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Treadmill Workout Tips

Updated on May 20, 2013

Are you using a treadmill as part of your overall fitness regimen? Used properly, a treadmill can be very beneficial and help you reach your fitness goals.

The key factors with using a treadmill are eliminating workout boredom and learning how to get the most benefit from your workouts.

Let's explore each factor ...

Eliminating Treadmill Workout Boredom

The most common complaint about using a treadmill is "It's too boring!". Frankly, it doesn't have to be tedious or monotonous.

The trick is to change your workouts every two weeks. If you need a list of treadmill workout tips, we have them for you.

In reality, a treadmill is a lot more versatile than it's given credit for. You can do many different types of workout routines, including:

- Running

- Walking

- Incline

- Interval

- A Combination Of These

For example, let's suppose you use a treadmill three times a week. Ideally, each of the three workouts should be different. Doing so will continually challenge your fitness level, eliminate boredom, and keep you motivated.

The best way to do this is to vary your times and styles of workouts. Do a 30 minute running workout one day, and a 45 minute incline walking workout the next time. Then, do a combination of running and walking for 60 minutes.

Even if you're pressed for time and only have, say, 20 minutes to exercise, you can still do an effective treadmill workout routine. Change up your workouts frequently. A good rule of thumb is to switch your treadmill exercise plan every two weeks. You'll be mentally fresher and you will find you will have a higher level of motivation.

Common Treadmill Workout Mistakes

If you belong to a gym or health club, chances are you have probably seen some of these common mistakes. Remember, the goal is to get an optimal treadmill workout in whatever time you have. Don't cheat yourself by making these mistakes!

1). Holding On: If you hold on to the front or side rails, not only are you cheating yourself, but you can injure yourself. Think about walking outside. Do you hold on to anything? Of course not.

If you feel the need to hold on for balance, simply slow down the treadmill so you are able to walk comfortably. If you are holding on to the heart rate monitor, consider buying a portable attached heart rate monitor. That way your hands will be free and you will be able to use proper form.

Holding on to the side or front rails places undue stress on your ankles and knees and can lead to injury.

2). Not Using The Incline: Learn to embrace the incline feature on your treadmill. Really, the incline feature is your friend! In fact, even if you are simply walking, we recommend setting the incline feature at 1% because it simulates outdoor walking.

There are some fantastic treadmill workouts that incorporate the incline feature. Walking or running on an incline helps tone your calves, thighs, hamstrings, and glutes. Further, it adds a challenging element to your exercise program. You can get a lot more accomplished in a shorter period of time using the incline feature.

3). Doing The Same Workout (Over and Over and Over!): We talked about this but it bears repeating. Challenge your body, and your fitness level, by varying your workouts every two weeks. Incorporate walking, running, and incline work into your program. Vary the times too!

Treadmill Classes

Treadmill classes are a relatively new development in gyms and health clubs.  We highly recommend participating!

These classes are usually 45 or 60 minutes long, and typically have a 15 minute abdominal segment at the tail end.  You will be given a workout by your instructor which tells you exactly what to do.

You can run or walk, it's up to you.  Usually, there is an element of speed work and inclines involved.  You can work at your own pace, and the instructor will be there to coach and motivate. 

The added benefit is the group setting.  You are there with other like minded people which tends to be more motivating than running alone on a treadmill in your basement. 

Treadmill Recommendations

If you are considering purchasing a treadmill, be aware that you can spend anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Without getting too technical, the main factor in deciding what model to buy is how you will use the treadmill.

You can get a sturdy, quality model for running, walking, and incline work for about $2000. Think of a treadmill like the mattress you sleep on. The more padding, the better. Cheap treadmills are ok for someone who plans to just walk and doesn't weigh that much.

However, if you are over 175 pounds and plan to use the treadmill for running, go with a model that is better constructed and will provide you a level of comfort. We have always had the best results with Our Favorite Treadmills that combine quality, dependability, and good value.


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