So, you’ve finally decided to try the treadmill and integrate exercise into your day. Congratulations! That’s good news. Now, how do you start your beginner treadmill workout routine exactly?
No worries if you haven’t got a clue. All it takes is some planning. Plus, I’ve got these tips to help you do it right and with confidence.
1. Prep Your Workout Gear
An enjoyable beginner treadmill routine starts with the right pair of shoes and thick socks. If you feel comfortable while exercising, doing it every day won’t be such a drag.
Also, listening to your favourite songs while running or jogging on the treadmill makes time fly. You can try podcasts, too.
Some people also suggest reading a magazine or watching videos to combat workout boredom. For beginners, I recommend skipping these for now. It’s best to tone down your distractions until you feel very steady on the treadmill.
If you can move your treadmill around, position it somewhere with a skyline or garden view instead. More importantly, always keep yourself hydrated.
Have your water bottle within reach and take a bathroom break before working out to avoid interruptions. Keep all these in mind so you can forget about the “dreadmill” notion.
2. Decide on Your Workout Schedule
Consistency is key to a successful beginner treadmill workout. It is also the secret to achieving your fitness goal, whether you’re aiming for better sports performance or weight loss.
So, to keep working out on the treadmill, you need to have a time frame. How long do I intend to train on a treadmill? How often should my workout be?
The answer, of course, depends on many factors, primarily your lifestyle and fitness level. For example, if you’re a beginner, go for a 15-minute slow-paced treadmill training three times a week.
Later, you can gradually increase it to 30 minutes five days a week. You can also create a schedule with specific phases. For example, try dividing your 30-minute basic workout plan into exact minutes for jogging, walking and running.
Don’t forget to include minutes for warm-up and cool-down time, too.
3. Start Slow and Steady
Working out on a treadmill is not a contest. You don’t have to start at an advanced level to win. Doing that will only tire you out and make you lose interest.
So, keep things relaxed and at your own comfortable pace. Study your treadmill machine and be familiar with its controls. That way, you know how to make it ready for your beginner treadmill workout.
Here are a few essentials you need to know:
- Speed. Start at a slow pace to get used to being on a treadmill first. Then gradually increase it to beginner jogging speed. If you end up grabbing the handrails, then you are going too fast. Make sure not to hold them while running to keep your form and posture correct.
- Incline. Setting your treadmill incline to 0 at the beginning is good for boosting your comfort and confidence level. Eventually, shift to a 1% or 2% incline setting to make your beginner treadmill routine a bit more challenging.
- Stride. Once you can confidently run on the treadmill, do it with your natural gait, as if you’re running outdoors. Keep your head up, back straight and shoulders level. Your arms should be at a 90-degree angle and swinging to enhance caloric burn.
4. Practice Safety Habits
Beginners are often more at risk of hurting themselves while using the treadmill. So, before starting, make sure you know how to work out safely.
For instance, avoid stepping on or off the treadmill while it is moving. Jumping off a fast-moving belt is one of the common causes of injuring yourself during exercise.
Lower the incline and reduce the speed first before carefully stepping off and back. Ideally, have everything you need ready, so you won’t have to hop off in the middle of your beginner treadmill workout.
You can check out my article on treadmill injuries and how best to avoid them to learn more.
5. Add Treadmill Exercise Variations
The beauty of working out on a treadmill is that you don’t have to stick to the same walking or jogging pace every time. Your machine can level up alongside your fitness progress.
For example, you can try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) later to boost your heart rate and burn more calories. Going for a faster speed or steeper incline will develop your footwork, endurance and stamina as well.
You can even work out on a treadmill with weights or resistance bands. This variation is perfect for getting the benefits of both cardio and body-building exercises.
Keen to know how to do these variations? This list of treadmill workouts is ideal to spice up your routine!