Treadmills are probably some of the most popular exercise machines out there.
A few hours a week on a treadmill could be the start of a life-changing habit that improves your happiness and wellbeing. What’s more, treadmills are often easier to use than most of the other exercise equipment available today. No matter what your fitness level might be, everyone knows how to run.
Of course, just because treadmills are pretty easy to use, doesn’t mean that you’re getting the most out of your equipment. Here, we’re going to look at 3 surprising ways you can improve the impact of your treadmill workouts and enhance your exercise routine.
1. Mix Things Up with cardio / treadmill workouts
When you find a workout routine that works for you, it’s tempting to stick to that same strategy for as long as possible. However, muscles generally adapt to certain kinds of exercises over time. Doing the same workout consistently will usually mean that you stop getting results after a couple of weeks. However, putting some variety into your workout is a great way to stop your results from plateauing out. Put variety in things like:
- Your incline: The angle at which you’re walking or running
- Your speed: The pace at which you walk or run
- The time: How long you spend on the treadmill
Another great way to spice things up is to add some extra weight to your legs or arms when you’re running. This will increase the number of calories that you burn over time. Start slowly with a small amount of weight and build up gradually to avoid injury.
You can also consider speaking to a personal trainer to find out if they have any tips for how you can change your running patterns. Interval training, like running fast for about a minute, followed by periods of slow jogging, can help to kick-start your routine again.
2. Listen to Music and Visualize while running on a treadmill
One of the biggest problems that people have with treadmill workouts is that over time, they can become boring and monotonous. When you’re running in place for an extended period while staring at a wall, it’s easy to get tired both emotionally and mentally. However, you can overcome your boredom and have a bit of fun with your run by making yourself a workout playlist. Find music that motivates you and use it to entertain yourself when you’re running.
You can even use your headphones to listen to audiobooks and podcasts. This can take your mind off the process of working out, so you can exercise for longer periods of time without getting overwhelmed. If you’re working out at home, consider positioning a television in front of your treadmill so you can watch your shows while you run.
Another great way to keep yourself from getting bored is to visualise a route for your journey. Rather than just staring at the wall or window ahead of you, imagine yourself running through a forest or a vast open space. You’ll be surprised how quickly you feel more motivated when you have the right image in your mind’s eye.
3. Always Warm Up and Cool Down while running on a treadmill
Finally, it’s tempting to jump straight onto your treadmill and start running when you’re ready for your exercise routine. Because we all know how to walk, jog, and run, we assume that a warmup is unnecessary. However, the truth is that warming up will raise your heart rate, send oxygen to your muscles, and make your body more efficient. When you warm up before you begin your exercise, you ensure that you’re ready to tackle the challenge ahead in your best form.
Start with a five-minute walk or jog on the treadmill before you increase the incline and pick up the pace. When you’re done with your workout, make sure that you cooldown too. Cooling down will help to bring your heart rate down to a normal pace before you jump off the treadmill. Rather than going from a full-on sprint to nothing, slow down gradually to a jog, and then a slow walk for about five minutes or so. You can even follow up with some post-run stretches to improve your chances of healthy muscles after your workout.
Making the Most of Your Treadmill
A treadmill is a fun and easy exercise machine when you want to workout without putting too much pressure on your body. However, like any other equipment, it’s important to learn how to use a treadmill properly if you want to get the most out of it. The tips above will help you to optimise your running routine and reap the benefits of a better workout.