Overcoming Boredom In Your Treadmill Workouts
Do you love running on your treadmill? Or do you find it boring?
It may be as simple as saying that some people are motivated while others aren’t. However, it is helpful to look at how the people who love running on treadmills think about and structure their workouts. Perhaps that can lead us to imitate them and allow us to attain the same effect.
There are at least three ways this can be done. One is by doing more, another is by doing less, and the third is by doing different.
Avoid Treadmill Boredom!
Do More – You can do more by multitasking. The idea is that you make yourself so busy doing things that you forget about your running.
There are treadmill desks that allow you to work at your desk while walking or running slowly on your treadmill. This could be a problem is your job is cutting diamonds, but for most paperwork and some computer work, it works surprisingly well. Working while running on the treadmill wouldn’t seem to work well for someone who doesn’t like their work. For them, it may have the opposite of the intended effect. They might end up loving using the treadmill because it takes their mind off their work!
If you use a headset for talking on the phone, you can squawk all you want on your phone while using your treadmill. If you were going to make these calls anyway, this could be a useful alternative. Be careful who you call, though; you don’t want someone to misinterpret your heavy breathing. On the other hand, you could also use the treadmill as an excuse for any heavy breathing you were planning to do.
Can you think of anything else you would like to accomplish? Maybe you can multitask it. Do want to learn a language? You could do it by listening to and repeating the lessons while running.
And games! There is a great variety of computer games you can play, some of which are actually built in to some treadmills. GameFit is a program where you affect the outcome of the game competition by how you run. In one such game there is a race track on your console where you can run against electronic competitors, climb hills, or even defeat evil forces.
There is also software that records your previous results so that you can attempt to surpass them. Many of these programs are designed by personal trainers whose voices lead you through progressive workouts that you choose depending on your goals and your fitness level. The best-selling such program is called iFit.
The most popular distraction is music. Many treadmills have sound systems that are iPod-compatible so you can just plug in your favorites and listen while you run. Of course, any sound system in the room will do. There is something about music that brings out our physical movements and louder is probably better!
Better than listening to music is running alongside a friend and talking to them. Of course, they don’t have to be running too, but treadmills do give this distinct advantage over running outside. With running on a fixed surface, two people have to run at the same pace in order to talk to each other effectively. It is unlikely that they would naturally do this. With treadmills, people can run at different speeds and still be next to each other! If there had been treadmills in Einstein's time, do you think that would have changed his thinking?
There's always the television. Don't want to get up off the couch because your favorite television show is on? You can't use that excuse anymore.
Do Less - Does it seem like this is all a great attempt to mentally avoid the discomfort of training? That question leads to the other, perhaps better, category of avoiding boredom; concentrate on your workout. Our minds are racing all day with things we should do, things we shouldn’t do, and things we should have done. Vigorous exercise is a great way to clear all that out. What if you could completely forget about work, the kids, and food? What if you could be completely in the moment, get into the Zone, and, for a short time, be a purely physical being? I suspect this is the way people who aren’t bored while workout out do it.
It could be as simple as concentrating on the beat of the music, your desired body image, or a clearly-defined goal. Whatever it is, banish the details of your life and concentrate on something very simple. If you don't feel like a Zen master, you can try a more mundane version. Concentrate on the readouts on the console of the treadmill. Even if it's just looking at how much time you have remaining, you can break it down into small segments and track your progress.
Do Different - The final category of boredom fighters involves breaking up your routine. Perhaps this means running at different speeds and different resistance levels. You could change the incline or use dumbbells while running. You could also mean skipping some days on the treadmill and doing other kind of exercise instead. The same thing everyday can make anything tedious. Consistency is what will get you the results. Fitness is a lifelong habit. It is not a race.
By Robert Braun