How often should you use your treadmill to stay in good health?
The key to an effective workout on your treadmill is regular repetition. Only through frequent workouts will you see positive effects on your health. But you also need to listen to your body when it needs to rest. So how often should you use your NordicTrack treadmill?
Designing a schedule adapted to your rhythm
To stay healthy, you need to get at least some exercise every day. How much, and what kind, really depends on your age and physical state. France’s National Institute for Prevention and Health Education (INPES) recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of brisk walking every day.
Depending on your lifestyle and level of activity, you’re already meeting all or part of this goal just by going about your daily life. But if you sit down a lot during the workday for example, using a treadmill is a good way to achieve the recommended daily minimum. You can definitely go beyond that, though: your treadmill will help you to do so much more, crossing over from mere "physical activity" to genuine sport.
You’ll then see multiple beneficial effects on your health:
- Improved endurance
- Stronger bones and joints
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular problems
- Less chance of developing certain types of cancer
- Fewer eating disorders
And when you’re running or doing other cardio-focused physical activity, you can even experience improvement in your mood and reduce your likelihood of developing psychological disorders such as depression.
Ideally, work out every day
To take full advantage, you need to do more than 30 minutes of daily exercise, but not necessarily a lot more. Studies indicate that past a certain point, additional benefits become negligible 1 .
Of course, not everyone has the opportunity to exercise as long and as frequently. But whatever you do, the most important thing is that you do it regularly. Working out sporadically has no positive effect on your body in the long run, no matter how good it might make you feel in the moment. Clearly, 4 hours of hiking once a month are not going to improve your health.
The ideal? Set up a weekly routine, and stick to it. Running 3-4 times a week is a good rhythm. Make sure you take a day or two off, and limit yourself to 5 sessions a week2. But remember also that setting a goal for yourself is pretty simple. Honoring your commitment and staying motivated over the long run are usually harder to accomplish.
Staying motivated over the long haul
Beginners often find running monotonous and boring. But as you get used to it, you’ll find you will enjoy running more and more. Soon, you’ll be champing at the bit in anticipation of your next session instead of dreading it! Before you see real progress, though, you need to get yourself moving.
Do this by setting a schedule that won’t get in the way of your other obligations. Start with relatively short sessions at proper intervals, allowing your body to get used to the routine without feeling too fatigued. Then, challenge yourself: be ambitious but realistic. For example, try to complete a specific distance, and write down the time it takes you.
Here’s an effective tip: keep a running journal, noting every day what you did, and how you performed. Mark down other activities, too, so you have something to fill in every night. For example, you can record weight loss or write down your daily successes, in addition to your performance. This not only helps you to see the positive health effects of your training sessions, but also to keep a regular rhythm. Soon, you’ll find you don’t want to miss a workout and face an empty page in your journal with nothing to write about. If you prefer a digital option, NordicTrack cardio devices’ iFit technology will help you to keep a detailed account of each of your workouts, as well as your figure.
All you have to do now is meet this life-changing (and body-transforming) challenge by finding the right device for you. Don’t take your choice lightly: a good machine will contribute to your training programme’s success. Your treadmill must offer sufficient space for you to make ample, fluid strides for a comfortable and enjoyable run. It should be cushioned enough to spare your joints. And an incline function will help you burn more calories more efficiently.
Does that seem like a lot to process? Don’t worry: you can’t go wrong with a NordicTrack treadmill. For your running journal, we’ll let you decide between a little notebook, a spreadsheet on your computer, or an iFit account. Whatever works best for you. It's the result that counts!
1 This threshold depends on your health objective. Generally, beyond 45 minutes, there is no additional health benefit, and sometimes even negative effects can occur.
2 The frequency recommended by CMHA and INSERM is 3-5 weekly sessions. Fewer benefits are recorded when frequency is under 3 sessions/week. More than 5 sessions brings no additional benefit. Source: "Physical Activities and Health,” Jacques Bazex, Pierre Pène, Daniel Rivière.