treadmill
HEALTH

Treadmill Starter Guide: 9 Easy Steps to Feeling Fit

If you can possibly afford it, I absolutely recommend buying your own electric treadmill. You know why? Because it works. In so many ways. I mean, it’s damn near impossible just getting yourself out of bed at 5am anyway, so having this key piece of cardio equipment at home means you’re always only 5-10 minutes away from the start of your daily workout.

Now that’s a pretty big deal when you have a great mattress and it’s Saturday morning and you’ve had two glasses of wine with your best friend the night before. Or it’s a weekday and you have to feed the kids and get to work on time and your schedule is stretched really tight as it is. Or you’ve left it for later and are heading home after a shitty day at work and a detour to the gym just isn’t going to happen, especially with all the traffic…

Quiet The Noise

Not everyone is a believer, however. There’re many a rumor going around that treadmill workouts are a waste of time and you don’t lose weight or build muscle tone this way. But I beg to differ.

Using an electric treadmill to start your daily workout gets your body moving with a minimum amount of effort, warms you up quickly and makes you sweat. And I’m convinced that a good sweat is a daily essential for living healthy. Plus, after just 10-15 minutes of heating up to a fast walk, it’s going to be so much easier to move on to targeted exercises like situps and weights.

Some people feel quite differently about this, but I actually enjoy sweating. It makes me feel really good and refreshed. And an electric treadmill easily makes this happen for me because it’s…uh…electric. I step on it, the ground starts rolling, and all I have to do is move my legs to keep up. That’s it.

Choosing The Right Treadmill

This is strictly going to be a matter of which treadmill you can afford, how much space you have for it at home, and any particular features that appeal to your individual workout style. Some people  like the ones that have built-in extras for working out arms, others need a built in fan, but whatever bells and whistles catch your fancy, there are some key treadmill features that can’t be overlooked:

  • You’ll need several speed settings, all within the range of a slow walk to as fast as you can go for 5 minutes.
  • It must have an incline setting, and the steeper it can go is the better your results will be.
  • Make sure it has a built-in timer; keeping track of how long your walk or run is will be essential to measuring your progress and setting daily goals.
  • This one doesn’t have to be built-in, but you’ll need to place your treadmill directly in front of a TV or other entertainment source. Anything that helps you lose track of time and push through to the end is going to make all the difference to your workout experience.

The Workout (30-60 minutes)

  1. Actually get up. Get dressed. Stretch both legs. Get on the treadmill. In less than 10 minutes. ‘Cause every day is a working out day, and time ain’t waiting on nobody, ever.
  2. Start slowly with a 5-minute warm-up walk (I use a speed set to around 2.4-2.6) and take your first sip of water.
  3. Find something to watch on TV as you stroll though your warm up. Tune in.
  4. Gradually increase your speed over the next 5-10 minutes to a comfortable workout pace (3.4 for a fast walk). Start with focusing on your form; lengthen your spine, tighten core muscles, and take control of your body.
  5. As your pace increases, so should your leg reach and arm movement. You should be aware of your entire body and be holding it firmly.
  6. Once you are at your maximum ideal pace, continue to hold your form and keep moving until you start to sweat. Remember to continue sipping water throughout your workout.
  7. After 10-15 minutes at your ideal pace, increase the incline gradually. Start with a 1/2 increase for 5-10 minutes and then increase by another 1/2 for another 5-10 minutes.
  8. Increase the pace and incline only when it feels right; decrease immediately if you feel weird in any way. Remember to keep drinking your water.
  9. Start slowing your workout down at least 5 -10 minutes before the end of your session, first by gradually decreasing the incline until you are back where you started. Continue slowing down by gradually decreasing the speed until you are back at 2.4 or wherever you started your warm up.

The Essential Cheats

  • Plan your workout ahead of time. Decide how long will you stay on and how will you divide your pace and incline in time increments.
  • Have your workout clothing already put aside and ready to throw on.
  • Stock your treadmill with drinking water and make sure your entertainment source is set up and working.
  • Always know where your treadmill key is. If you lose it, you might lose your whole exercise momentum and end up ditching the session if you have to spend precious minutes looking for it. Not good.
  • Drink most of your water in the last 15-20 minutes of exercise, so you won’t have to go to the bathroom mid-workout (I use 2 x 16-ounce bottles for easy handling). Also, don’t drink anything before you start.
  • The 5-minute warm-up walk can last anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes with the same gradual increase in speed to ideal workout pace.

There you have it. Follow this as a base guide and by the time you are done, you will have sweated a bucket, drank all the water and be buzzing with a feel-good, happy sensation.

Why 5am for me? Because I know that if I don’t do it then, it may never happen (thus I am a firm believer in morning workouts).

Feel free to add your comments!!

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