Given the choice between running outdoors and running on a treadmill, I will choose outdoors.
However if the weather is dismal (or it is Winter) then there is certainly an appeal to have the option to go for a run on a treadmill indoors instead. During the Summer when there is beautiful weather outside, you really should be outside getting your exercise, but if its raining or snowing it does make perfect sense to have a backup plan.
However running on a treadmill is SUPER BORING. But there are ways to make it more interesting. It is why many gyms have treadmills with TV sets on them - which I find annoying, because often the sound is broken, no matter how much you fiddle with the headphones.
Oddly enough pets - dogs and cats will sometimes join their owners on the treadmill. It is a bizarre phenomenon, but it shows that even animals enjoy getting some exercise.
In the video below a baby raccoon gets some exercise on a treadmill with its owner.
#2. Dancing on your Treadmill
This is oddly enough a growing phenomenon. There are a lot of videos on this topic below. Below is my favourite treadmill dance video.
#3. Listening to Music / Watching TV on the Treadmill
This one is a no brainer really. Nothing complicated there. I shouldn't even have to list this, but I am doing so for the sake of not leaving anything out.
#4. You know you are bored when you...
- Play with the buttons and settings on the treadmill.
- Focus on perfecting your running form.
- Increase the incline for an added challenge.
- Sideways gallop.
- Skipping (with or without a skip rope).
- Marching or Goosestepping.
- Get those knees up.
- Try to kick yourself in the butt with one foot.
- Hopping. (Avoid jumping when the treadmill is going fast. There are lots of fail videos on YouTube for this topic.)
- Focus on your breathing.
- Get distracted by how your treadmill sounds like a train.
- Repeat a mantra.
- Sing (like you do in the shower).
- Cover up the monitor so you can stop being distracted by the numbers.
- Use your arms more.
- Use the time to think about your life.
- Plan your day.
- Plan your weekend.
- Plan what you will eat for lunch.
- Plan your vacation or retirement.
- Imagine you are racing.
- Imagine you are being chased by zombies.
#5. Listen to an audio book
The easy way to do this is to jog on the treadmill for however long it takes to listen to one chapter. A chapter per day, every day and before you know it you will be feeling fit and have the book done.
#6. Listen to a Podcast
If you have a favourite Podcast you like to tune into to, make your Podcast time the time you also use the treadmill. Apple iTunes has lots of podcasts to choose from if you are not sure what to listen to.
#7. Listen for Trigger Words
Every time you hear a trigger word, eg, "Yes", then you run faster. Every time you hear another trigger word, eg. "No" then you run slower. The idea here is to alternate your speeds when you are running. If your treadmill is next to a window you could change your speed every time you see a black car drive by the window. Pick a trigger or multiple triggers and then use that to guide how often you alternate your speed.
#8. Play Mind Games or Memory Exercises
There are plenty out there to choose from. I like word games myself, wherein you start by picking a topic - eg. plants - and then you pick a word from that genre - eg. rose - and then you try to think of a word that starts with the letter the last word ended with. So rose, easter lily, yew, weeping willow, etc.
There. That should be enough to keep you busy and motivated.