If you lead a busy life but still try to find time to work out, it's easy to fall into the trap of racing to the gym, hopping on the treadmill and running as fast as you can, only to tire yourself out in a few minutes. Longer, more moderately paced workouts are far more ideal because they allow you to burn several hundred calories and won't make you feel as tired upon finishing.
Walk at a moderate pace on the treadmill for a short duration to try to find your optimal walking speed. Before you build up to running on the treadmill, testing your walking endurance can teach you about your fitness level. The pace you adopt should be brisk but not so intense that you struggle to keep pace with the treadmill. Always note the treadmill's speed for future workouts.
Increase your pace until you're walking quickly or jogging comfortably. If you begin to have trouble maintaining the pace, slow down to avoid fatiguing yourself. The process of developing a comfortable pace on the treadmill is largely trial and error and is different for everyone. For example, if you can comfortably maintain a pace of 3.5 mph for 30 minutes, stick to this pace to avoid tiring yourself out. Over time, it might become easier for you, and you can then increase the pace accordingly.
Adjust the treadmill's settings to allow you to use the machine at various speeds and inclines. Many treadmills have settings that combine walking and running. After running for a short duration, the treadmill belt slows so that you can walk to catch your breath. These workouts not only allow you to exercise longer than a workout that only includes running, but they are also a way to add variation.
- Spend a few minutes stretching before and after your treadmill workout to reduce the chance of straining a muscle. Use dynamic stretches before the workout and static stretches afterward.
- If you feel the need to hold on to the treadmill's handles to keep pace with the belt, decrease the machine's speed. When you hold the handles, you're not swinging your arms and using your muscles to support your body.
- Use the treadmill to check your current heart rate and note the ideal heart rate for someone of your age by checking the machine's heart rate graphic. Many machines display this information on the control panel. The website TreadmillReviews.net recommends keeping your heart rate between 50 and 70 percent of your ideal heart rate to burn fat effectively and avoid putting a significant strain on your heart.
- Avoid trying to keep up with the person on the treadmill next to you. It's human nature to try to run as quickly as those around you, but attempting an unrealistic pace will only result in you getting tired quickly. Concentrate on your own machine and pace.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.