If you've ever been to the gym, chances are you've spent at least a little time on a fitness treadmill. These classic cardio machines are a regular source of exercise, yet if you've felt your routine go flat on one of these bad boys, you could probably use a boost. By utilizing the following tips, you'll get the best workout you can out of home treadmills:
Switch up your pace
Altering the speed at which you run or walk on the treadmill is one of the best ways to ensure a successful workout. Start with a brisk walk for the first few minutes of your workout, then build up to a run. This will help your body gradually build up endurance so you can run for a longer period of time without getting fatigued.
"When you chug along at a comfortable pace (as most people do), your body gets energy easily from the oxygen you inhale," journalist Liz Plosser wrote in her recent Women's Health article. "But once you switch into high gear, your muscles start working harder to process that O2, so they expend extra energy recruiting other chemicals in the body (adenosine-triphosphate and phosphocreatine, in case you're interested) to get the job done."
Utilize the incline
Even if you're only at a slower walking pace, having the treadmill on an incline can increase the intensity of your workout. Chris Lundstrom, a marathoner training for Boston, noted that changing the elevation makes your workout less of a drag.
"Just like the trees and rocks, speed and incline add variety," Lundstrom told Runner's World.
Figure out a plan before you start running to decide when and how often to alter the elevation to keep your workout interesting.
Try out different programs
Many fitness treadmills have set programs built into the machine to make your workout a bit easier and more fun! Experiment with different workouts until you find the one that best fits your style.
To intensify your workout even more, grab a pair of ankle weights or dumbbells to use while you're on the treadmill. These extra pounds will significantly bump up the resistance level, helping you to burn more calories per workout. Weights will also help tone your body while building up endurance.
Grab an iPod
Treadmill workouts can sometimes become a bit monotonous. However, incorporating music or television into your exercise plan can really help to alleviate boredom. Create a workout playlist on your iPod of songs that pump you up and get you excited about working out! If you're located near a TV, put on your favorite TV show or movie. This makes the time on the treadmill go by quickly, you won't even realize you worked out!