Treadmill Workout Ideas That Make Fitness Fun

Research shows that in order to lose weight safely and keep it off, you need to exercise. And even those who are not overweight benefit from an exercise or workout routine. But many people don't exercise regularly, which puts them at risk for heart disease, accidents or injuries, and other health concerns. There are many reasons people give why they don't exercise more. It's boring, it's too difficult, they don't have enough time or they'd rather be doing other things. Some people aren't sure how to exercise and they are uncomfortable going to a fitness center to work with a trainer. But with a good treadmill and a workout routine that fits your needs, exercise can be enjoyable, convenient and beneficial.

A treadmill is a perfect choice in exercise equipment for many people. It allows you to walk or run in the security and privacy of your own home. Unlike weightlifting or aerobics, you don't have to use your hands or move your body across the room. Typically, it requires less concentration than other types of workouts, especially if you have a treadmill that allows you to program in a variety of workout components, such as hills, speed changes, and adjustments to maintain a target heart rate.

The Basics

The type of treadmill workout that is best for you depends on your overall fitness level, what you are trying to accomplish through your exercise routine, and what you enjoy doing. Continuous training is perhaps the most common type of treadmill routine. Essentially, it involves running at a set pace, usually for 20 to 45 minutes. This type of exercise workout is ideal for incorporating some fun activities into your treadmill workout. The majority of our suggestions below are aimed at those who are basically turning on the machine and walking or running until their time is up.

Those who prefer a more demanding workout or who are in training for marathons or other stamina events go with interval training. It consists of shorter bouts of activity performed in quick succession and at a higher intensity. Because this requires more effort and concentration, it may be difficult to let your mind wander or to focus on other activities. How much you have to concentrate depends on the individual but there are still some fun activities listed below that can be added to any treadmill workout.

One of the most important aspects of any exercise routine geared toward improving cardio strength is to be sure you are exercising in such a way that you achieve and maintain your target heart rate. Maximum heart rate is calculated by subtracting your age in years from 220. Most people agree that a good target heart rate zone is 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. Because this factor is so critical to healthy, productive exercise, many treadmills come with a heart rate monitor built in, often in the handrails that you hold onto when using the machine. But you can also purchase an inexpensive heart rate monitor from most large department stores, health stores or at hundreds of locations online.

How you choose to achieve your target heart rate, be it walking, jogging, continuous or interval training is up to you. But we have some suggestions to help you make exercise more fun and increase your chances of sticking with it and exercising regularly.

Tune It Up

Perhaps the most popular way to entertain yourself while using your treadmill is to listen to music. It can help you focus and give you something else to think about while enduring even the most strenuous parts of a workout. It is a good way to check out new music and expand your horizons. Or put in your favorite motivational music ? the songs that really get you moving and shaking ? and your 45-minute routine will whiz by. There are some treadmill music CDs that have been compiled specifically for those who need a little motivation in their treadmill exercise routine. Use headphones to avoid disturbing family members if necessary.

Learn While You Burn

Maybe you prefer to lose yourself in a good story. Some people are able to read a print book or magazine while they exercise on their treadmills. Several companies sell book holders that attach to the treadmill and work well as long as you are not bouncing around so much that it is difficult to read the print. Many people listen to books or storytelling on tape or CDs. This is especially productive for those who don't have time to sit down with a good book or who fall asleep when trying to read in bed.

Mary Gossen had a book she truly wanted to read, but the only time she could find in her busy schedule was in the evening before bed. This didn't work well for her because she would doze off after just one or two pages. "There is something about reading before bed that puts me right out," she shared. "But I got the book on tape and listened to it while I walked on the treadmill and I was able to finish it in under a week. In fact, I found myself walking longer than my normal amount of time because I didn't want to turn off the tape. Now I listen to books on tape all the time while I exercise."

An alternative is listening to language tapes. This works especially well if you have a vacation planned. You can build your language skills and get in shape for that bikini, and the excitement of the pending trip helps motivate you to get on the treadmill. Place a fan nearby or get one that attaches to your machine and you can even imagine you are already there, enjoying the tropical breezes.

Not able to get away for a vacation? Pick a destination you'd like to visit and then calculate how many miles you walk or jog each workout and plot them on a map. Watch the travel channels on TV or rent a video guide to the area to help provide incentive and distraction.

Guilt Free TV

Many people watch television while on the treadmill because they say it makes them feel less guilty about watching. A good movie can help you forget you are exercising, and you are probably not going to fill up with popcorn and treats if you watch while you're on the treadmill. You will probably have to break it up into several segments, but the anticipation to see the end of the movie makes you that much more eager to exercise. Also, by agreeing to exercise everyday when your favorite sitcom reruns, soap or reality TV show is on helps you stick to a regular workout schedule.

Sarah Marcus got hooked on a soap opera while she was home on maternity leave. When she returned to work, she began taping the soap and then watching it while she exercised each evening. "I got to see my soap and my husband got to spend some time with the baby while I exercised. Plus it helped me to lose my pregnancy weight faster.

These are just some ideas to get you started and help make your treadmill workout more enjoyable and hence something you will look forward to and stick with. Maybe you get a headset and talk with a friend on the phone while you workout. Or better yet, set up dual treadmills side by side and make a date out of it. The possibilities are many and whatever keeps you exercising on a regular basis is a good thing. Half the fun can be experimenting to see what works best for you.

C.J. Gustafson is a successful writer for Treadmill-Ratings-n-Reviews.net, providing treadmill ratings and reviews on the most popular models. She admits she needs all the help she can get when it comes to sticking to treadmill workouts.

Copyright 2004 Treadmill-Ratings-n-Reviews.net

Permission is granted to publish this article on your site only if all links are left intact.

In The News:


The Globe and Mail

Need to mix up your workout? Try the organized – yet fun – chaos of aerobics
The Globe and Mail
Aerobics may be past its heyday, but the format is very much alive – with both original and updated versions (like Zumba). Synchronized cardio-dance workouts will never fully die; devotees love getting lost in the music and mastering tricky combinations.


KOMO News

The best exercises for building strong bones
KOMO News
There's no doubt about it – exercise is good for your bones. But some types of exercise are much better at building stronger bones. Brisk walking, low-impact aerobics, most cardio machines (like stair climbers, rowers and elliptical trainers), are good ...


Holodia's Holofit VR Cardio Will Break Away Boredom
VR Fitness Insider (blog)
They'll benefit from getting a workout that can be started easily and is entertaining, unlike other intimidating workouts that take months to get the hang of things (we're looking at you group dance aerobics). They won't feel lost, unmotivated, or ...


Chicago Sun-Times

Heading indoors for your fall, winter workouts? Some fun options
Chicago Sun-Times
They host indoor activities ranging from weightlifting to water aerobics to recreational leagues for soccer, volleyball, basketball. “Before someone tackles a new workout regimen, [he or she] might want to delve into their ... The sisters — Marisol ...


Brit + Co

The 24 Biggest Fitness Trends Through the Decades
Brit + Co
Developed by Dr. Kenneth Cooper in the '60s as a way to improve the cardiovascular system, aerobics took off when Jane Fonda released her 1982 exercise video, which became the best-selling VHS tape of all time. Clearly, the cardio class has worked for ...


Dallas Post | Misericordia University in Dallas offers non-credit fun ...
The Dallas Post
DALLAS TWP. – Misericordia University is now taking registrations for a variety of non-credit courses being offered to the community this fall. Adult Basic Clay by ...

and more »

TAPinto.net

Fall Fitness at The Connection - Chatham NJ News - TAPinto
TAPinto.net
A Total Facility Membership at The Connection offers so much more than just a gym. At The Connection, members become part of a community, welcomed by ...

and more »

iDiva.com

6 Fun Dance-Exercise Trends Which Easily Beat Going To The Gym
iDiva.com
Pilates, aerobics, cardio and weights - these oft-heard words are yawn-inducingly tiresome to the ears of people who want to be fit, but are not fitness enthusiasts. But, in a colourful country like ours, which loves its songs and dances, we don't ...


TAPinto.net

Fall Fitness at The Connection - News - TAPinto
TAPinto.net
A Total Facility Membership at The Connection offers so much more than just a gym. At The Connection, members become part of a community, welcomed by ...

and more »

Tips on how to stay young at heart | www.chesterfieldobserver.com ...
Chesterfield Observer
When I retire, I envision my hubby and myself sitting on our front porch, watching the boats sail by with a couple of cats at our feet. But that's actually the worst ...

and more »
Google News

The Fitness Cardio Secret That Propels Lance Armstrong

What is Lance Armstrong doing that you can do to... Read More

Spinning Classes - Indoor Stationery Bicycle

Over the years I have changed my exercise routine continuously.... Read More

Aerobic Activity Burns Fat

Aerobic activity is any exercise that helps you use oxygen... Read More

Lose Weight And Skyrocket Your Metabolism With Regular Cardiovascular Exercise

Do you try to eat well, even diet, but aren't... Read More

Too Much Water Can Kill

Long distance runners and other endurance athletes have long been... Read More

How To Start a Running Program

Running or jogging is one of the best ways there... Read More

Running on Empty

A sexy pair of legs moseys its way down a... Read More

Treadmill Workout Ideas That Make Fitness Fun

Research shows that in order to lose weight safely and... Read More

Run for Your Life

Running is an ideal symmetrical activity for keeping fit. However,... Read More

Fat Burning Exercises

Fat burning exercises are the slow, aerobic, long duration types... Read More

Are You Making This Cardio Mistake?

Are you exercising for long periods of time to try... Read More

Aerobic Cross Training for Weight Loss

Do you sometimes get bored with your aerobic exercise? Do... Read More

Cardio-Boxing for Super Fitness

The major benefits of cardio-boxing include:· Increased Stamina · Increased... Read More

Why Your Cardiovascular Workouts Might Be A Big Waste Of Your Time

What if I were to tell you that most if... Read More

Cardiovascular Training - From the Heart!

Cardiovascular training, or aerobics, requires a different approach than other... Read More

How To Jump Rope For Health and Fitness

Rope skipping is an excellent cardiovascular exercise according to the... Read More

An Alternate Fitness Tool

Any competitive or recreational athlete will use a variety of... Read More

Guidant Corporation Recalls Heart Defibrillators

A worldwide recall was announced by Guidant Corporation for nearly... Read More

Better Cardio Workouts

The Cardio KingChange it upOne of the most important aspects... Read More

Running in The Zone: A Personal Account

Running in The Zone has to be one of the... Read More

What Should Runners Think About?

What do you think about when you are running? Does... Read More

Integrated Training for Improved Cycling Performance - Part 2

The previous article looked at postural issues and possible muscles... Read More

Cardios Effect on Overall Health

When most people hear the word "Cardio", their mind automatically... Read More

Integrated Training for Improved Cycling Performance - Part 1

As we all know cycling is a great way to... Read More

3 Keys To Finding Your Natural Running Stride

When I think back to when I was at school,... Read More