As the weather heats up, running outdoors may sound less and less appealing. This is when the treadmill becomes either your best friend or — if you’re like us — just another boring chore you have to force yourself through. Instead of miserably shlepping through the motions, spice up your treadmill workout with the following tips. After all, you control the machine; the machine doesn’t control you!
1. Intervals: By alternating your bursts of speed for a particular amount of time or distance, you’re improving your cardiovascular health, as well as scorching calories. Since your level of fitness will improve, come mid-summer, you’ll blow past everyone at the park.
Robert Pennino, a certified USA triathlon coach, shared this workout with Fitness Magazine. Keep the incline of your treadmill at one percent. Modify the pace if it’s too fast for your fitness level:
Minutes Pace 0:00-10:00 Warm-up jog; 5.0 mph 10:00-10:20 Sprint at 7.5 mph 10:20-11:20 Jog at 5.0 mph 11:20-14:00 Repeat minutes 10:00-11:20 twice 14:00-17:00 Jog at 5.0 mph 17:00-27:00 Run at 6.5 mph 27:00-31:00 Jog at 5.0 mph 31:00-35:00 Run at 6.5 mph 35:00-39:00 Jog at 5.0 mph 39:00-55:00 Repeat minutes 31:00-39:00 twice. 55:00-60:00 Gradually slow pace to cool down at jog/walk
2. Run to the hills. Gradually increasing the incline on your treadmill workout will help strengthen your glutes, quads and calves. It can also improve your endurance and make you faster on flat surface. You can go at a slower pace on a treadmill incline workout and still reap the benefits, making it a great alternative for people with bad knees or beginners.
Try this pyramid workout by Active.com. Start with your pace relatively easy and try to maintain the same pace as the incline increases, resulting in increased effort up the hills.
1 mile at 2% incline .75 mile at 3% incline .5 mile at 4% incline .25 mile at 5% incline .5 mile at 4% incline .75 mile at 3% incline 1 mile at 2% incline
3. Circuits: Incorporate strength training into your treadmill session for a full-body workout. Do intervals with a set amount of exercises (e.g., pushups, planks, mountain climbers, burpees, tricep dips, squats, hand weight exercises, etc.) in between and repeat for at least 30 minutes, depending on your level of fitness. For example, after a warm up, hold a plank for a minute, rest for 20 seconds, then get back on the treadmill and run for a minute. Next time, do as many push-ups as you can for a minute, rest and repeat the circuit. (Want to burn 500 calories through circuit training? Click here!)
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