Treadmill walking is a great low-impact cardio workout that can help with weight loss and help improve your mood. However, it can be easy to get in a rut if you spend too much time on the machine without changing up your routine.
To keep things interesting and prevent your treadmill walking from becoming mundane, use these 5 tips to make the time fly:
1. LISTEN TO MUSIC
Walking on the treadmill doesn’t require you to pay as much attention to your surroundings compared to walking outdoors. Because you can zone out without worrying about things like cars and crosswalks, music is a great way to add some energy to your workout. Create a playlist or two with your favorite tunes and your 30-minute workout will be over before you know it. If music doesn’t seem to hold your attention, you can also try a podcast or audiobook instead.
2. INCREASE SPEED DURING COMMERCIALS
Catching up on your favorite shows while walking can be another great option to burn calories while partaking in an otherwise sedentary pastime. To get more bang for your buck, use the commercials breaks to speed things ups.
For the 2–3 minutes you’re away from your show, crank up the speed or incline. Try to get your heart rate up as much as possible and walk as fast as you can tolerate. When the show comes back on, dial it back down to a moderate pace.
3. ALTERNATE MACHINES
For every 10 minutes you walk, hop off and choose one of the other cardio machines available. It could be the stationary bicycle, the rowing machine or the elliptical.
Start out with 5 minutes on one of these machines before you get back on the treadmill. After the next 10 minutes of walking, choose a different machine. This will not only help to fight off boredom, but it’ll also work a larger variety of muscle groups and force you to step outside your comfort zone.
4. GRAB A FRIEND
A training partner can be an excellent way to distract yourself and motivate you to push through a tough workout. In some ways walking with a friend on the treadmill is even better than it is outdoors. You won’t have to worry about working out at the same pace, and the controlled environment with less distractions will make it easier to communicate and catch up.
5. CONCENTRATE ON FORM
Changes in terrain and obstacles can make it difficult to put full concentration on form when walking outdoors. When you are forced inside, take advantage of the treadmill by putting more effort into perfecting your technique. Here are some things you can work on:
Engaging your core, standing tall, rotating your hips forward and keeping your head up are all key to good walking posture.
- Arm swing
Concentrate on bending your elbows to 90 degrees, keeping the arms close to the body as they swing and not letting the hand cross the midline of the body.
- Foot placement
Strike the ground with your heel first, rolling through from heel to toe. Emphasize pushing off your toes for power before lifting the leg.