Fitness Articles

3 Ways to Refresh Your Treadmill Workout

Don't Get Stuck in a Treadmill Rut


Is there anything more boring than the treadmill? After endless hours staring at the same wall, anyone would start to wonder if that’s all there is to exercise. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By shaking it up and loading your workout with variety, you can rediscover the fun of a good treadmill workout.

The first thing to remember is that any workout is and can be what you make it. The opportunity to go all out or to barely break a sweat is completely up to you. With that being said, even though the treadmill might be an uneventful and boring thought to most, you have the ability to make it fun and challenging. The following are several tips on how to create your own workout.

1) Change up the pace
If you always walk at the same speed for the same amount of time, your body will get used to the routine and you might not see the long-term effects that you desire. Keep in mind that the body responds to changes in pace and sparks your metabolism accordingly. You can begin by trying a pyramid scheme. For example: walk at 3.2 mph for 1 minute then pick it up to 3.5 mph for 1 minute, then go to 3.3 mph for 2 minutes and then 3.6 mph for 2 minutes, etc. You can continue up the pyramid until you reach a point where the speed is at a level where you cannot hold it for the time period and then go back down. Before you know it, you will be walking faster and the time will have flown by.

2) Change the incline
With the same thinking that was behind the change in pace, you can do the same with the incline. Shock the body a little bit and do some hill repeats. Your body will respond positively and you will gain some cardiovascular strength in the meantime.

3) Engage in another activity while on the treadmill
If you see an opportunity to spark a conversation with the person next to you, go ahead – talk your time away. There have been many studies that show the positive effects of having a training partner. You might also find some benefits to reading or watching television. Just be sure that you are safe and don’t lose too much focus on the task at hand.

These are just a few tips that can help transform the monotony of working out on a treadmill into a very rewarding experience all around. Now get out there and keep on walking!

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About The Author

Holly Little Holly Little
A former Division I basketball player, Holly is a certified in Spinning and personal training.

Member Comments

  • The treadmill isn't for everyone but I love my treadmill, it's 102 degrees outside right now but I'm walking in a pleasant 75 under a fan. I also like that the pace is steady and I can't unconsciously slow down. I also don't have to worry about neighborhood dogs or potholes or being stung by a bee or called fatso by mean people driving by. But please be safe and pay attention, it's as easy to tanglefoot on a treadmill as it is on the road or a track or trail. Most important, do whatever exercise you love and support people who do the exercise they love. - 7/27/2015 3:14:03 PM
  • I have never understood walking on a treadmill. Sometimes I use the gym one for a run but I never walk on them.
    I go for a walk every day, outside and take in natural inclines, changes in pace, having little conversations with people and whatnot. I walk into the City, walk to the gym, walk to the shops (we do have a car but for journeys of less than 2 miles, we walk), even in the rain! - 7/27/2015 4:54:30 AM
    Yeah, or if all else fails, RUN OUTSIDE! God created a beautiful planet. Enjoy it . - 5/6/2015 8:49:56 PM
  • I don't find the treadmill boring at all, although my 9.5 miles this morning is probably my upper limit. I don't even need TV or music. I do intervals whether running or walking and am content with my own thoughts.
    It's definitely preferable to an outdoor workout today in sub freezing temps. - 2/28/2015 2:17:14 PM
    I set my tablet on the treadmill (mine has a lip just under the display screen) And watch hourlong shows on Hulu or Xfinity. During the ads I change up the speed and incline so I am not getting in a rut. I use to dread the treadmill until I started doing this because the only location I had for mine faces a wall. - 1/1/2015 10:44:16 PM
    I've always joked about it and called it my Dreadmill. I may not always feel like it, and absolutely dread it, but I know I'll be proud of myself for accomplishing my goals.
    It helps me to post a picture of a slim model from a magazine onto the refrigerator, and work towards achieving my goal of one day looking like that. - 1/1/2015 6:54:25 PM
    Anything over 3mph and I'm jogging/running.
    With this workout, I'd be jogging the whole time!

    How about some 'short people' treadmill workout tips? - 8/3/2014 7:01:08 PM
  • MMGAGE1701
    I don't find my treadmill boring at all. I have it positioned so I can see a tv while I'm on it, so sometimes I watch a rerun of Castle on TNT while I run, or I pop in a dvd of a show I've seen before and have it for company. Other times I plug in my mp3 player and crank up the tunes. It sure beats having to watch for potholes or loose dogs while running, and there's no better way for me to get in a good interval workout than on my treadmill (I don't have access to a decent track). I mix things up - some days it's an easy run, other days it's an interval set or a tempo run. I don't get bored, and I don't get the shin splints I'd get when I did all of my running out on the roads (I do head outside at least a couple of times a week to run). Today is day 70 of my run streak and I know I wouldn't have been able to keep the streak going if it weren't for my treadmill. - 8/3/2014 11:31:51 AM
  • I have NEVER been bored on my treadmill. I am IN LOVE with my treadmill. I walked a marathon a few years ago and 100 per cent of my training (6 months) was on my treadmill. (I did not plan to do all my marathon training on the treadmill but that is what happened.) - 8/3/2014 9:46:12 AM
  • MARYO125
    I found that when I used to get on a treadmill, I would get quickly bored and rarely pushed myself like I should.  A friend told me about some killer treadmill workouts on iTunes.  They basically have a top-notch trainer taking you through a HIIT routine for the treadmill.  Seriously kicks my butt every time, in just 20 minutes:
    _iTunes. - 4/7/2014 4:45:34 PM
  • So surprised that adding hand weights was not mentioned here!!! I use my handweights and do jabs, bicep curls, upright rows and lateral raises while walking in between my jogging spurts! - 12/13/2013 2:01:07 PM
  • FAITHY2000
    trying to go to the gym 3 days a week and walking on the treadmill for 30 min im going to try mixing it up thanks - 11/10/2013 8:54:18 PM
  • I wish I had one. - 10/5/2013 6:17:46 AM
  • When I run on the treadmill, I do it in two ways:

    (1) Use the pre-set interval program. It gives me two-minute intervals and I use it to alternate between two minutes on 1% incline at 8 mph, and then two minutes at 2.5% incline at 7.5 mph. As the time goes by, I increase the speed bit-by-bit until at the end of say a 30 minute workout my fast interval is up to 8.8 mph with a sprint at 9.3 mph for the final 30 seconds.

    (2) Using the manual setting, I alternate one minute intervals on 1% incline, switching between something like 7.5 mph and 9 mph.

    Using intervals in these ways makes for a really effective workout and the time whizzes by.

    And at the end of it, I'm pretty much done in! - 9/30/2013 11:34:58 PM
  • I find it boring if I do nothing but walk or jog. i mix it up with spurts of 30 second runs. i try to time it for when there is an interesting program on my radio. I tune it to BBN 91.1 Christian radio. I have also played my Talking Books or called a friend to chat. Time passes faster when I'm occupying my mind.
    I also do some upper body stretches with light weights, combining Strength Training with the cardio. - 3/20/2013 3:31:37 PM

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