Treadmill running isn't everyone's cup of tea, especially when you give up running outdoors for a go on one of these machines. Many complain that it's monotonous, even though it is technically one of the most effective ways to boost your cardiovascular fitness. But there are some steps you can take to mix up your treadmill workout so that your motivation lasts the distance while you enjoy your workout.
Plug in to music/ audiobooks
Time passes faster on the treadmill when you're distracted by something else. Use music or audiobooks as a diversion tool and zone out to podcasts or tunes. There are a multitude of apps that provide these functionalities but we're most intrigued by BeatBurn - an app that changes the beat of your music to match your pace.
The BEAT-SYNC program in BeatBurn analyses the Beats Per Minute (BPM) of your music, picks the best songs from your playlist to suit the intensity of your workout, then varies the beat on the fly, matching the pace of your feet on the treadmill.
If you're after something mellower, audiobooks such as Kobo let you lose yourself in your imagination as your feet do the running.
Race the person next to you
We can't stress any more how having company changes your attitude to working out. If you're with a workout buddy, set yourselves on the same program on the treadmill and race or motivate each other.
Another positive to working out with a buddy on the treadmill is that you're able to go at a different pace to them and be able to run with people you wouldn't necessarily run with outside.
And if you're alone, racing the person working out beside you is the next best option.
Mix it up
Some treadmills come with a built in program that changes the speed or intensity of your workout over timed intervals. This helps break up your monotone walk or run, and works out more muscle groups.
If you're using an older treadmill model that doesn't have this functionality, you can time your own run and change up your movements by adding interval training - jogging for a few minutes then sprinting or incorporating movements such as walking backward, sideways, walking lunges, or changing up the inclines into your workout.
Short bouts of high intensity workouts, as compared to working out on the same machine in a stagnant pace, have shown to be more effective in weight loss as well as overall fitness improvements.
Watch a program
Just like music, watching a program on a wall-mounted television provides distraction from the task at hand. If your gym doesn't have wall-mounted television, you can always get a sturdy plastic rack that fits over the front of your treadmill and place your own portable device on it.
Just a note - it's probably not the greatest idea to watch a program and mix up your workout, just in case you get too absorbed in your show and caught off-guard during an interval switch, leaving you hurt in the process.