It’s hard to get excited about running in place. It doesn’t take most people long before boredom sets in, making it difficult to meet exercise goals. It can also result in dreading the next workout. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, there are a number of options that may even help you look forward to your next go-round on the treadmill.
Go for an indoor hike
One of the best ways to kick your workout up a notch and make it more interesting is to pretend you’re hiking out on a scenic trail. If using your imagination just isn’t good enough, try a virtual hiking or walking DVD. There are many different options available. VirtualActive, for example, offers virtual hikes through the Canadian Rockies, the American Southwest, the California coast and many others.
Feel as if you’re in one of your favorite scenic locations, minus the elements, and kick up the incline a few notches. You can even set your treadmill to simulate uneven outdoor terrain to make up for the lack of wind.
Listen to audio books
If you’d love to have more time to read but haven’t been able to fit it into your busy schedule, how about doing two things at once by listening to an audiobook on your iPod or other device while you run? You could even learn a new language via podcasts, apps or YouTube videos.
Add some variety
Change up your usual treadmill run by incorporating strength training into your workout. Just add some 2- to 5-pound dumbbells and perform shoulder presses, bicep curls or other upper body exercises while you’re walking. Alternate with 5 to 10 minutes of running – without the weights of course! If you don’t have dumbbells, you can always run and then hop off the treadmill to do squats, push-ups, lunges and planks.
Play a game
Play a treadmill game by writing the words “run,” “run fast,” “jog” or “walk” on four different index cards. Shuffle them up and then warm up for about a mile. Next, draw one of the cards and do what it says for 3-4 minutes, then switch cards until you’ve gone through all of them. You can even add your own unique twist by specifying a speed or incline, or including instructions like “jump off and give me 20 sit-ups.”
Speed intervals and TV
Watch one of your favorite 30- or 60-minute TV shows. Run at an easy to moderate pace while the program is on, and during commercials, increase your speed so that you’re running hard – at about 80 percent of your maximum. Interval training gets the heart rate up and helps you burn the maximum amount of calories in the shortest period of time. And, if you’re watching the show anyway, it’s better to do it moving than sitting around!
Try one or more of these fun treadmill activities, and say goodbye to boredom!
-The Alternative Daily