So I bought a treadmill.
But not for the reason most runners buy treadmills.
It’s not a very good one. It’s not new and it’s out of warranty.
It’s so basic that it won’t even convert miles per hour to minutes per mile.
And the fastest it will go is ten miles an hour, which, after being forced to use my brain instead of having the machine do it for me, is a 6 minute mile pace (that’s 3:43/km for my metric friends).
That means I won’t be able to use it to run hard intervals, strides, or faster speedwork.
But that’s okay with me since I live five minutes from the gym and if the weather’s so bad that I need to run that kind of pace indoors, I can just use the fancy machines at the gym.
So why on earth did I buy a gently-used, low-budget treadmill when I live five minutes from the gym?
More specifically to walk while I work.
Walking is one of the most-underrated cross training activities there is and most of us don’t do enough of it.
Walking, especially at the slow pace that you need to walk to be able to type at the same time, is the perfect aerobic activity that burns fat calories, increases blood flow to muscles to assist recovery, and builds endurance.
Add some incline and you help build strength while you answer emails, check out Facebook, or watch cat videos.
But most importantly, walking prevents you from sitting.
Well, duh, right?
A study of 218 marathon and half marathon participants done at the University of Texas School of Public Health found that while the recreational runners would run almost an hour daily, they also would sit for 7 to 10.75 hours per day.
“These results suggest that recreational distance runners are simultaneously highly sedentary and highly active,” the authors concluded.
So even if you train for an hour or two of exercise each day, you are still not undoing the damage of sitting down the rest of your day.
I am fortunate to work mainly from home and while I consciously alternate between sitting, standing, and balancing on a wobble board, I still feel like I’ve been sitting way too much.
And that’s where the treadmill comes in.
With the help of a piece of plywood and some straps, I now have a not-so-fancy treadmill desk. A box of tea props up my laptop to a comfortable height.
When I do decide to run on it, I can simply take the board off.
And I may decide to make it look a little prettier and use hooks on the side and bungee cords underneath like this woman did, but I probably won’t bother, since this works just fine for me.
So far, I’m just starting with 30 minutes a day, but I will likely add more. I feel better after a walk than I do when I sit and work and I know the walking not only helps my overall health, but my training as well.
(And now, I’m off for a run!)