If you work out using a treadmill, it can sometimes be difficult to stay motivated. To remain dedicated to your treadmill routine, you can mix entertainment with your workout to prevent yourself from becoming bored. Try listening to music, reading a magazine or book, listening to an audiobook, or watching a TV in the gym. You can also develop a variety of different workouts to make your daily routine more exciting.
EditSwitching up Your Workout Routine
- Do interval training. Spend 1-5 minutes doing hard, fast, or steep running on the treadmill followed by 1-5 minutes of slower, less steep, or easier jogging or walking. Continue to alternate between the 2 types for your entire workout. This will allow you to get a more effective cardio workout in less time.
- Try running a fartlek on the treadmill. A fartlek is a style of running which mixes hard, intense running with easier, relaxing periods of jogging. Use the treadmill controls to increase the incline and difficulty periodically. You can incorporate the visual environment into the fartlek: increase the difficulty when you see someone wearing red, and decrease when you see someone wearing blue.
- For example, if you’re watching TV, adjust the treadmill setting to be very difficult every commercial break, and then ease things up again during the program. Or switch this up: make it easy during the commercials and tough during the show.
- Gradually increase the difficulty with a “boil the frog” run. This workout gradually increases in difficulty as time passes. Begin your run at a comfortable rate. Then, every 10 minutes, make the run a little harder. Press the “Increase speed” button once or twice, and bump up the incline by 1 percent. After 30 minutes, you’ll be running at top speed. Then, gradually slow back down to a comfortable jog.
- Since you’ll start out on an easy setting, the run won’t be as immediately unpleasant as if you’d started on a difficult setting.
- Go to the gym with a friend. Motivating yourself to go to the gym—and work out once you’re there—can be challenging. Running on the treadmill with a friend will help motivate you to work out in the first place, and will give you something to do while running. The two of you can chat or listen to the same songs.
- If you and your friend both feel a little bored at the gym, you could try to race one another, or keep track of who has run more miles overall.
- Set daily exercise goals. Setting and working toward a daily goal can keep you entertained and focused throughout your workout. Set goals that determine the length of your workout, the distance you run or walk, or the amount of calories you burn.
- For example, if you ran yesterday, set a goal to run today.
EditListening to Music or Audio Content
- Listen to high-BPM music during your workout. In addition to keeping you entertained, music can motivate you to push yourself harder during your workout routine. Select a variety of rock or dance songs for your playlist that fall between 120 and 140 beats per minute (BPM). Songs with fast tempos that fall within this BPM range will help maintain your energy and motivation during your workout.
- Play music on your stereo if you work out at home, or listen to music using your portable or digital music player and headphones at the local gym.
- Songs with a BPM between 120 and 140 include: “Starships” by Nicki Minaj, “Best Day of my Life” by American Authors, “Raise Your Glass” by Pink, and “Eye of the Tiger” by Voyager.
- Check out a list of the top 100 running songs at https://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=the_top_100_running_songs_of_all_time.
- Switch up your exercise playlist weekly. No matter how fun and upbeat your standard exercise and treadmill songs are, you’ll get tired of them eventually. Keep yourself motivated—and stave off boredom—by adding a few new songs to your treadmill playlist every week.
- You can make your own playlists, or look on a streaming site like Spotify or Pandora. These sites have popular exercise playlists that update frequently. Or, ask some friends for their treadmill playlists.
- For example, try upbeat songs like: “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen, “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, “Beautiful Day” by U2, or “Dog Days are Over” by Florence and the Machine.
- Cue certain songs to change the pace of your run. Designate certain songs or artists on your music playlist that require you to run or walk faster when they are played. Try putting 3 fast, upbeat songs in a row, and following these up with a slower rock song. Run at a fast rate during the pop songs, and slow down to a medium jog for the rock. This will keep you from getting bored, and ensure that you run at a variety of speeds.
- Or, if you keep your playlist on shuffle, increase your treadmill speed whenever songs by a specific artist are played.
- For example, start out with “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk (116 BMP), and follow it with “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore and “Fight for Your Right” by the Beastie Boys (146 and 135 BPM, respectively). Then slow things down a little with “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor (109 BPM).
- Listen to an interesting podcast series. If you spend many hours per week on the treadmill, at some point you may want to listen to something a little more intellectually engaging than top-40 radio. Try out a few different types of podcasts to see which holds your attention while you’re running and working out.
- Podcasts exist on nearly every topic imaginable. Check the iTunes store, or look to find podcasts that stream online.
- Try audiobooks if reading while running is a challenge. Some people love to read while jogging on a treadmill, while others find it too difficult to keep their place and focus on the page. Audiobooks are a great alternative, especially if you’re running for longer stretches of time.
- You can stop at a cliffhanger in an engrossing novel, and you’ll be eager to pick up where you left off during your next treadmill session!
- Download audiobook files to your phone or tablet, or use a portable CD player.
EditEnjoying Visual Entertainment
- Watch a sitcom for short, fast runs. If you’re planning a fast-paced run, you’ll need to find a show that keeps your attention. Sitcoms are useful to watch since their plots are brief and self-contained, and you don’t have to watch each episode in sequential order. Watching a sitcom or short, light drama is a great way to keep your mind distracted so you can jog for a few miles on the treadmill.
- For a fast-paced run, try a sitcom with 30-minute episodes like Friends, How I Met Your Mother, or Modern Family.
- Select a dramatic TV show for longer, slower runs. For a long-distance workout, look for an engrossing drama or other hour-long show. The length of the episodes will force you to run for 45 minutes to an hour, and the show’s plot will take your mind off of the difficulty of the workout.
- Try attention-grabbing dramas like Game of Thrones, The Crown, or Grey’s Anatomy.
- Make a fun game out of watching other people at your gym. If you’re tired of electronic media, try people-watching instead. Play variations of counting games during every workout. For example, count the number of people wearing a certain brand of athletic shoes throughout your workout.
- Or, count the number of people wearing a specific shirt color. Keep track and try to beat your record the next time you’re at the gym.
- When watching TV on the treadmill, experiment with different genres of TV to see what works best for you. If watching a dramatic reality show doesn’t hold your interest on the treadmill, try watching a horror show or high-stakes thriller instead.
EditSources and Citations
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