10 Essential Treadmill Tips to Maximize Your Workout
How to squeeze all the juice out of every workout, and make going to the gym worth the effort.
We all know about the health benefits of working out, but let’s face it: going to the gym can be a drag. Sweaty flailing on exercise machines is never up there on my list of stuff I want to do, so I want to make sure I get the most out of every workout. These ten essential tips will help you make sure you maximize the efficiency of your time on the treadmill:
Use Interval Training
Instead of running at the same pace for the entire time, change up your routine with interval training. Run at a moderate pace intercut with short bursts of sprinting to boost. You’ll engage new muscles and boost your energy.
Change the Incline
Running on an incline engages muscles in your lower body, helping you get a stronger workout in the same amount of time. Don’t run on an incline for the entire workout, though. Use interval training here too so that you grow stronger over time. Pick a level that’s doable for you while still a challenge—you’ll be able to work your way up from there!
Find a Good Motivator
For people like me, who prefer going hiking to the gym, getting motivated to hop on a treadmill is tough. Find something to keep your energy high while you’re at the gym, like a great pump-up playlist. Teaming up with a friend as a running buddy or going to classes together can make the trip to the gym easier as well.
Perfect Your Posture
Holding onto the handles or leaning back makes exercising easier, but that means it makes it less effective. Stand up straight, as though there isn’t a support in front of you, and look up to maintain your balance.
Don’t Push Too Hard
It’s tempting to start off at a high level or raise the incline to feel the burn, but don’t push yourself too hard. Gradually work up to the highest levels. Time matters more than intensity for beginners.
Get everything you can out of every workout to make it worth your while!
Warm Up and Cool Down
The warm up and cool down portions of the exercise may seem unnecessary. By the end of a long workout, most of us just want to hop off the machine and hit the shower, but those traditions are there for a reason. Jumping right into an intense workout without first warming up and stretching your muscles can be dangerous. As anyone who’s felt lightheaded after getting off an exercise machine knows, cooling off is just as necessary.
Mix It Up
Avoid the machine’s pre-programmed workouts. Instead, go in with a plan. Find a routine that complements your goals, whether you want to burn fat, build muscle, or focus on a specific area. That way, you’ll be able to focus your energy. Try to stay away from distracting entertainment like TV, since they can detract from your workout. Instead, go for things that complement the exercise. I’m a fan of the running app Zombie Run, which mixes apocalyptic adventure into the workout to spice things up.
The only way to improve is to practice regularly. Make sure you build a plan and stick to it. That way, you’ll be sure to strengthen your treadmill abilities and get the most out of your exercise plan.
Track Your Progress
To make sure you’re following your plan and meeting all your goals, track your progress. Don’t just note when you go to the gym and for how long. Keep track of your intervals, inclines, and energy level. This way, you’ll stick to your goals.
Don’t Get Competitive
Instead of glancing sideways at the girl running faster than you, focus on your own progress. Shutting down a competitive nature can be difficult, especially in sports, but the only way to improve is to focus on your goals.
Getting to the gym can be hard, and there’s always an excuse to stay home. With these tips, you’ll get the most out of your workout every time.
What’s your best workout tip? What motivates you?