The nights are drawing in and cold wet days are just around the corner. Crack of dawn runs as the sun burns through the morning mist and those long strolls on a still barmy evening will soon be nothing more than a memory.
This is when we get tempted to go in to hibernation and lose all those health benefits we'd gained through the summer, but with a little thought and determination this need not be the case.
By relocating your runs through the park to a treadmill, still the most popular piece of fitness equipment going, you can maintain your achievements of the summer and be ready more than ever for the warm days of spring.
The trouble most people find with a treadmill is how to stave off boredom. So here are a few tips and ideas to help you treadmill train through the long dark winter months.
- Use the programmes. Most treadmills today come with a variety of pre-set programmes all designed to keep you motivated, so try them. Some you will like and others you will hate, but the fun is finding out which ones they are.
- Place a TV in your workout room and watch your favourite programme. Play a DVD or listen to music on your hi-fi or iPod.
- Place a fan in front of the treadmill so you can feel a cool breeze on your face, it will help simulate those outdoor walks and runs as well as keeping you cool so that you can workout that little longer.
- It is possible to walk backwards on a treadmill. It is more strenuous, works different muscle groups and improves balance, and the concentration needed to do this will make time fly. However if you have never tried this before, start very slowly, keep the cut off tether switch fastened to your clothes and hold onto the handrails. When you feel more confident then try to walk without holding on.
- Cross Train. If you are at a gym this is easy. Use the treadmill for 10 minutes, then change to a bike or an elliptical for 10 minutes then back to the treadmill for the final 10 minutes. If you are at home and you do not own another piece of fitness equipment, try interspersing the time with skipping, sit-ups or even running up and down the stairs as part of your circuit.
- Have a conversation with someone. Just because you are exercising doesn’t mean you can’t talk. In fact most fitness professionals advocate that you should be able to talk while training, if not you're probably training too hard. However, if you can practice your singing audition for the X factor then you are definitely not working hard enough.
I hope these tips help you get more from your treadmill and keep you working out. If anyone out there has more tips please let me know and we will add them to the list.