Do you dread your daily treadmill workout? Do you find it monotonous and boring? It’s time to spice things up and make your runs more fun!
Running on a treadmill can become tedious, especially if you’re doing it every day. It’s easy to lose motivation and give up on your fitness goals. However, there are ways to make your treadmill workout more enjoyable and exciting.
By incorporating some simple tips and tricks, you can turn your boring treadmill runs into fun and challenging workouts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced runner, these tips will help you stay motivated and engaged during your workout. So, let’s dive in and discover how to spice up your treadmill workout!
1. Change Up Your Routine
Running on a treadmill can get boring, but there’s no need for it to be that way. You can spice up your routine by making a few easy adjustments that will bring more excitement and difficulty. The trick is to mix things up by changing your incline and speed regularly.
One popular tactic is Fartlek training. This Swedish term translates to “speed play” and involves alternating between running fast for certain periods and moderately paced running for others.
You can use time or distance to measure each period. For example, you could run at your comfortable jogging pace for five minutes, then increase your speed and run at a challenging pace for one minute, then back down to your comfortable pace for another five minutes, and so on.
Another way to add variety to your treadmill workout is by manually changing the incline every few minutes. This simulates an outdoor feel and engages your muscles in different ways. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), using the treadmill with an incline can help you burn more calories and improve your overall fitness level.
To keep yourself motivated and on track set SMART goals for yourself. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, you could set a goal to run a 5k in under 30 minutes within three months. Having a specific goal to work towards can help you stay focused and motivated.
Making these simple changes to your treadmill routine can help you avoid the dreaded treadmill workouts and turn your treadmill day into a complete treadmill session.
2. Create a Playlist
Next, you can make treadmill runs more fun by creating a playlist tailored to your taste in music. Research has shown that listening to music while working out can increase your endurance, help you maintain a consistent pace, and reduce your perceived exertion (Ferris Jabr from Scientific American, 2013).
To create a playlist that will make your treadmill runs more enjoyable, start by selecting songs with a beat that matches the intensity of your workout. You don’t want to be running at a slow pace while listening to classical music.
Instead, choose songs with a faster tempo for high-intensity intervals or lower-paced songs for recovery periods. This will help you sync your movements to the beat of the music and make your runs more rhythmic.
Don’t forget to add some of your favourite tracks to keep you motivated. These can be anything that will keep you pumped up, such as iconic music videos or movie clips. Fitness apps like Aaptiv or Zombies, Run! can also be great resources for themed workouts and audio coaching.
To avoid becoming bored with your playlist, try mixing up the order of the songs and adding new tracks every few weeks. And if you really want to make treadmill running interactive, consider investing in a commercial treadmill with a built-in screen or taking part in virtual fitness classes.
The ProForm Pro 2000 treadmill is a great option. It has a built-in 10″ Smart HD touchscreen that can be used to access iFit classes and interactive workouts.
Listening to music during exercise can enhance your treadmill runs and provide cardiovascular benefits. Music can influence the heart rate and foot strike depending on the tempo.
So, take some time to tailor a playlist that suits your needs and preferences. You might be surprised by how much more fun and engaging treadmill running can be with the right music.
3. Try Interval Training
Treadmill running can be a great way to stay fit and healthy, but it can quickly become repetitive and boring if you’re doing the same routine every day.
One way to add some variety to your treadmill workouts is by incorporating interval training. This method of training involves alternating short bursts of high-intensity exercise with periods of lower intensity or rest.
Interval training not only adds variety to your treadmill workouts, but it also has many benefits for your cardiovascular health.
According to a study published by Helgerud et. al. in 2007, interval training can improve your VO2 max (peak oxygen uptake) and overall aerobic capacity compared to continuous moderate-intensity exercise.
To start incorporating interval training into your treadmill running routine, you can manually set intervals or use pre-programmed ones on your treadmill.
For beginners, starting with alternating between running and walking intervals can be a good option. For example, you can start by running for one minute followed by walking for one minute, and repeating that pattern for a set amount of time.
As you become more comfortable with interval training, you can increase the intensity of your high-intensity intervals. For example, you can increase your speed or incline for short bursts of time to challenge yourself even more.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in 2021, high-intensity interval training sessions can lead to significant improvements in aerobic and anaerobic performance compared to moderate-intensity continuous exercise.
It’s important to warm up and cool down before and after your treadmill cardio workout to prevent injury and ensure a safe and effective workout. You can use this time to gradually increase or decrease your speed and incline to help your body adjust to the change in intensity.
Incorporating interval training not only makes your treadmill time pass quicker, but it can also help keep things interesting and challenge your body in new ways. So why not switch up your routine and give it a try?
4. Incorporate Strength Training
If you find yourself getting bored with your treadmill sessions, it may be time to switch things up and incorporate strength training. Not only will strength training help you build lean muscle mass and increase your metabolism, but it can also lead to a more efficient and effective workout.
One way to incorporate strength training into your treadmill routine is by using weights while on the machine.
You can hold light dumbbells or kettlebells while you walk or run on the treadmill, adding an extra challenge to your workout. Alternatively, you can use resistance bands to add resistance to your movements.
Bodyweight exercises like lunges, squats, and push-ups are also great ways to incorporate strength training into your treadmill routine.
During your workout, you can pause the treadmill and perform a set of exercises before getting back on the machine. One popular option is to alternate between a minute of running and a minute of bodyweight exercises.
It’s important to perform each exercise with the proper form to avoid injury and ensure that you are targeting the right muscle groups.
Start with lighter weights and gradually work your way up to heavier ones as you get stronger. If you’re new to strength training, it may be helpful to attend a class or hire a personal trainer to help you create a safe and effective strength training plan.
Studies have shown that incorporating strength training into your exercise routine can have numerous health benefits. A review published in Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine in 2018 found that strength training can improve muscular strength, endurance, and power.
5. Use a Virtual Running App
Treadmill workouts can be tedious and monotonous, but a virtual running app can change that. Virtual running apps provide access to various courses and programs that can make treadmill workouts more engaging and enjoyable.
With the help of these apps, users can connect with fellow runners, access global courses, and participate in virtual races and group runs.
Two popular virtual running apps are RunSocial and BitGym. RunSocial features a variety of courses that users can choose from, including iconic locations like the Grand Canyon and the Swiss Alps.
Users can also connect with other runners and participate in virtual races. BitGym, on the other hand, provides interactive tours of famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Colosseum. This app also offers coaching and a personalized workout builder.
Investing in a treadmill that features interactive virtual personal training can also make your workout more enjoyable. NordicTrack, ProForm, and Peloton treadmills are all excellent options to consider.
These treadmills come equipped with built-in screens and access to virtual personal training classes led by certified instructors.
By using a virtual running app or an interactive treadmill, users can engage in different types of workouts, such as one-minute intervals, which improve cardiovascular health and overall fitness levels.
6. Watch TV or a Movie
When it comes to running on the treadmill, many people cringe at the thought of spending what feels like hours staring at a blank wall or tracking the meaningless numbers on the console.
But what if I told you that you could make your treadmill workout fly by just by watching a TV show or a movie? It might sound too good to be true, but incorporating entertainment into your run can make it much more enjoyable.
Another great benefit is that entertainment can help keep you motivated. By watching something entertaining, you’ll likely feel more excited about your workout, leading to higher levels of motivation. This means you’re more likely to complete your workout without feeling bored or burnt out halfway through.
To get the most out of your entertainment choices, it’s important to select something that is the right length for your run. Consider choosing a movie with a running time equivalent to the length of your workout.
If you’re only running for 30 minutes, consider watching a sitcom or a short episode of a TV series. It is also best to choose something that doesn’t require too much focus so that you can still concentrate on your running form.
Action movies and comedies are great options as they are usually fast-paced and entertaining. They also have the added benefit of keeping your heart rate up throughout the run, as you may find yourself more invested in the plot than in the fatigue of your workout.
You can watch a TV show or documentary series that you can continue to follow over multiple sessions. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that you’ll find enjoyable.
7. Set Goals and Track Progress
If you want to make treadmill running fun, one of the most important things you can do is set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based (SMART) goals. Having a plan and a clear idea of what you want to achieve can make your treadmill workouts more rewarding and motivating.
SMART goals are a great way to focus your efforts and measure your progress. Here are some examples of SMART goals for treadmill running:
– I will run for 30 minutes at a comfortable jogging pace three times a week for the next month.
– I will increase my speed by 0.5 mph every week for the next two months.
– I will complete a 5k running program in eight weeks by following a specific training schedule.
– I will run up a hill on the treadmill for one-minute intervals, four times per week for the next month.
Tracking your progress is also crucial to making treadmill running fun. By tracking your progress, you can see how far you’ve come, celebrate your successes, and identify areas where you need to improve.
You can track your progress in several ways, including using a fitness journal or an app. Some apps even allow you to set and track your SMART goals, making it easier to stay motivated and on track.
Research has shown that tracking progress can lead to better results and increased motivation if you set a more realistic goal. In a study titled “Goal-setting And Achievement In Activity Tracking Apps: A Case Study of MyFitnessPal” in 2019, researchers found that tracking apps are useful to participants who set realistic and achievable goals.
Rewards are also a great way to stay motivated and make treadmill running fun. When you achieve a goal, reward yourself with something you enjoy, like a favourite treat or a new workout outfit. Rewards help to reinforce good habits and make you feel positive about your progress.
Setting SMART goals, tracking progress, and rewarding yourself are all important steps in making treadmill running fun. By doing these, you’ll be able to stay motivated, see progress, and enjoy your treadmill workouts more.
8. Join a Running Challenge
Joining a running challenge can be a great way to make your treadmill running fun and engaging. It can provide you with the motivation and accountability you need to stay committed to your fitness goals. There are several online platforms such as Strava, Runkeeper, and Nike Run Club that offer virtual challenges for runners of all levels.
These challenges range from beginner to advanced levels, so you can find one that fits your current fitness level or one that pushes you to work harder. You can even choose challenges based on your preferences, such as distance or time-based challenges.
To join a running challenge, all you need to do is download the app, create an account, and search for current running challenges.
These apps have a vast range of challenges, from short-term ones that last a week or two to long-term ones that take several months. Choose a challenge that suits your fitness level and your goals, and make sure to read the rules carefully and follow the steps to join.
One popular platform that features monthly challenges is the iFit app. It works with NordicTrack and Proform treadmills and offers challenges and workouts for people of all fitness levels.
If you’re looking to make your treadmill running more exciting and challenging, joining a running challenge may be the way to go. With online platforms such as Strava, Runkeeper, and Nike Run Club, you can find a challenge that fits your fitness level, keeps you motivated, and holds you accountable.
9. Find a Workout Buddy
Running on a treadmill can be a daunting task, especially when you’re doing it alone. While some people enjoy the solitude of running alone, others may find it boring and tedious. That’s where a workout buddy can come in handy.
Having a workout buddy during treadmill workouts can really make the time go by much faster and provide a great opportunity for conversation and connection.
Instead of focusing on the discomfort or monotony of running on a machine, you can enjoy your time with someone else and catch up on the latest gossip.
The benefit of working out side-by-side with a buddy is that it provides a great way to stay accountable to each other.
You can motivate and inspire each other, and help each other to achieve workout and fitness goals. This is especially true on days when motivation may be low, you can rely on your workout buddy to help you push through and stay on track.
Research published in the International Journal of Stress Management in 2001 found that people who exercised with a partner saw a reduction in stress and an increase in mood.
There are many types of treadmill workouts that can be done together with a buddy such as interval training or hill workouts. Interval workouts involve alternating between short bursts of high-intensity exercise and periods of low-intensity exercise. Hill workouts involve adjusting the incline on the treadmill to simulate running uphill.
Incorporating a workout buddy into your training can not only help pass the time more pleasantly during your runs, but can also help to create accountability and motivation to achieve your fitness goals. So grab a friend and hit the treadmills together, You will be amazed at how much easier it can be to run side-by-side with a buddy!