I never thought I’d use the word “love” and “treadmill” in the same sentence. But since having kids, I’ve quickly learned that the treadmill has not only become my friend, it’s become the easiest place for me to escape and de-stress.
Before having kids, I never understood how people would choose to run on a treadmill rather than be outdoors. Rain or shine, hot or cold, training outdoors had always been more enticing to me than training indoors. Once I had kids that mindset changed. I now find running indoors (while the kids are sleeping) is the easiest way for me to get in a good workout. And although I still get outdoors now and then I’ve found some great reasons, other than kids sleeping, to hop on the treadmill.
Here are some benefits of treadmill training:
Running in the dark: I still believe in safety first and no matter how safe your neighborhood is, running in the dark just isn’t a good idea – especially for women. Running early in the morning or late at night isn’t an issue when running on the treadmill.
The perfect climate: I love the fact that I have complete control of the temperature I’m training in. Outside, the weather can often be too hot (especially in my St. Petersburg, Florida location) or too cold (for those outside of Florida) for a long run.
Enjoying a Movie: I’m a huge movie buff. If I could go to the theater every weekend, I would. But with two little kids under the age of 6 and a husband who hates the movie theater, I don’t go to the movies as often as I would like. Now, I pop in a movie while on the treadmill which gives me my ‘movie-fix’ and helps pass the time. I find looking forward to a good movie (or finishing a long one) gives me extra incentive to hop on the treadmill or stay on longer. The same goes for the treadmill at the gym. Most gyms now have treadmills with built in TV screens or large screens on the wall. All you need to do is remember your headphones.
Interval training: It is common knowledge that interval training burns more calories but it is also a great way to spice up your workout. I find that interval training on a treadmill is easier than on the street as there are no traffic lights or other runners, walkers or cyclists that can negatively affect your intervals.
Hill training: As a runner, I know hill training works muscles that may not get as much on flat terrain. But finding a hill isn’t always easy. In Florida, my driveway is the steepest slope for miles around. On my treadmill, I can easily set the elevation to my desired workout.
I’m fortunate to have a treadmill in my house but all the benefits remain whether you’re running on your home treadmill or on the local gym treadmill (which I also love).
Do you use a treadmill for exercise or training? How do you think it compares to running outside on the street/sidewalk? What do you love or hate about your treadmill?