The Advantages of Running on a Treadmill

Sure, we’d all love to be running effortlessly on a beach, a scenic mountain path, or through a quaint, quiet neighborhood, but sometimes all we have is the treadmill at the gym. Running indoors isn’t usually our first choice, but if it’s all you’ve got, take comfort in some of these advantages: 

{Convenience}

Whether you’ve got 10 minutes or 45 minutes, it’s nice to be able to get some cardio in in whatever amount of time you happen to have. I tend to run in the hotel gym after long travel days to shake out my legs. And when I’m jet-lagged and awake before dawn, it’s a good way to crank out a workout before the day starts.

{Kids At Home? No Problem}

I wouldn’t say I know a bunch of people with their own treadmills, but the ones that do have a few kids. If you have small kids, it’s not always easy to leave the house for a run. Being able to run on your own treadmill in your own house can be a great way to get your workout in without worrying about your kids’ safety or them burning the house down if you leave. And… you can hang your clothes to dry on it when you’re not using it. ; )

{Climate Control}

Running through snow isn’t always easy, fun, or safe. The same goes for running in excessively hot and humid conditions. We can’t all live in perfect temperatures and sometimes running indoors is the safest option. Personally, I really like running in just a tank top and shorts and you just can’t do that in the Canadian Rockies during winter.

{Shock Absorption}

If you’ve got bad joints, walking or running on pavement or other hard surfaces can be painful. I prefer trail running on dirt or grass, but when I can’t get outside, the next best thing is the treadmill. Treadmills have shock absorbers so every time your foot hits the belt, the treadmill gives just a tiny bit to save your joints!

{Rhythm & A Steady Pace}

If you’re like me, sometimes I get started running way too fast (usually because I’m running with the beat of the song on my playlist) and I fatigue quickly. Running on a treadmill helps me keep a steady pace so I don’t overdo it. If you’re training for faster mile times, a treadmill is a great way to slowly increase your speed and measure your performance.

{Customized Incline}

Even if you’re just walking, bumping up your incline to 2 or 3% can increase the amount of work your lower body is doing – thus working your backside differently, and increasing your heart rate and calorie burn. You can’t make a hill come out of nowhere outside, but you can inside! Just don’t hold onto the rails and lean back. That defeats the purpose of the incline.

{Entertainment at Your Fingertips} 

Whether you’re at home, the gym, or in your hotel’s workout space, there’s usually a television nearby. Watching shows or movies (especially action flicks) helps keep me on the treadmill for longer than usual. The only thing that got me through running indoors over the winter in college was going thru entire seasons of “Friends” on DVD. Shoutout to Trish for letting me borrow those!

{Interval Programs & Tracking} 

Running at a steady pace for hours is what started the term “dreadmill,” but it doesn’t have to be that way. Taking advantage of interval programs not only mixes things up but allows you to track your progress by seeing if you can complete the same program at a higher level over time. You can raise your starting speed to cover more ground, and just plain distract yourself while getting those miles (or kilometers) in. Programs give you challenges you wouldn’t normally give yourself. If you want to get better at something, sometimes you need a little push.

 

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So if the treadmill is all you’ve got, don’t fret. There are several great things about hoofing it indoors. And if you need anything to help mix things up for you, I’ve just released a package of 3 treadmill interval workouts! The first 50 peeps to use the coupon code FIRST50 will get their set for $15.99 :

 

 

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