Did you know that treadmills were actually invented to be torture devices? They were designed as a method of punishment, to make prisoners suffer and sweat. Prisoners were forced to walk hours and hours without stopping. These early treadmills had a high death rate in the prisons – on average one death per week. It got so bad that they had to ban treadmills! (1)
That was 200 years ago. Today, treadmills “are the top-selling training equipment in the US” (1). But some things haven’t changed. Many people still consider treadmills to be torture machines capable of boring you to death. Can you think of anything more boring than staring at a beige wall and running mindlessly on a treadmill in the corner of your house?
But, running on a treadmill doesn’t have to be boring and tortuous! You can enjoy your treadmill workouts and actually have fun while you work out.
Here’s 7 ways to escape the monotony of treadmill workouts and make exercising a lot more fun.
Today’s treadmills come equipped with large screens loaded with great graphics and workout programs (something I’m sure the treadmill prisoners of the past would envy). They have excellent interactive training programs with running routes from all around the globe.
iFit comes on NordicTrack and ProForm treadmills and lets you customize your workout routines with classes from professional trainers, training programs, and motivating stats that will be sure to keep you entertained during your workout.
One of the best top rated iFit classes is Around The World in 30 Days, a program that has 30 days’ worth of iFit videos that let you travel the world and “run” in countries around the globe. You won’t be bored as you run while you visit cool places like Machu Picchu, the Grand Canyon, Antarctica, and more.
Do you spend way too much time binge-watching your favorite shows on Netflix? Well, we’ve got a great solution for you. Bring your tablet, phone, or TV to your workout space, and watch your favorite shows while you work out!
You could even set the goal to only watch Netflix on the treadmill. That way, you’ll spend more time on the treadmill, and less time watching Netflix. With the right TV shows, you might even get so sucked into your shows that you’ll forget you’re working out!
From humor and crime to news and sports, you can find podcasts on just about everything. There’s so many to listen to and so little time. But, listening to your favorite podcasts while you run on the treadmill is a great way to stay caught up on all your favorite ones.
If you’re not a huge fan of podcasts, music is another great way to make your workout more enjoyable. And, the right music can even make you run faster!
One study found that “participants who cycled in time to music required 7 percent less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who did not synchronize their movements with background music.” (2) When you work out while listening to music, it works like a metronome – helping you “maintain a steady pace, reducing false steps and decreasing energy expenditure.” (2)
Music not only keeps you motivated, but it also helps to improve your performance. There’s nothing like some Eye of the Tiger or Rocky music to get you motivated and moving in the morning. So, turn up your favorite tunes and hop on the treadmill!
Now, connecting with your friends and family via technology is easier than ever. And, why not do it while jogging or walking on the treadmill? It’s a great time to catch up with a friend that lives far away, call your parents, or even set up a running “date” with a friend who wants to work out as well.
Just set up your phone or tablet on your treadmill or nearby, connect with a friend on Zoom, and chat the miles away!
There’s a ton of great running apps to help you improve your performance and keep up with your workout goals. Many of them have community features that let you stay connected to other workout buddies and keep you motivated.
Apps like Aaptiv, Treadmill Trails, and Zwift have a bunch of great options for treadmill workout ideas. With Zwift, you can create your own virtual avatar and run like you are playing a video game.
If you like the social aspect of running, RunSocial is a great option. RunSocial “connects to treadmills through bluetooth, allowing you to run live with people around the world on different courses at any time.” (3)
There’s a bunch of fitness apps to choose from, and the good news is that most of them are free, so you can test them out without losing any money and even try a new one every week if you’d like!
Apart from doing interval training on the treadmill or doing pyramid workouts, you can also jump off the treadmill during your workout and add some pushups, squats, lunges, or sit-ups to your treadmill workout.
Don’t limit your treadmill workouts to just staying on the belt the entire time. You can mix it up and add other dynamic stretches or strength-building exercises to keep the boredom at bay and get a full-body workout.
Your treadmill workouts should be fun and enjoyable. After all, working out shouldn’t be something you dread. Working towards your fitness goals should be enjoyable and fulfilling. Create a good workout variety to stay motivated during your treadmill workouts and to have fun while you run!