doesn’t need to be a chore to spend 30 to 60 minutes on a treadmill.
How to Deal with the Monotony of the Treadmill
It’s estimated that over 50 million people in the US use a treadmill. Despite the popularity of the machine, a lot of people still find the idea of running in place to be monotonous.
If this is your biggest obstacle with the treadmill, there are ways to make the workout a little more entertaining. One of the challenges of any repetitive exercise is finding ways to focus on something other than the time.
For this, you should think about listening to music while you run on the treadmill. Use your phone or an MP3 player to listen to music as you run and then time your exercise based on the number of songs – to push yourself to meet your goals.
For example, instead of trying to run for 15 more minutes, you would try to run for 4 or 5 more songs. The average song is about 3-minutes long. So, use your playlist as motivation to keep going.
If listening to music doesn’t work for you, you could try watching television. In most gyms, there are televisions mounted across from the treadmills. Even with the sound turned off, this is more enjoyable than staring at a wall or a mirror.
The idea is to distract yourself from the repetition of the task and focus on something else. Whether you listen to music or watch TV, this distraction will keep you staring at your watch.
Adding more variety to your exercise can also help with the monotony – while boosting the effectiveness of your workout.
How to Get More Out of Your Treadmill Workout
Simply running at the same pace, at the same incline, for the entire duration of your time on the treadmill won’t have the same impact as a versatile treadmill run.
You need to add variety. It’s good for your mind and body.
Instead of running at the same pace for 30-minutes, you could use HIIT (high-intensity interval training). Push yourself for 20-seconds, running on the treadmill as fast as you can, followed by 40-seconds of casual jogging.
The process of switching between a fast and slow pace increases the number of calories that you burn, while also boosting your endurance, strength, and muscle gains.
You Need to Warm Up Before You Push Yourself
You also need to warm up before you really get going. You can’t just jump on the treadmill and immediately go at full strength.
You want to build up to your optimal pace. Start with a casual walk for several minutes. After two to three minutes, you should pick up the pace and begin jogging. This should be just a little slower than your marathon pace.
After 5 to 6 minutes of walking and jogging, you can move into your faster pace.
You Need to Pay Attention to Your Muscles
Running on an outdoor surface and running on a treadmill are not the same experience. Both can be incredibly beneficial for your health, but they work your muscles differently.
For this reason, runners may find that their next run is more of a chore after spending a few days on the treadmill. So, you need to pay attention to the muscles that you use.
Running on the treadmill provides a relatively soft, steady surface. You won’t get the same workout for your quads or hamstrings while using the treadmill.
To deal with this difference, if you’re substituting your regular running routine with the use of a treadmill, then you should
Though, you can simulate outdoor conditions with a treadmill. When you run on a treadmill, you don’t have the air resistance that you’d have outdoors. Increasing the incline can help.
If you want to reflect the energy cost of outdoor running while using a treadmill, then set the incline grade to 1%. This is the optimal grade for mimicking the effects of outdoor running.
Make Sure That You Are Comfortable
The final tip for making your treadmill run more enjoyable is to make sure that you’re comfortable. Wear comfortable exercise clothes, including running shoes. A sweatband can also be useful to catch sweat as you run.
Keeping a bottle of water nearby is also useful. Chill the water before your treadmill run so that it remains cold as long as possible.
Final Thoughts on Adding Treadmills to Your Workout Routine
A treadmill can be an efficient solution for maintaining your workout routine. This is especially helpful for runners, as the weather may not always be ideal for running.
But, people often complain about the monotony and effectiveness of treadmills. If you’ve avoided the treadmill due to those complaints, then give these tips a try.
Remember to break up the monotony by listening to music or watching television. Focus on your goals or use a distraction to keep you from focusing on the time.
You can then begin adding more variety to your treadmill exercise, to target more muscle groups, create a more interesting exercise, and get more out of your treadmill experience.
Along with the treadmill, these same tips can be applied to other monotonous tasks. The focus that you gain from these suggestions can help you remain focused while running, jogging, or cycling.