The treadmill is one of the most popular pieces of home fitness equipment and it is easy to understand why. Running is a great way to exercise, delivering a superb cardio-vascular workout that works out the big problem areas of thighs, buttocks, abs and arms. However, a treadmill workout can be boring and some users report the dreaded plateau effect after a couple of months. Exercising on a treadmill should be fun and with a little thought you should be able to create some really effective workouts that will challenge both your body and your mind.
How do I get the most from my Treadmill?
If you are new to running then you need to start off gently. Warm up before you start sprinting, so your muscles are fully prepared for the workout. Your warm up can be performed either on or off the treadmill and should include gentle stretches which should focus mainly on the legs. Start your routine slowly, with a brisk walk which quickly works up to jogging pace. If you need a little balance to get you going then hold on to the handle bars. However, avoid excessive use of these handles or your posture will be negatively affected.
If you really want to tone up and lose some weight then you need to be clever about the type of workout you perform on the cross trainer. Simply jumping on, jogging at a single pace on a flat surface and hopping off twenty minutes later is not going to yield the best results. You need to push your body through a series of challenges and as you cross one hurdle, add another.
Once you have warmed up and are jogging at a steady pace try adding an incline to the routine. Running uphill will slow down your pace, but will really push you cardio-wise; great for weight loss and muscle shaping. You don’t need to run uphill for too long and if you are new to running then just aim for a couple of minutes. Then, alter the incline to an angle that allows you to run faster, getting the adrenaline rushing again and the heart pumping.
At the end of the workout you need to perform a cool-down. This is important if you want to avoid stiff muscles the next day. You can cool down on the treadmill, by slowly reducing the pace down from a sprint to a jog to a slow walk. Ideally, take a warm shower (not hot) after each session. Do not simply stop running suddenly because this may leave your muscles prone to injury. Keep up with your training sessions and aim to workout at least 3 times per week. You will see results that will reward your efforts!