Whether you’re trying to shed holiday pounds, get ready for swim suit season or out-step your hubs in a FitBit challenge like me, the treadmill can be your friend or foe, depending on how you use it. Yes, there is a wrong way to work the treadmill! Mindlessly jogging while reading a book, texting your friends or checking Instagram is a big, fat waste of your time. Okay, it is better than chowing down a bowl of chips in front of the TV, but if you’re going to workout, why not make it count?
This article very simply explains how long, thoughtless runs aren’t so productive and you’ll easily find countless more that agree. Basically, when you stop huffing and puffing because you’ve gotten yourself into decent shape, your body quits blasting those devilish calories so easily. Seriously, nothing in life is easy, is it? So the bad news is, going into hamster mode doesn’t work. But, the good news is, logging long hours or mileage isn’t necessary.
Last night, I was soooooo pooped from work; not stressed, just mentally drained and with a serious case of the February blues. The hubs and I dragged ourselves to the gym, agreeing to a 35 minute sweat sesh. I climbed the stairs up to the women’s gym, which felt like Everest, not a good sign. Normally, I dork out to some news, economic or educational podcasts, but that wasn’t going to cut it. Fortunately, the gym’s radio sent that magical thing called adrenalin straight to my legs. To keep interested, I make up my sequences on the go. Last night’s went something like this (speeds are on the metric system):
Walking/Jogging Warm Up
0-2:00 –7 | 2:00-6:00 – 10.5
6:00-7:00 – 11 | 7:00-8:00 – 11.3 | 8:00-9:00 – 11.5 | 9:00-10:00 – 11.8
10:00-11:00 – 12 | 11:00-12:00 – 12.3 | 12:00-13:00 – 12.5 | 13:00-14:00 – 12.8
14:00-15:00 – 13
15:00-17:00 – 7
17:00-18:00 – 13.5 | 18:00-19:00 – 10 | 19:00-20:00 – 13.4 | 20:00-21:00 – 10
21:00-22:00 –13.3 | 22:00-23:00 – 10.5 | 23:00-24:00 – 13.2 | 24:00-25:00 – 10.5
25:00-26:00 – 13.1 | 26:00-27:00 – 11 | 27:00-28:00 – 13
28:00-29:00 – 7
Bust it out…go with anything you have left!
29:00-30:00 – 13.5
31:00-32:00 – 13.3
32:00-33:30 – 13
33:00-35:00 – 7
Can you figure out the sequence? It’s so random, but makes me concentrate on my next speed change rather than being bored out of my mind trudging along at the same old pace. The point is to vary your speed and heart rate to productively work yourself out.
Every workout is different, but challenging yourself needs to be the constant. Whatever your level, simply work to get better, faster and stronger. Take photos of your stats after each workout and try to up your average speed, calorie burn or distance each time. Stay present and push yourself- it can surprisingly be fun. No matter what, you’ll never regret a workout, so give it a try.