If you’re ready to kiss that boring treadmill workout goodbye, mix things up with these five workout ideas.
Running, jogging, or walking at the same pace in the same place for every workout can get boring really fast. The bad thing about boring workouts? First, you’re more likely to give up on exercise all together when you don’t find it enjoyable or challenging. Second, your weight loss and muscle gains may stall when you do the same exercise day in and day out.
Instead of resigning yourself to another tedious workout on the old treadmill, try mixing things up a bit with one of these five workouts. Each workout begins with a five-minute warm-up. Walk at a brisk pace or a slow jog to get your muscles warm and ready for the workout. Then, end your workout with a five-minute cool down by walking or jogging to bring your heart rate down slowly.
Ladder run – by incorporating interval training with increasing inclines, this workout will challenge your endurance and burn serious calories. After your warm-up, run for two minutes at a six mile-per-hour pace, then slow down to four miles per hour for one minute. Halfway into your workout, increase the incline to 4% for two minutes while running at six miles per hour. Reduce the incline to 0% for a minute at the four mile-per-hour pace. For the rest of your workout, alternate between your faster pace and an incline of 1-4% and your slower pace with no incline.
Hills – by avoiding hills in your workouts, you’re missing out on an effective way to burn calories, increase speed, and tone your legs and glutes in a hurry. The incline capability of the treadmill offers a workout that mimics running hills. Hills provide a natural way to do interval training. At a brisk walking, jogging, or running pace, set the incline at one percent for three minutes. Then reduce the speed to a moderate pace but increase the incline. Go back and forth between a fast pace with a low incline and a slower pace with a greater incline, peaking in the middle of your workout.
The calorie buster – burn up to 400 calories with 30 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on the treadmill. After your warm-up, alternate between running for three minutes at a five or six mile-per-hour pace and a minute at a seven- or eight mile-per-hour pace. It’ll be challenging but effective if you can push yourself for the entire time
Climb a mountain – ever climb a mountain before? Well, you can pretend to on the treadmill and get a great workout while you’re at it. Start with your warm-up, and then set your desired pace. A slow walk at three to three and a half miles per hour is recommended, but decrease or increase the pace if desired. Begin at a two-percent incline and every two minutes increase the incline by two percent until you reach 14% (the top of the mountain) halfway through your workout. Then start lowering the incline by two percent every two minutes until you reach the bottom of the mountain.
Cardio and strength – who says you have to stay on the treadmill your whole workout? Mix things up by combining cardio with strength training. Spend 10 minutes on the treadmill doing cardio. Rotate between one minute of slow pace, one minute moderate, and one minute fast for 10 minutes in total. Then step off the treadmill and head over to the weights. Do 10 minutes of strength-training exercises that work your arms, core, and legs. Head back over to the treadmill for 10 more minutes of cardio and continue alternating between cardio and strength-training for the duration of your workout.
Remember, form matters. Believe it or not, there is a proper way to run on the treadmill. If you’re exhausted and find yourself leaning against the support handles, it’s time to quit. Holding onto the handles or slouching is asking for an injury and doesn’t allow your body to stay in a good posture. At this point, reduce speed or incline to a manageable level and keep going. Safety first!
Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and the owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer.