So you finally got off the couch and decided to go to the gym.
You’re on the treadmill for about 6 minutes before you’re bored and ready to leave. We’ve all been there, sometimes getting to the gym is only half the problem. Running on a treadmill can seem redundant. Because of the lack of excitement often times you will find yourself wanting to leave the gym before you’ve even started running.
For the first 15 minutes of your workout, your body is simply burning sugars and carbs. It is not until 30 minutes of working out that your body enters the fat burning stage. This means that is important that you fight the boredom and mix up your routine. Lucky for you, we have compiled a list of ways to make your run longer, without boring yourself to death. This list will also help with stamina and good running techniques. (Outside runners-this list applies to you too!)
1. Set a Goal: One of the most important things you can do in running is to set a goal to motivate yourself. Whether this is a daily goal of a mile or three, or a long term goal of running a half marathon, have a goal in mind. The most motivating factor in exercise is competing and beating yourself. Running a 5k on the treadmill today? Try to shave a minute off your previous time. Want to try and jog for three minutes before you need a break? Awesome, now do all that you can to hit that goal. Having goals and an ending point in sight will keep you motivated far more than if you just hopped on the treadmill with no plans.
2. Pace yourself: Have you ever heard “slow and steady wins the race” from the fable The Tortoise and the Hare? Well this concept is applied to cardio and training as well. When you first get on the treadmill or start a run, it is likely you feel like you could sprint a mile right then and there. This isn’t usually true (unless you’ve been training a while) and you you’re pretty much guaranteed to run out of that energy quick. If you start your work out at a nice steady and comfortable pace, you will increase stamina and be able to run longer.
3. Intervals: Can’t run for 30 minutes straight? Don’t worry unless you’ve been training for a while, you’re not expected to. This is why interval cardio can be your best friend. Not only can you find awesome high intensity treadmill workouts online, but it’s better for burning fat as well. By switching from running to walking you are working more muscles than if you stay at one running speed the entire time. This also is a great time for a break. One way to spice up your running is with intervals such as try and run for a complete minute and then walk for two, repeat and when it’s becoming easy for you try to increase your running time!
4. Run comfortable: This can be taken a couple of ways. One way that is incredibly important is that you are wearing comfortable shoes that have adequate support for running. This is crucial. Also it is important to run equal to your ability. It is not healthy to push yourself too hard, especially if your muscles or your lungs are not used that type of exercise. Increase speeds only to limits that you know you can reach as to avoid injury and strains.
5. Don’t run on E: It is important to keep yourself hydrated during any type of exercise. If you’re planning on going on a long run the next day, try to hydrate as much as possible (this means at least half your body weight in ounces!) in order to last on your run. You should also be drinking water throughout your run in order to make sure that your body is not getting too dehydrated! (Need tips to drink more water? Read here!)
Water isn’t the only thing that your body needs for exercise, it is important that your body has enough fuel to keep itself running. Eating 30-60 minutes before your exercise is ideal, but we aren’t talking about a 4 course meal. The snacks that you should eat before the gym should include foods that are low in fat and fiber, and complex carbs in order to get your body fueled up for the run! Eating too much can leave you feeling heavy and cause stomach cramps, whereas not eating enough can lead to light-headedness and fatigue.
6 .Create an upbeat playlist: Music can be your very best friend while on the treadmill. There are tons of little goals you can set with music i.e.; running for the duration of an entire song, or creating a playlist that lasts 45 minutes, and staying on the treadmill for the entire playlist. Upbeat music is the world’s gift to gym rats. Gyms can be awkward and unbearable without headphones, some people refuse to even go if they can’t listen to music. Creating a playlist on your phone is easy, don’t own the upbeat songs for cardio? Download Pandora or Spotify, or simply listen to iTunes Radio (BONUS TIP-Watch out for data usage if your gym does not have wifi!) because these apps have preset stations. Some as specific as my personal favorite, 80’s Workout Mix.
Not sure what music to download for the gym? Here is a pretty diverse list of songs for you to reference when buying your newest pump-up music!
Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson (feat. Bruno Mars)
Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard
Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore
Breaking a Sweat – Skrillex
Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
5-1-5-0 – Dierks Bentley
Pump It – Black Eyed Peas
Girls Just Want to Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
Jump – Van Halen
We are the Champions – Queen
When Doves Cry – Prince
Shake it Off – Taylor Swift
One More Time – Daft Punk
Honkey Tonk Badonkadonk – Trace Adkins
Faint – Linkin Park
Church – Tpain
Power – Will I Am
Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band
You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi
Swing – Savage
Beachin’ – Jake Owen
Where Have You Been – Rihanna
Nightmare – Avenged Sevenfold
Don’t see your favorite music on this list? Check out Pandora or iTunes Radio for premade playlists!
These six tips are sure to help you clock in your time on the treadmill and achieve your running goals. Say goodbye to boring treadmill runs, say hello to satisfying work outs!
Here at Oahu Spine and Rehab, we want you to be the healthiest version of yourself.