I don’t know about any of you, but sometimes I’m just not feeling running club or an early-morning weight lifting session with my husband. I’m just not. in. the. mood. The very best remedy to this is 30 quick minutes on the treadmill (or more if you get into a groove!). But do you walk? Run? Uphill? Downhill? There are seriously so many options! When I first started using our treadmill, I just walked. Eventually I realized that just walking was keeping me at a fitness plateau. It was great for maintaining, but I really needed to step things up if I wanted to be serious about my exercising.
If you’re nodding your head at all, my tips today are for you!
1. The warm-up. I used to just jump on my treadmill and get right into walking. Now, I start on a slow pace (2-2.3 range on my machine) and get started by doing walking lunges. I will warn you that they do take a little getting used to for agility and balance, but man! It’s such a great burn and a fantastic way to get my workout started. I do these for about 1-2 minutes.
2. Pick your incline. I’ll admit, some days I DO still walk, but it’s always on an incline. I burn so many more calories by walking uphill at a 10 than I ever did at a flat 0. In this same breath, if I’m running, I try to do intervals with incline. I am not at a point where I can run steadily uphill (shoutout to all your runners who can — I bow to YOU!), but I do try to add them in for an extra challenge. More on that in a minute.
3. Speaking of intervals — USE THEM. After my initial walking lunges, I get myself into a brisk walk followed my a steady jog. Throughout my jog, I like to randomly pump up the speed for 2-3 minutes at a time so I feel the extra burn in my legs.
4. Intervals AND Incline. I know, I know…it sounds miserable. The very first time I did an incline 5 at 6.0, I thought I was going to throw up. Thankfully, Dane was nearby and gave me the keep going look. I wanted to punch him, but I just found a focal point and buckled down.
5. Turn around! Wait, what? That’s right…get on your treadmill backwards. If you’re looking to tone that booty, this is a great way to do that! I slow down the pace and concentrate on my backward stride.
6. Let go of the arm bars. I personally am not sure how anyone holds on and runs, so this one comes naturally to me, but if you like to hold on, try letting go and pumping your arms for small intervals of time.
7. Don’t forget a cool down. It’s REALLY easy for me to want to hop off that workout machine just as soon as I’m “done”, but including a cool down is just as important as the workout itself. Once your cool down is finished, STRETCH STRETCH STRETCH! Honestly, I do not know how or why people skip this — it’s my favorite part of my entire workout. Weird? Maybe.
For those that have less than 30 minutes for a workout, I found this handy chart on Self and love it.
Do you workout on a treadmill? What are your favorite tips?