Are You Wasting Time Working Out? Are You a Treadmill Runner?

People are literally wasting their time working out – especially if it’s just on a treadmill?

Not all people, but just those who aren’t exercising how their body needs.  We can all perform exercises, whatever the level, but what if you found out logging an hour a day on that treadmill was actually just wasting time? This is the case for many women I’ve trained.


When Holly came to me and asked why she wasn’t losing weight, I asked her what her current routine was. This is when I told her she was wasting her time and wouldn’t attain her goal anytime soon.

HER WORKOUT ROUTINE: She was running every day except Sunday (that’s the Lord’s day) and killing herself in her workouts all week long.  Her typical routine was going to the gym at 5:30pm, running for 45 minutes on the treadmill, or outside when it was nice, and then hitting some weights if she has time, but this was a rarity.

HER NUTRITION: We talked about her diet. She did well all week long, but allowed cheat meals on the weekends.

Seems very logical for someone trying to lose weight. Here are her issues:

  1. She is not stretching or resting enough.
  2. She has stale workouts.
  3. She is replacing her calories on the weekends that she just burned off.
  4. She is not lifting weights enough.

Here is what you can do to STOP WASTING YOUR TIME with exercise and start utilizing your tools and being a good steward of your time.


Running 5 days per week for 45 minutes or more on a treadmill isn’t sustainable for months on end to lose weight. Even if you are training for a marathon, 5-K or road race, you need to run outside in the true elements or find uneven ground, practice on the pavement or grass or gravel, and you simply need rest days.


Don’t skimp on the stretching. Warm up our body first with jumping jacks, light running, biking, easy air squat, for a minute up to five minutes and then start your workout. AFTER your workout STRETCH. This is when your body is warm and ready to loosen up and receive your deeper stretching. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time but it is vital.


The treadmill has the nickname DREAD-MILL for a reason. You can easily get addicted to it, but it’s a dreadful thing for your body. It may not make your mind stale and want more, but your body will ache at the sight of it. Freshen up your cardio workouts with different machines (if you can’t go outside). Her body knows what’s coming and she is at a plateau. She needs to mix it up. This will enable her body to have something else to look forward to and ‘shock’ her system a little. This helps move unwanted body weight.

Freshen up your cardio workouts with different machines (if you can’t go outside).  This will enable your body to have something else to look forward to and ‘shock’ your system a little. This helps move unwanted body weight.

Your body knows what’s coming when it sees that machine and it WILL plateau. If you have to use the thing, at least use different running options and programs. Try a hill workout, intervals, and speed work. MIX IT UP.


The calories you burn all week on the treadmill, or cardio machine of your choice, is easily replaced on the weekends if you reward yourself for your progress with food.  Find an alternative for a reward: movies, new outfit, adventure walking, crafts, buy tickets to something, find a new race to enter, etc.  If you choose food and sugar laden drinks for your hard work all week, you’ll end up in the same place on Monday.


MANY WOMEN think if they have 45 minutes they need to do all cardio. Chuck the yoga class and stretching, because they gotta burn as many calories as possible in that time frame.


The more muscle we have on our bodies, the more fat we burn at rest.  It takes more calories to keep our bodies going when we have more muscle on our frames. I’m not telling women to build tons of muscle and get bulky. I am telling women that it’s super important to build and maintain muscle.

Besides rest days, hill training, and speed training, you need additional lifting days.  I’ve trained for many races and adding rest and lifting days is a must to add to any running routine.  I don’t mind the treadmill at all, but you’ll love it more if you add variety to your daily routine.

Muscle does more than just help us look good.  It helps our metabolism and helps us perform daily activities better. It also helps our bones…I need to write a blog post just on this topic – it’s that important.

When we have resistance on our bones, it gets our cells fired up and makes them stronger.  It doesn’t even require tons of resistance and weight training – just hit it 3 times per week.  And, it doesn’t have to take long.


Instead of logging in hours a week on the treadmill, try to focus more on your nutrition, weight training, and mixing it up. Think about all the yummy foods you can have, and then hit the weights.

Holly began weight lifting 3 days a week for only 15 minutes, and SIGNIFICANTLY saw a difference in her weight. I’m posting some easy to do upper body and lower body workouts soon – look for them in the physical health sections.


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