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Does your treadmill workout have to be boring?

Submitted by: Kimmie

Because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis, there are some days that the only workout I can manage is on my treadmill.  I’ve heard many people say, “it’s boring,” it takes too long to burn calories.”.  These statements are true if you are holding on and simply plodding along. But you get out of it what you put in.

I have an old ProForm and I’m actually shocked it’s lasted this long. Probably about 10 or more years. (Watch, it will crash now) It was purchased at Sears, so clearly it was a great deal because it’s still running.  Anyway, it gives you the normal, speed, time, calories, and miles.  It has an adjustable incline.  No bells and whistles, just an old treadmill.

That old treadmill can give you a great workout if you let it. All you have to do is change up your workout.  For instance, I start working flat at a slow pace until I feel warmed up.  I gradually increase the speed.  I can’t really run on it anymore, so walking fast is for me.  Even if you are walking at a slow speed, if you increase the incline, it can be one heck of a workout.  If you want a good workout, you should try not to hold on to the bars.  You burn more calories if your arms move with your feet.  That’s why you always hear the coaches on The Biggest Loser yelling “Get your hands off my treadmill!”  You should also try to adjust the incline up and down during your workout, so your body doesn’t get used to going the same pace.

Also, adding weights gives you a double whammy!  Burning calories while building muscle.  It’s pretty easy to walk on the treadmill with wrist weights.  If you don’t have wrist weights, you can hold some dumb bells.  Just holding the weights and walking on the treadmill really adds to your cardio workout.  Of course, you don’t just have to just hold them.  You can do some bicep and tricep curls. Overhead reaches.  Whatever your comfortable with.  Just make sure you have enough space and you’re doing them correctly.  It may take a little time getting used to doing arm reps while moving on a treadmill.  It can throw you off balance. So always start off slow until you find your center of gravity.

I admit it, sometimes just walking can get boring, but what helps me is changing up the music. I have my iPhone and it’s filled with music. Some days I play a workout playlist, sometimes rock, sometimes country and sometimes even worship music.  Yes, I can workout on the treadmill to worship music.  In fact, those are actually some of my best workouts because I just get lost in the music.  If you didn’t know, there are some awesome and rockin worship songs these days! You can also strategically place your treadmill where you can have access to a TV, or use your iPad, or in my case, iPhone to watch a movie. Many times I’ve watched a show that I previously missed and didn’t even realize I had been walking for an hour.

I hope to one day be able to afford a new treadmill with all the bells and whistles, such as the one I see Jillian Michaels touting all the time on commercials. The Nordic track x9i incline trainer looks like one heck of an awesome treadmill!  It has an incline of 40% but it also has a decline so you can go uphill and downhill.  By far the 10 inch touch screen is a great selling point. I don’t think I’d ever get bored on that thing! You can choose from the different iFit programs, or you can program your own course.  It runs about $2000, so I guess I’ll put that on my bucket list.

Until then….Happy Walking!



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