Get the most out of the treadmill

Get the most out of the treadmill

Using any piece of cardio or resistance equipment day in, day out can get monotonous. However, if you are inclined to use the treadmill regularly, changing up your routine can make a huge difference. No matter what your goal, there are always methods of making each session on the treadmill more effective and enjoyable.

Interval training

Interval training is intense bursts of activity followed by a period of rest. This allows the body to burn more energy in a shorter period of time, while combating boredom.

Workout examples

These workouts can be completed by either walking, running or changing the gradient on the machine.

Example one
Once you’ve warmed up, this program involves two minutes at a fast/steady pace or a high gradient percentage followed by a one minute walk with no gradient.

This workout can be completed in thirty minutes to one hour depending on how much time you have available. Finish your workout with a walk and stretching to allow the body to cool properly.  

Example two
If you’re stuck on time, this fifteen minute workout is quick and easy. The gradient and speed of this workout can be changed accordingly to suit any fitness level. The routine is to be completed as three rounds of the following:

Time

Gradient

Speed

Two minutes

0 to 1%

Jog or fast walk

Two minutes

1 to 10%

Jog or fast walk

One minute

0 to 1%

Slow job or slow walk

Stimulating the brain to gain the most of out of your workout

The biggest obstacle to overcome with running or walking on the treadmill is boredom. There are several strategies that can be used to ensure you stay engaged in every workout.

  • Visualisation – This is great for if you’re training for an event. Visualise yourself running up that hill when running on a gradient. Or if your goal is to run three kilometres break it down to six lots of five-hundred metres and focus on finishing each section.
  • Music – Research has demonstrated that listening to music is a great way to engage the mind while exercising.
  • TV – Depending on your goal and the type of workout you are completing watching TV may help, but it may also distract you. A great example of when watching TV can work is if your goal is to regenerate or recover. It’s always important to enjoy your workout, so if doing so helps you get through your session, permission to watch TV at the gym is granted!

Holding onto the treadmill

Holding onto the treadmill reduces the effectiveness of your workout. Obviously if holding on is necessary for you due to a medical condition or to ensure you maintain your balance, then safety always comes first!

However, if you are holding on, simply because it’s become a habit, you might be interested to learn that holding onto the rails can:

  • ruin your posture and body alignment

  • reduce the calories burned

  • reduce the effect of the gradient

  • prevent you from improving your balance

  • create an unnatural walking and running technique.

To start walking hands-free, start by slowing down the speed and reducing the gradient to zero, to a level where you feel safe and comfortable without holding the rails. From this point, gradually increase the speed or gradient until you become comfortable.  Go as slow as you need to create good balance and form.

For good posture on the treadmill walk with your body upright without leaning forward. This will enable you to take more oxygen in as you open up your lungs and ensure that you run or walk correctly.

Choosing the right incline will also help not to hold on. If you choose a high gradient with a high speed that your body can’t handle you are more likely to hold on. It is best to replicate a speed and gradient that you would generally experience when walking or running outdoors.

Good luck and don’t forget to ask the gym instructors for help!

Kat



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