It’s Not You, It’s the Treadmill

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How are the workouts going? Did the beginning of the year start out well? Are you still going strong? Well, congrats, because just getting out the door and into the gym is the hardest part! Staying consistent without getting bored is another challenge, right?

Every year around this time, I start to hear from clients about how they need new ideas. Trust me, I get it! I get bored so easily, too. I have to work to mix it up constantly. Variety, such as attending group exercise classes or working one-on-one with a trainer, is key.

But, what if you don’t have those options? You have to come up with new ways to keep the workouts (especially cardio) interesting on your own. It’s easier than you think. You just need to gather some ideas that are out there and see what feels best for you. Plus, whenever you switch it up, you’ll stay more consistent in the long run (because you’re not bored anymore!) and hopefully you’ll challenge your body enough to help you reach your goals faster.

Of course, there are a lot of ideas out there. Even Ziploc® has come up with a few ways that you can keep your workouts fresh. The Ziploc® Fresh 180 challenge called, “Spice Up Your Workout” has several suggestions for this, including some great tips around how to become your own personal trainer, one session at a time. Even on the “dreadmill!”

Try Interval Training

One suggestion was a tried-and-true favorite of mine: interval training. It’s how I personally like to use the treadmill and offer it up to my clients as a way to train efficiently. Lack of time is not an excuse! “Get more bang for your buck,” as I say.

All you have to do is alternate blocks of high-intensity work with lower intensity work. After a warm-up for five to 10 minutes, walk at a faster pace for one minute, and then bump up to a run for one minute. Experiment with the actual timing of the intervals. Challenge yourself by changing the running pace. Keep alternating the intensities and adjust the incline levels. You’ll have a more efficient session and the time WILL fly by! I did this recently and worked hard enough to be fully “done” in 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes is enough to get an effective workout. Just make sure that you push yourself during the harder bouts—enough to be working up a good sweat, but still be able to talk.

Make It a Game

I also like the idea of making a game out of your workout. Ziploc® suggested using index cards to structure your workout. I numbered mine one to 12 and pulled two at a time. For example, five was for speed and four was my incline. I did that for as long as I could before wanting to pull two more cards. I definitely plan on using the idea for client workouts in the very near future. Anything to make it more interesting for them.


I think it’s also interesting that these ideas came from Ziploc®. It made me realize how much I carry with me, running around between classes and clients. I think I have four or five of the Ziploc® Brand Quart-sized Bags in my big gym bag at all times:

  • One to store my sweaty arm band from my music player
  • One for all my pre- and post-workout nutrition
  • One for hand sanitizer, toiletries, and other sundries
  • One to keep my class music CDs dry
  • One big bag for sweaty clothes

It’s a great tip that I’m passing on to my clients as well. So, no more excuses!
Get everything packed up and get going! Let me know how your intervals go!

Disclaimer: I was paid to develop this post for Ziploc®. As always, all opinions are my own.

Photos: Faith Dey

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