Your reasons for needing treadmill motivation may be different from the next person’s: you may want to stay fit and get cardio training but find your routines boring; the other guy may have the goal of losing 50 pounds. Whatever your motives, they must be strong enough that you are willing to actively seek exercise every day or at least four times a week.
If you have a machine set up at home, but need some help overcoming treadmill boredom, here are five tips to help you in your quest to stay motivated so you can reach both short term and long term goals.
Make it a daily habit. People that exercise every day would no more miss their 40 minutes on the treadmill than they would skip brushing their teeth or eating lunch. It’s a part of their daily routine and it’s not boring -- it’s second nature -- and treadmill motivation isn’t something they have to push themselves to create. (Well, on most days anyway.) Once you get started, exercise becomes a habit you don’t have to think about. You’ll look forward to your daily workout because you love how you feel, how you look, and how your clothes fit.
Make it fun. One of the easiest ways to stay motivated and to combat boredom is with the use of entertainment. Pick a TV treadmill and watch your favorite shows, or choose one of the many machines that come equipped with MP3 plug-ins and stereo speakers. The time goes by much faster if your mind is occupied.
Challenge your muscles with a new workout every few weeks. Muscles learn to adapt to a daily routine and you’ll plateau if you do the same exercises all the time. Give your body a challenge by trying all the hill-running, 5K, 10K, and other programs on the console. Variety helps a lot to combat boredom on the treadmill -- and a new workout will motivate you to reach your goals much faster. You may be surprised that you’ll find you enjoy something you thought would be too hard.
Set goals you can reach. If you are motivated and your long range goal is to lose 50 pounds, plan on a diet and exercise program that will drop about 8 pounds a month. That means that 6 months is a reasonable goal in which to do it, but don’t be discouraged if it takes a few months longer. Meanwhile, make daily goals; doing 40 minutes or an hour on the treadmill, or set your goal for calories burned (200? 400?), or distance covered (2 miles? 4 miles?), or try a new challenge of working up to the target heart zone for 20 minutes. Achieving daily goals is huge in treadmill motivation, and all those small successes will add up to long term success.
Earn a day off. Daily exercise is something you are going to pursue for the rest of your life. You will come to enjoy your treadmill workouts but aside from getting bored you also must avoid getting burned out. Every few weeks, reward yourself with a day off and go do something different with that hour normally devoted to exercise. You’ve earned your reward! Just remember that a daily habit (or at least 4 times a week) is the key to success in treadmill motivation. By staying on course, you’ll get fit, lose the weight, and tomorrow, you’ll look forward to the next workout.