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3 Ways to Refresh Your Treadmill Workout

Don't Get Stuck in a Treadmill Rut

-- By Holly Little, Certified Personal Trainer
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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

  • 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
    Or try these amazing Treadmill Workouts at - www (dot) highenergyfitness (dot) com - 3/20/2013 1:30:56 PM
    Sorry but if you are having a conversation with someone next to you, you have the energy to work out harder - add more speed or more incline or both - and get better fitness results from your time on the treadmill. - 3/20/2013 11:38:08 AM
  • I plastered my wall by my treadmill with inspirational posters & sayings, & a list of my goals. - 3/20/2013 10:58:27 AM
    Love my LifeCycle! Best use of time is to secure my laptop board and laptop to the handle bars. I check emails and any shopping I need to do while maintaining 135-140 heart rate for 60 minutes. PBS is on in the background in case I lose the internet connection. - 3/20/2013 8:42:14 AM
  • I don't think the treadmill is boring even if I don't have music to listen to. What's boring to me is the stationary bike.............
    .....after 15 minutes I'm ready to jump off! - 3/20/2013 8:14:21 AM
  • Hi. I feel like a newbie. Oh, I am. lol. wow look at you all doing great things. I can only hope I do as well. Keep up the good work your an encouragement to me. Im going to try some of the ideas. Thanks for sharing.
    Passing the word on about sparks:] - 11/13/2012 6:29:40 PM
  • I have had a treadmill for over a year now and its the best thing I have ever bought. You don't have to just run on it. I vary what I do such as fast walking, running, dancing in a fashion as long as its not going to fast and do arm exercises too. I have some good tracks playing and before I know it fifteen or twenty minutes have passed quickly. As long as I am sweating a bit I know I have done something. You can also alternate between other exercises so it doesn't get boring. I have a pilates machine as well as an ab trainer and weights. I alternate between them all so I don't get bored but keep interested. - 9/2/2012 9:48:09 AM
  • I alternate between reading my kindle (attached to screen on front ) or watching ipad attached to screen. If I am getting into a good book, I get lost in time and my exercising time passes quickly and enjoyably. - 9/2/2012 3:54:04 AM
  • oops, found it! 2 pages - 6/3/2012 1:30:15 PM
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