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How NOT to Die of Boredom On the Treadmill: 8 Lifesaving Strategies

Yeah, yeah, so I wrote about all the reasons treadmills suck. I remember. It was back when all that 90+ degree summer heat was breaking, the deliciously pleasant autumn air was teasing my skin, and hitting the track didn’t mean melting (or freezing) my face off.

Now, however, it’s cold. It’s like, Frankenstorm cold, okay? So, no one’s passing judgment if you decide to forgo a jog through the park in favor of a spin ’round the ol’ hamster wheel.

Besides, hamster wheels treadmills can bring some of the same benefits as exercising outdoors, right? For example, if you go to a gym, you can still connect with your community and gain confidence.

Yet…there’s no denying that walking or jogging on a treadmill can get unbearably boring, so below are a few ways to help you beat the misery and stay on track, so to speak.

1. Music

Ah, the tried and true. Listen to your favorite jams (or, if you’re feeling particularly angry or stressed, you might want to crank out some heavier stuff), or search the Web for treadmill songs fitness enthusiasts swear by.

Try LIVESTRONG’s The Best Treadmill Workout Songs,’s Treadmill and Elliptical Playlist, and the iTunes BeatBurn Treadmill app, designed to “change the beat of your iPod music to perfectly match your pace.” Cool!

2. Audiobooks

OK, so even listening to music can get boring sometimes. Try mixing things up with an audiobook here and there. I suggest an audio book because, I’m sorry, I don’t care how many people actually do it, I feel like reading a traditional book on a treadmill is just asking for a broken leg.

You can buy audiobooks from well-known retailers like Audible (which offers a free download if you sign up for the 30-day trial), or you can get free public domain audiobooks from sites like LibriVox, Open Culture, and Books Should Be Free.

3. Movies and TV Shows

I tried this once and my laptop battery died mid-Weeds, so I recommend either working out in a room with a TV (perhaps even during your favorite television show), or having enough sense to plug in your laptop or use a desktop.

4. Challenges

A friend of mine who hits the treadmill Every Single Day told me little personal challenges keep her motivated. One day she’s try to walk or jog a farther distance than the day before; the next, she’ll try to do it faster.

5. Imagination

Personally, I like to play pretend on the treadmill. I’ll lip sync (or really sing, if there’s no one within a 10-mile radius), pretend I’m starring in a music video or performing on stage – you get the idea.

6. Workout Buddies

Outside or in, the right workout buddies are always great at keeping you entertained!

Use treadmill time to share your gluten-free adventures with your best friend, laugh with your sister, or figure out ways to save money on healthy shopping with your mom.

(HINT: In a pinch, use a Bluetooth or Skype!)

7. Treadmill Workouts

When you do a treadmill workout, there’s rarely time to get bored!

A treadmill workout puts you through various “moves,” speeds, and times throughout the duration of the workout. You don’t have time to bemoan the 30 minutes or hour you’ve been on the treadmill because you’re too busy making sure you’re doing the workout properly! Plus, switching things up every few minutes makes time fly.

For treadmill workout ideas, try Fitness Magazine’s Treadmill Workouts, WebMD’s 5 Treadmill Workouts in an Hour or Less, and FitSugar’s 7 Treadmill Workouts for All Levels.

8. Variety

Finally, remember that you don’t have to use your treadmill every single day (most fitness experts say you don’t even have to workout every single day, but that’s another post, and possibly another blog).

Variety can help beat boredom and burn out, so try using your treadmill once or twice a week and mixing in other kinds of exercises (if you want) like aerobics, yoga, Pilates, and weight training.

How about you, readers? How do you stay engaged and entertained on the treadmill? Share with us in the comments!

DISCLAIMER: Neither Psych Central nor myself is affiliated with any of the third-party sites linked within this post. They’re merely sites I’ve found during my research (or already had bookmarked for my personal use) that I thought Your Body, Your Mind readers would find helpful.

How NOT to Die of Boredom On the Treadmill: 8 Lifesaving Strategies

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2019). How NOT to Die of Boredom On the Treadmill: 8 Lifesaving Strategies. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 24, 2020, from


Last updated: 14 Jul 2019
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