Helpful Hints When Starting a Treadmill Routine

Proper footwear is a must for safe treadmill use.

As most of you know, I hate exercise.  But it is a mandatory part of my week if I want to continue eating nachos while watching the Biggest Loser with some sort of a clean conscience.  I wasn't born with the metabolism to eat whatever I want and not gain the weight, so while some people exercise for good health, I exercise to eat things I enjoy.  It is a totally screwed up way of thinking, I know this.  But it works.

I've tried to trick myself with different things to do while on the treadmill to keep things interesting. Some things work, somethings don't.  I compiled a short list to help you if you've decided to make 2013 the year you finally get a treadmill and not for your cats or children to climb on or to hang clothes on, but to get your butt moving.

1.  DON'T  watch Nicholas Sparks movies while on the treadmill.  I put on Nights in Rodanthe the other day and as if I wasn't gasping for breath enough as it was, I started to cry when Richard Gere died and ended up a blubbering mess, crying and trying to breathe all at the same time while trying to maintain a decent jogging speed.  I was so entranced by the movie I lost all critical thinking skills that would've told me to either a) get off the treadmill or b) slow down a little or c)the thing that makes the most sense - get off the treadmill altogether and hop on the couch with a box of tissues and a blanket.

Nicholas Sparks movies are never a wise choice for treadmill entertainment.

2.  DO put a motivational photo up on or near the treadmill - this can be either of yourself in a bathing suit or a bathing suit you saw in a catalog that you'd like to fit into.  You could also put an unflattering photo of yourself or someone else if that's what really drives you to push harder. 

A photo of you or someone else in a bathing suit could prove to be helpful during a workout. Or not.

3.  DON'T  use a complicated piece of technology such as an ipod touch or any of those mini devices - too many music choices during a dreaded workout will tempt you to keep changing the dial and not pay attention to your footing and it could lead you a tangled mess in your headphones leading to possible injury.

Thumb Circles should not be included in your treadmill routine.

4.  DO   try to diversify your treadmill workout to avoid boredom.  Use the incline throughout your workout to increase the intensity and calorie burn, walk at a really fast pace that almost feels like a jog, and once in a while do a sprint for 30 seconds or so.  The sprints will make you appreciate the jog more, the jog will make you appreciate the fast walk more, and the fast walk will make you appreciate sitting on the couch more.  Simple basic principles of laziness really.

5. DON'T  try to jazz it up too much like our friend here in the Youtube video.  Applying a funky dance routine can lead to twisted ankles, pulled muscles, and possible head trauma.  Get into the routine, but don't bust a joint trying to bust a move.  I love this girl - but a treadmill dance routine is not for the faint of heart or clumsy.

6.  DO  keep fluids nearby.  Water, Gatorade, Red Bull, 5 hour caffeine drinks (kidding!), liquid sunshine, anything like that is nice. It's important that you stay hydrated.

7.  DON'T keep a flask, an open beer or glass of wine in the drink holder - save that for the couch after the workout.  We're here for a job.  No one should be guilty of TWI (treadmilling while intoxicated).

Friends don't let friends walk drunk.

8.  DO get to know your treadmill.  Each treadmill is a little different, but most have two buttons: START AND STOP.  The start button is green - like go.  The stop but is red - like - Hell no I'm not spending another minute on this thing! For safety, almost all treadmills come with an automatic stop-button . On mine it's a clip that can attach to your shirt or shorts and on the other end is a magnet so if you trip and fall on your shoelaces that you didn't bother to tie well, like I often do, you'll pull the safety cord— and the treadmill will shut off, leaving you on the floor, clueless as to how far you actually walked/jogged. Not cool.

9.  DON'T   hang on your machine.  No one likes a cheap date - not even your treadmill.  Have some pride in yourself. Watch your posture while exercising. Whether you are walking or running, keep your shoulders back and head up looking forward. Use your basic walking or running stride length, and try to swing your arms at your sides to help you move faster. Make sure your heels land first then push off with your toes.  If you're going to be on it, work it like a pro.  I'd recommend putting a mirror close by so you could check your stance, but if we liked what we saw when we looked in the mirror, we wouldn't be on the treadmill in the first place now would we?

Try to avoid short naps while on the treadmill.

10.  DO   remember to warm up and cool down - this does not include assuming the fetal position on the floor and falling asleep before your routine begins nor does it include starting in warm up and staying in that mode the whole time.  If you can carry on a phone conversation with a friend while you are on the treadmill, your heart rate isn't getting close enough to heart attack zone to actually make a difference! Hang up the phone and walk!

Hope my little list helps you in your fitness quest!  Good luck, and remember what Jack Lalane always said.."I hate exercise..but I love results!"

(Reposted from last February...)


  1. That "Dancing Queen" has to be crazy!!

  2. Here's another one: DON'T tuck your phone/ipod into your waistband, because it will surely fall down your pant leg and hang there by the headphone wires, which is most awkward when you work out somewhere besides at home.

    1. I've had this happen before! My headphones unplugged, it fell out the bottom of my shorts, hit the treadmill, and shot across the room! Thank goodness I was at home LOL

    2. I prefer to do crap like this at the Y, so there are more witnesses to my humiliation....

  3. LOL!! That last picture has me crying laughing! I love your tips and agree! Alot of my running friends hate the tread mill, they call it the dread mill, but personally I love it. I set it and forget it. It keeps pace for me - YAY! One less thing to worry about. <3 Devan

  4. Last time I used a treadmill, I ended up on the floor with tangled shoelaces and my sweatpants around my ankles. I would love to share with you how that happened but I still have no idea. I blame the machine. And my pants. And exercise.

  5. Glad I'm not the only one with the iphone sliding down in the pants issue while on the dreadmill. Always fun when you complicate things when you finally get it out and realize it slid through your underwear too and the cord is now tangled with that! Classy.


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