Heaps of people have a treadmill at home. Frequently they are either collecting dust or being used as a very expensive clothes horse. Don’t worry, if that’s you, it’s insanely common.
You may have thought about getting back into it a few times but the million dollar question tends to be, what should I do on it? There are a couple of options that can be great when you’re just getting started.
Could be a little boring for some but it can be a great place to start. This involves just jumping on and walking at the same (or similar) pace throughout the duration of your workout. It’s often a good place to start if you’re just getting started. Once you get used to being on the treadmill and your fitness improves, you can get a little more creative.
Try popping some music you love on or even the TV if you find it a bit boring. If it’s been ages since you really did any exercise, start with quite a short walk, even if it’s only a few minutes. Stay at that level for a while. Once that feels comfortable, then increase the duration or the speed.
If you’ve been doing a little bit of exercise already, you’ve been building up your walking for a while or you’re feeling a bit adventurous, intervals are another great option. Intervals involve alternating between two different speeds. This may be walking slowly and walking briskly or even walking and jogging. Once you’re getting quite fit, it might be jogging and sprinting.
To start with try walking for 1-2 minutes and jogging for 30 seconds. Continue alternating between the two for your selected time period. Once that interval becomes comfortable, you can then alter the walk/jog ratio. You might move to 1 minute walking and 1 minute jogging.
Intervals really are a great way to build your cardiovascular fitness.
The Importance of Starting Slowly
As with all exercise, try to avoid the trap of going too hard, too fast. Make sure you’re really comfortable with your current level before you step things up. I know how hard it can be when you’re just getting started and you’re feeling keen as mustard to just keep pushing. I’ve also seen a lot of people run themselves ragged in the early weeks because they’ve gone from limited exercise to training all the time.
Start at a level that is reasonably comfortable, yet still challenging. We have to challenge ourselves sometimes to continue to improve. Once it’s no longer challenging, then look to step things up.
Focus on Time or Distance
To make things more interesting, and to see how you’re improving over time, it can be worth taking note either of the time spent on the treadmill or the distance you are traveling. Whatever measurement you decide you’d like to track and improve, aim to build up over time – either walking further or for longer.
You may not improve every single time you get on the treadmill, there will always be ups and downs. Some days are just better than others. Just aim to improve overall, say every month. If you can do more now that you could a month ago, you’re getting fitter 🙂
Mix Things Up
It’s important to try to mix things up if possible. Just hanging out on the treadmill every workout can get a little dull, even if you enjoy walking and running. Try to combine your treadmill work with some resistance training or some other form of exercise to keep your motivation levels high. Your body will benefit from the variation as well 🙂
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