Short on time? Try this 20-minute treadmill workout!

May 27, 2014

In today’s super busy world, it can be a challenge to find even five minutes for yourself, let alone a whole hour to devote to a workout. Even though physical activity is important for your mental and physical well-being, exercise can fall low on the list of priorities after family, kids, work, school and other pressing responsibilities.

In between all those other must-dos, you might be struggling to find extra time in your day to hit your home fitness equipment. If it’s been sitting there gathering dust, now is the time to give your home treadmill, like a True M50 Home Treadmill, a good cleaning and get back on the proverbial horse.

Spring has officially sprung, and now is the perfect time to renew your commitment to fitness. Whether you set a goal of running a race this summer, dropping a certain number of pounds or just want to look great in your bikini in a short time, make yourself a priority once again.

There just may not be a full hour of even half an hour in your day for a cardio workout. But if you’ve got 20 minutes, you can try this great fitness treadmill workout from FitSugar:

  • Start with a three-minute warm up at an incline of 1.0 and a speed of 3.8 mph
  • Minutes three to five: increase the speed to 4.3 and incline to 2.5
  • Minutes five to seven: raise the incline to 3.0 and speed to 4.8
  • Minutes seven to nine: Pick up speed to 5.0 and incline to 4.5
  • Minutes nine to 11: Speed picks up to 5.8 and incline to 6.0
  • Minutes 11 to 13: Drop your speed back to 5.0 and incline to 4.5
  • Minutes 13 to 15: Reduce incline to 3.0 and speed to 4.8
  • Minutes 15 to 17: Lower incline further to 2.5 and speed to 4.5
  • Finish minutes 17 to 20 with a three-minute cool​ down at 3.5 mph and an incline of 1.0

This is a great routine to follow in the morning right after you get up, during a lunch break or as a way to unwind after a long day of work. A small amount of physical activity is better than none at all, and hitting the treadmill allows time in your day to focus on yourself whether you need to think something through, enjoy some peace and quiet or relax in your own space.

Keep intensity levels in mind
As you run, you can use the rate of perceived exertion on a scale from zero to 10 to gauge how intensely you’re working out. From zero to three, you should barely feel anything. From four to six, you should start to feel a little winded but able to talk. From seven to nine it should be a challenge to have a conversation and you should be breathing heavily. At 10 it should be the hardest you could push. Aim for a high of eight and avoid overdoing it.

When you’re short on time, it may seem like it’d be in your best interest to skip the warm up and cool down in favor of spending all 20 minutes on the meat of the workout, but this puts you at risk for injury. You need that time at the start of your session to prepare your body for exercise, and at the end your body and mind need those minutes to slow your heart rate and return to a normal state. Afterward, be sure to spend at least a few minutes stretching, especially your lower body, to reduce the chances of muscle cramping, soreness and injury. Getting hurt will only set you back and keep you from achieving your goals.