A treadmill comes in handy for those dark, cold days when you can’t gather up the motivation to walk or run outside.Using one seems simple enough, but you can still develop bad habits that can sabotage your results—and even lead to injury.
When You Stick With One Routine You’re On Autopilot
It may be comfortable doing the same treadmill workout day after day, but over time you’ll burn fewer calories as your body adapts and muscles become more efficient. Every four weeks change at least one aspect of your workout. Try the elliptical or the stair climber, or take your walk outside. Routine changes also help prevent muscle and joint strains from the repetitive stress of pulling and pushing the muscles at the same angles over and over again.
When you do the same workout over and over, your body adapts and your results reach a plateau. The three components of training include intensity, duration, and frequency. To be safe, increase only one of these variables on any given week. If you want to run longer this week, don’t also try to run faster. Increase your intensity only after you’ve increased your duration and frequency—and by only 10% each time. You could also increase the intensity and calorie burn of your walking workout by adding ankle weights or wrist weights, or try a weighted vest, which evenly distributes the resistance.