It doesn’t matter if you’ve been running on the treadmill for years or you just started a few weeks ago. If your goal is to lose weight, avoid these common mistakes — they could even cause weight gain!
Not Pushing Yourself
One of the best things about running on a treadmill is that you just turn it on and go! You can get into the habit of rocking the same speed during your whole workout, but steady-state cardio isn’t the most efficient use of your time. You’ll burn more calories and target belly fat if you incorporate bursts of sprints every few minutes. It’ll require you to push past your comfort zone, but it’ll save you time at the gym and help you lose weight faster. Try this 30-minute interval treadmill workout.
Fearing the Incline
Hills are hard! No wonder you don’t touch the incline on your machine. But pumping up the incline, even just a little, will target your lower body more. This not only creates calorie-burning muscle mass in your booty and thighs, but it’ll also help you burn more calories during your workout. Adding incline will also make hills feel easier for future workouts. Here’s a “get a better butt” treadmill incline workout to try next time.
Doing the Same Run Every Day
You have your routine. You hop on your favorite machine by the window; cue your favorite playlist, podcast, or show; and do your same basic run. But your muscles get used to the demands you place on them, so you’ll likely hit a weight-loss plateau. Mix things up! Aim to do a different treadmill workout every time you hop on the machine by mixing up the speed, adjusting the incline, and changing the duration of your runs. And every once in a while, use the elliptical or run outside!
Not Setting Goals For Yourself
If you don’t have a running goal to strive for, it’s tough to stay motivated to hit the gym. It doesn’t have to be monumental like training for a marathon (although it can be!) — just something that gets you fired up. Maybe your goal is to run one mile without stopping. Maybe you want to beat your PR for the 5K. Maybe you want to increase your weekly mileage. Find a goal that speaks to you, crush it, and then set another goal!
Eating a Lot of Food After Your Workout
So this isn’t exactly a treadmill mistake, but rather a mistake that commonly happens after your workout. People often think they burned more calories than they actually did (sometimes the readout on your machine can be wrong). For a 150-pound woman, a 30-minute interval workout burns just over 300 calories. If you go out for a post-workout smoothie or hit happy hour and think, “I worked out so I can eat whatever I want,” then you’ll eat back all those calories you just worked so hard to burn, and maybe more. Be mindful of your calories so you don’t end up gaining weight!