How many times have you hopped on the treadmill, pushed the start button and just ran until you got tired and then promptly got off? Treadmills are highly effective in burning calories, however, you will be able to get more out of your treadmill workout if you follow these simple tips.

Set a Goal

Have the foresight to plan ahead and make a goal for yourself. This doesn’t have to be an elaborate goal like “I’m going to be prepared to run a marathon in 4 months” it could be as simple as “I want to run one mile without walking” or “I want to run a mile in under 10 minutes.” By setting a goal for yourself before each workout, you’re mentally preparing to get the most out of your exercise. This mental preparation is essential in order to push yourself to the max during your workout.

Get the Most out of Your Treadmill

Use the Controls- Treadmills have more than just an on/off switch. NordicTrack treadmills have pre-programmed workouts that provide you with the option to choose a new workout each day. This way all you have to do is get on your treadmill and let it be your trainer, all you need to do is run.

Customize Your Workout- You may prefer to be more involved in the development of your workout; if you’re more this type of runner, you can use Google Maps to create custom training routes anywhere in the world. iFit will display the Street View images on your console as well as automatically adjust your incline to match the natural terrain.

Incline- Use the incline setting on the treadmill to get even more out of your workout. By adjusting the incline of the treadmill by just a fraction, you are requiring your body to use different muscles which in turn, will burn more calories. When you increase the incline significantly, you are isolating one of the biggest muscles of your body, the gluteus, by targeting this major muscle group, you will increase the amount of calories that you burn.

Take Care of Yourself

If you’re not providing your body with the necessary hydration and nutrition before and after your workout, then you are robbing yourself of the ability to get the most out of your workout.

Hydrate- It’s hard to keep track of how many glasses of water you drink per day, and even harder to calculate how many ounces you drink. A simple and effective trick is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 150 lb. you should be drinking 75 ounces of water per day. To make this even easier on yourself, buy a 32oz. water bottle and just make sure that you are having to fill it up a little over twice a day, because 75 oz. divided by 32oz. is 2.3.

Eat Right- You’re meal prior to working out, should depend greatly on the type of exercise that you are planning on. If you are anticipating running long distances, prepare your body by eating healthy whole grains, brown rice, and other complex carbs. But, if you are preparing for high intensity interval training, make sure and eat simple carbs like fruits and veggies.

Switch it Up

Use all of these tips, or try implementing them one at a time. It is healthy to switch up your exercises so that you’re body doesn’t get accustomed to doing the same thing over and over again. One day use a pre-programmed workout on your treadmill, and then during your next workout, try increasing your incline. Don’t be afraid to switch it up, this will help you get the most out of your treadmill workout.