Eggs are a great breakfast food packed with protein to fuel yourself for a workout and the day ahead. But if you had 2 eggs sunny-side up every morning, the routine might get a little tiresome—and the same goes for your treadmill workouts.
A treadmill is as much of a fitness tool as it is a piece of valuable exercise equipment. While running at constant speeds for specific amounts of time can be beneficial, mixing up your workout is just as important to your body as it is your mind. Here are some ways to take full-advantage of your treadmill while mixing up your workouts in the process.
Lunges activate your quads, glutes, and even activate your core. According to the American Council on Exercise, you should be doing more of them. While you might not have enough room in your home gym to lunge back and forth across the floor, you can always try them on your treadmill at a slow speed. Set your treadmill between 1 mph and 2 mph and perform the lunge, careful not to touch your knee to the belt. Try two sets of 60 seconds to activate your body for the workout ahead.
We’re not talking about the Super Bowl Shuffle, or even shuffling cards. We’re talking about the intricate shuffling that happens on a treadmill.
Again, set the treadmill to a slow speed, about 2 or 3 mph. As the belt moves beneath you, lower into a squat position and slowly shuffle for thirty seconds before turning around for another thirty. Two or 3 sets of treadmill shuffling and you’ll be feeling the burn for sure.
Sometimes it’s nice to have a nice, steady run on the treadmill. Other times, you need a little more pop to your routine. Set the treadmill to about 75% of your max speed and stride out for 30 seconds, then slow down to a jogging speed for 60 seconds. Sprinting burns fat, increase your stamina and boosts your endurance at the same time.
In the year 2000, Chris Clark walked into the Olympic Trials in South Carolina as an unknown distance runner. But 26 miles and two hours, thirty three minutes and thirty-one seconds later, she would win the race and stamp her ticket to Sydney for the Olympics.
Who was she, and how did she get there?
At the time, she was a mother of two living in snowy mountains of Alaska. Today, Clark’s rigorous training is stuff of running legend. Forced off the icy streets, Clark emulated the hot South Carolina climate by cranking up the thermostat and training inside.
On a treadmill.
For some, training on a treadmill is a necessity to fitness. Others simply prefer it. But whether you run inside our out is completely up to your preferences, goals and what feels right. However, there are pros and cons to both
Benefits of Treadmill Running
If it’s hot, cold, rainy, blizzard or raining fiery meteorites from heaven above, a treadmill in the basement is a reliable ally to help get your training regimen in for the day.
To begin, treadmills are generally faster to run on than the road. The belts of a treadmill propel your legs forward faster, helping to increase your stride and speed.
Need to catch up on “Orange is the New Black”? A good treadmill can hold your tablet, power it on and sometimes provide controls for the screen. We wouldn’t advocating pushing through episodes on an outside run, but on treadmills it’s fair game.
With a treadmill, you can adjust how fast you want to run, how far, and even at what incline. And unless the power goes out or a cat/dog/child tries to launch themselves into your legs, your speed and stride will stay consistent through your entire run.
Easy on the Feet
You know that consistency we talked about? Injury-prone runners benefit from that. The treadmill belt “gives” more than a road or sidewalk so there’s less stress on your lower body. Plus the smooth, consistent surface offers no surprises—that means no rocks, potholes or rabid squirrels to worry about.
Benefits of Road Running
Running outside lends to functional, lower body strength. The shifting terrain and varying inclines promotes soft tissue hardening that doesn’t occur on a treadmill. This helps you adapt to a variety of surfaces on your run.
Not that your basement is a bad place to log some miles, but running outside helps many runners psychologically. For some, reaching certain landmarks, running over different terrain and seeing the hustle and bustle of a town is what helps them get through a run.
More Calories Burned
According to the New York Times, outdoor runners expend more energy than treadmill runners. This is attributed to wind resistance, changes in terrain, and stressing different muscles to extend your stride.
Which is Right?
Why not both?
Whether you want to run inside, outside or a mix of the two, the choice is completely up to you and what you feel comfortable doing.
Treadmills are unique in that whether you run on them for a half mile or for ten, you’ll still end up at the same place. But that’s the beauty of these fitness tools—you can exercise in the comfort of your own warm, quiet home. So what’s stopping you from investing in one? If it’s one of the reasons below, we’ll help you sort it out.
Cars are pretty expensive too, but they get you where you need to go. We view them as investments to our lives and futures, a necessity to a lifestyle. While a vehicle helps you get to work, a treadmill propels you to your fitness goals. Whether you want lose weight, increase your stamina on the trails or just get some good ol’ fashioned cardio in, a treadmill is a useful investment that’ll help you for years to come.
Not Enough Space
At some point in our lives, we’ve all lived in a tiny, barely livable apartment where having more than 2 people over made it feel like a packed night club. For those currently in that situation, you may truly not have enough room for a treadmill. For everyone else, let’s face the facts: treadmills fold up, which makes storing as easy as stuffing them in a closet or sliding under a table. If there’s a sliver of room in your basement, living room or office, you have the room to take a leisurely run.
From Legos to exercise equipment, a box filled with parts is an intimidating beast. Any worries that you’ll have a hard time setting up your treadmill, however, can be squashed by Sports Authority’s team members. Click here to learn more about how Sports Authority can deliver and assemble your treadmill!
Don’t Know Which Kind
Yeah, staring at the wall—or webpage—full o f treadmills can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start. Luckily, Sports Authority has put together a thorough buyer’s guide to help you figure out exactly what you need.
You’re intimidated by OK Go’s Music Video for Here it Goes Again
There’s no denying OK Go revolutionized the music video AND exercise industry with their intricately choreographed routine. If anything, their quirky moves shouldn’t intimidate you—it should motivate you to start your treadmill, get on that belt and come up with your own routine—carefully.
“Use the right tool for the job.”
If your dad’s never told you that before, then we’re telling you now. You wouldn’t fasten a screw with a shovel, you wouldn’t dig a hole with a tape measure and you wouldn’t use your treadmill to do any of the following things.
Taking Your Dog for a Walk
As adorable as little Fido may look prancing on the belt, there’s a good chance their coordination may fail them. Besides, it may hurt their pads, and it will certainly damage your treadmill. And if they get launched off the machine, there’s no telling what they’ll hit or land on. Our advice? Take your dog to the park, or let them outside. Save the treadmill running for the humans.
“The couch is not a jungle gym!” – Parents everywhere
The same principle applies to treadmills, and exercise equipment in general. While your treadmill’s handles look perfect for hanging sweaters and the belt is the perfect spot to fold a mountain of t-shirts, exhaust all your will power keep your treadmill free of clothing. It all starts with a sock—the gateway garment—and spirals out of control from there. Once you start, it’s hard to stop. So don’t start.
These guys figured out a way to utilize a treadmill to help with their chores. In this case, transporting firewood. While it’s a clever operation, we only have one thing to say:
That poor, poor treadmill. Stuck out in the cold, becoming more and more damaged with every log it hits. Unless you plan on using your treadmill exclusively for firewood transport, keep the wood away.
If you’ve tried rollerblading by treadmill like this guy, then maybe both activities aren’t right for you. Instead, try sitting down quietly on a couch while trying not to hurt yourself.