As brought to you by active.com, here are four ways to make your treadmill workout a little more enjoyable this winter. It’s easy to waste the winter either not running or with sub-par runs on the treadmill. You can actually use the treadmill to help with short speed work as it will keep your speed consistent. So don’t waste the time indoors! Here are a few tips from active.com:
1. Play By Numbers
First, calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR) by subtracting your age from 220. [I’m 27 and mine would be 193.] The American College of Sports Medicine recommends hitting at least 70 percent of your MHR while you exercise to maximize your calorie burn and fat loss. [Mine would be 135.] If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, count your pulse for 10 seconds, and multiply that number by 6. [Or if you want easier math, count for 6 seconds and multiply by 10!] Keep working at 70 percent of your MHR for as long as you can. When you get tired, slow the treadmill to an easy jogging pace, and rest for a few minutes. Next, see how long you can go at 85 percent of your MHR.
2. Random Pickup
Tom Holland, a triathlete and physiologist in Darien, Connecticut, suggests watching a 30-minute TV program, like the nightly news. Increase your speed so that you’re running hard (about 80 percent of your maximum) during the commercials. When Katie Couric returns, slow your pace to an easy jog.
3. Take a Hike
Rebecca Rusch, top adventure racer and 2003 winner of the Raid Gauloises, likes to walk or run on an incline to mimic hiking outside. Some treadmills have preprogrammed hiking trails, but if yours doesn’t, Rusch recommends this: Walk at 3.5 miles per hour on a flat belt. Increase the incline every minute until it reaches 5 percent, and stay for three minutes. Next, lower and raise the belt every two minutes until you’ve been exercising for 25 minutes. Gradually lower the belt and decrease your speed over five minutes to cool down.
4. Weight It Out
If you’re short on time, do double duty with your cardio and grab a pair of two to five pound dumbbells. Perform biceps curls as you walk, raising and lowering your arms with each step. Next, perform military shoulder presses. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height, with your palms facing forward. Press them up overhead, and return them to start. Do 10 repetitions of each exercise. If you need your hands for balance, try this on a stationary bike.