Even if you’re a running person, treadmills are a drag. There’s no view, no breeze, no soft ground – it’s just you and the machine. Luckily, there are some creative hacks that can add some life to that dull, rotating band. Consider these tricks the next time you’re stuck running indoors:
1. Alter Your Speed and Incline
Is there anything more boring than running at a constant pace and incline for an extended period of time? Add some zest to your treadmill experience by mixing it up a bit. Go fast on a flat setting and then slow it down and walk at an incline that makes you feel like you’re taking on Mt. Everest. Not only will this change speed up the time elapsed on the otherwise monotonous machine, but it will also work different muscles in different ways. That’s a win-win for sure!
2. Align Workout With TV Programs
Rather than focusing on the monitor’s time elapsed display, zone out to one of your favorite TV shows. Head to the gym right before your favorite program starts, tune in and before you know it, an entire hour will have gone by.
3. Make a Great Playlist
Something magical happens when you pair an awesome playlist with a great run. There’s this alignment of rhythm, a beat bumping in one’s chest – it’s a truly unique experience. Plus, studies show that music makes running more enjoyable and feel more effortless. Craft a playlist that will keep you going, or tune into one of your favorite streaming stations and let the music carry you through.
4. Find a Partner
Running clubs exist all over the country, and for good reason; running with a partner provides helpful, healthy distraction. You can find different partners for different days of the week and use the time to catch up; make it a social hour on the treadmill. You could also find an everyday partner who motivates you to keep going, entertains you with conversation and will make the time fly by.
5. Think About Anything Else
When you think constantly of how boring your work shift is, the time will only pass slower. The same is true of running: If you’re enveloped in thoughts of your discomfort, your boredom or your general desire to be doing anything besides running, the time is sure to lag even more. Instead, focus your thoughts on other things. Make plans for the evening, create to-do lists, think about what you’ll eat for lunch – distract yourself with such thoughts in order to get through your workout.
6. Don’t Run
Running – as we mentioned – can be boring. Luckily, that isn’t the only thing you can do on a treadmill. Incorporate things like skipping, butt kicks or high knees. These exercises will provide you with an equally beneficial workout, but will shake the boringness a bit. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can also try walking backwards or sideways – just be careful!
7. Mix up Machines
Treadmills aren’t the only machines available at the gym and running isn’t the only method of exercise. Take advantage of some of the other equipment. Do a short interval on the treadmill before switching to a bike, for example. Do the bike for a while, then switch back. Moving back and forth will make the intervals go faster, and you’ll benefit more muscles during your gym session.
8. Focus on Your Body
Another way to distract yourself: Think entirely of your bodily functions as you’re running. Consider your form: are you square and tight, or are you hunch-backed with arms dragging on the ground? Try to lighten your step and have your feet land softer upon the band to reduce force on your legs. Are your arms moving fast enough? Think about speeding them up in order to boost your overall pace. Don’t forget about your breathing; make sure you keep it steady and controlled.
Try these tips to bust the boredom and make your treadmill workout fly by!
Photo: E’Lisa Campbell