One of the more popular workouts at the gym or home gym is the treadmill. Treadmills allow you to walk, jog or run without leaving the room. Treadmills provide an array of different levels of workouts by varying the speed at which you move on the treadmill and also the grade that you climb – from flat to steep uphill. Treadmills also monitor your workout with a timer and a heart-rate monitor. Some advanced machines will also tell you just how many calories you burn during the workout. Using a treadmill is a sure-fire way to stay in shape and these helpful hints will ensure you get the most out of your treadmill workout.
1. Stick to a regimen and set new goals
Treadmill workouts have three basic components – time, speed and grade. By setting a regimen that you are comfortable with, you can make time for your workout easily and stick to it without skipping. For example, if you workout of the treadmill 20 minutes a day at a brisk jog, slightly uphill you will know when you have made that exercise too easy and it is then time to add more time to the workout or perhaps make the speed faster or add a little more steepness to the grade. Make sure you only slightly increase the difficulty of the workout, however, so that you don’t over exert yourself and become disappointed with yourself. Increase your goals by small increments.
2. Warm up and warm down
Before you get onto the treadmill, be sure you stretch out to avoid cramping. Nothing will discourage you more from a treadmill workout than if it is causing you pain. You may also want to do a warm up workout on the treadmill itself, starting with a slow walk uphill, for example, before going to a jog or run. Also, at the end of your workout, be sure to stretch again or do a warm down workout with a slower speed for a few minutes. This will keep you in shape for continued workouts day after day.
3. Eat healthy and stay hydrated
Having enough energy for a cardio workout like the kind you get with a treadmill is important to getting the most out of the workout. Foods high in carbohydrates and low in fat will give you the energy you need to power you through the workout. Be sure you don’t stuff yourself and give yourself a half hour after eating at the least before you start the workout.
Water is essential to a cardio workout. When your body is hydrated, your muscles work better and you will have a lesser chance of getting a cramp. Avoid carbonated drinks and instead stick with water or an athletic drink with electrolytes.
4. Plan your schedule to make time for continued workouts
Treadmill workouts will give you the best results if they are done frequently. It is recommended by most health experts to exercise the body with at least 20 minutes of cardio workouts per day. If you have time to do more, then the treadmill will be even more beneficial, but if you have limited time just be sure to keep the workouts strenuous enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat.