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The treadmill, the less tech-savvy antiquated great-uncle of the TreadClimber, lacks a certain sense of appeal to me. Probably because of a semi-traumatic childhood incident that involved a 1990s treadmill and the belief that I could fly when running at high speeds. Also Read - Watch: This Viral Video on 'How to Sound Like Prateek Kuhad' Will Make You Fall Off Your Chair Laughing
Bad memories aside, this winter I had no choice but to rekindle my relationship with this age-defying fitness machine. Also Read - Want to Live a Healthy Life? Have Sex Once a Week
With some motivational strategies and new workout moves, I have learned a few ways to utilize this machine to its fullest while keeping boredom at bay.
Read below for ways you can spice up your treadmill workout, right in time for the beautiful spring weather.
1. Liven it up with some music
An upbeat playlist can get you in the right mood. At the right tempo, music can ease the feeling of exertion.
Dr. Costas Karageorghis, deputy head of research at the School of Sport and Education at London’s Brunel University, said music between 124 and 140 beats per minute are perfect for working out, boosting stamina and motivation.
Here are some great songs to get you amped for your treadmill workout: PSY’s “Gangnam Style” (132 bpm), MJ’s “Beat It” (140 bpm) and Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor for you classical buffs.
If you prefer using a premade playlist, Running Motivation on Spotify and Burn Those Calories on 8tracks feature a compilation of tunes to get you pumped.
[Read Related: Workout Songs]
2. Set some fitness goals
Do not fall into a mindless binge-watching of Netflix while completing running circuit or let’s be honest, speed walking routine.
Work towards an achievable, yet challenging goal. Think of a meaningful goal to work towards, and keep in perspective how it would feel to realize this goal. Once you achieve it, you should celebrate, then come up with a new and more difficult fitness challenge.
3. Follow a marathon or fat-burning workout calendar
As a calendar obsessed person, if it is not on my calendar it is not happening. If you have plans to continue treadmill workouts in the long term, adopt a fat-burning or marathon training calendar to keep yourself focused and entertained.
The calendar will help you increase the miles you run per week and change up your treadmill routine.
4. Change the pace of your workouts
Watching paint dry is more exciting than running at a consistent speed for more than 15 minutes to me. So, take a hint from our friends at Self magazine and adopt the speed-endurance treadmill workout.
Walk or jog at a comfortable pace for 5-10 minutes. Then alternate between a 1-minute run and a 1-2 minute recovery. Do not forget a 5-minute cool down post workout!
5. Create mental checkpoints
Certified personal trainer and coach Jenny Hadfied has great tips to stay stimulated and engaged while completing a long run on the treadmill. She encourages treadmill runners to change something every quarter mile, whether it be the incline, speed or focus.
- At 0.25 of every mile- Increase the pace by 0.2-0.3 mph for up to a minute maximum. Then return to your slower pace, it will feel way easier.
- At 0.50 of every mile- Perform a form inventory to shift your focus to your body. Fix your posture and count how many times your right foot hits the belt for 60 seconds. 85-92 right strides per minute is ideal.
- At 0.75 of every mile- Give yourself an additional challenge by increasing the incline just a little.
- At the mile marker- This one requires a little prior prep work. Write out a list of the number of miles you want to run, and dedicate each mile to a person or charity that matters to you. This will keep your mind focused on something positive.
6. Try some treadmill strength training
Inspired by Equinox’s popular Shred and Tread classes, you too can downgrade the speed to 1.0 and do some mountain climbers and plank walks, reinventing the treadmill workout.
These moves will target other muscles and give your legs a brief break. Watch a quick demo before you start.
7. Treadmill dancing—it’s a thing, people!
Now, if you really want to take it up a few notches try some treadmill dancing, which this guy proves is not only a great workout (as evidenced by his toned body), but incredibly fun. Question: can somebody make this into a real workout class?
In the meantime, let’s enjoy this video of him treadmill dancing his heart out.