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6 Ways to Beat Treadmill Boredom

Most of us covered in cold and snow are forced to move our runs inside. If you don't have access to an indoor track, then a treadmill is the next best thing. While I'm grateful that this machine allows me to keep up with my runs, the repetition of staying in one spot can be beyond boring. Here are some things to help make your treadmill time more enjoyable.

  1. Entertain yourself with a book on tape. You can download one to your iPod or MP3 player and it will make 30 minutes just fly by.
  2. Watch a movie. If you have a treadmill at home, watch rented movies from Netflix on your own TV. If not, you can buy a sturdy plastic rack that fits over the front of the machine. Then place your portable DVD player or laptop on it. Movies are a great way to pass the time if you're working on longer distances, because there are no boring commercials.

To see the other four ideas,


  1. Do interval training. Watching the clock so you can alternative between a few minutes of jogging and a few minutes of sprinting will definitely keep your mind and muscles busy. Here's a treadmill interval workout for you to try.
  2. Have at least 10 playlists on your iPod so every time you hop on the treadmill, new tunes will inspire you to move. Or you can swap iPods with a fitness buddy.
  3. Run next to a friend so you can chat and push each other to keep going.
  4. Use the treadmill differently. If you're used to jogging, put the incline all the way up and walk instead. Or try walking backward, sideways, or walking lunges. Not only will it be more exciting, but you'll use different muscles, too.


HelenG HelenG 6 years
I ask my mum, dad and friends to ring me whilst im in the gym. I use my bluetooth headset and take all my long chatty phonecalls when in the gym. It passes the time and i can do two things at once.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Different play lists are key, you never know what you're mood will be that day!
kclulu kclulu 8 years
Good suggestions. I prefer watching sports (particularly basketball) while I listen to my ipod when I run, it makes the time go much faster. If someone puts on CNN or FOxNews at the gym I cringe because it makes the time go by sooooo slow. I like to have a audiobook on my ipod to go to in that situation. Also intervals are very helpful both mentally and physically. I like to side shuffle for 2 minutes, side shuffle the other direction for 2 minutes then run backwards for 2 minutes and the time goes super fast and it is a great workout even if people look at you funny. Never tried walking lunges though, sounds like a great suggestion especially putting the incline up like karina2244 does. Might have to give that a shot this weekend!
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
Even when I'm running outside, I love listening to podcasts! I'm a big nerd so l listen to a lot of NPR stuff — I love doing Wait Wait Don't Tell Me on Monday morning runs because it makes me laugh and the "news quiz" part of it is fresh. Radio Lab and This American Life are my other favorites, because I get sucked into the stories and don't pay as much attention to the time/distance.
almostloli almostloli 8 years
i do number 3 and 4 willing to do number 5 though! :D i need a running buddy
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I did 20 mins on the treadmill today and it was SO BORING so I am going to implement some of these. :) My dad has my iPod shuffle but I'm going to get it back and load it up with podcasts!!
yogafawn yogafawn 8 years
Thanks for the suggestions! For those who listen to podcasts while on the treadmill, which do you listen to?
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
I consider using a treadmill a total treat, because then I can watch tv! But I normally am outside.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
If you want to run outside but there is snow and ice preventing you from doing so: YAKTRAX. amazing things!!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
I do the interval definatly helps time go by faster!
karina2244 karina2244 8 years
Try the walking lunges! They are amazing. I put the incline up to above 10 and slow the speed down to around 1.0.
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