There are so many benefits to running on a treadmill, for example the physical exercise, wellbeing, emotional response, and treadmill use can play a part in occupational balance when incorporated with leisure activities. And for many, a treadmill is a tool to incorporate exercise into daily routines. Let’s talk treadmills and wellbeing.
Occupational therapists work with people of all ages on all aspects of occupation, or daily occupations of daily life, and include wellness and wellbeing to promote functional independence in daily occupations. From physical activity to performance of tasks, to a balanced lifestyle, to emotional and social wellbeing, physical activity plays an important role in all of these areas. Leisure activities such as entertainment and listening to music as entertainment are included in a balanced lifestyle, leading to overall wellbeing.
Wellness and wellbeing are important for function in all areas. Today, we’ll explore how a treadmill is a powerful tool in promoting wellbeing through physical activity.
Research on wellness tells us that there are many contributors to wellbeing and overall wellness. And in those contributors, you’ll see a similar thread of physical activity. Tools for promoting wellness include strategies such as mindfulness, deep breathing, yoga, guided imagery, and wellness programs and even rooms. But what about the treadmill as an option to improve wellbeing?
Treadmills and wellbeing
When you take a look at the wellness wheel, it’s easy to see how a lopsided wheel can lead to caregiver stress and burnout, lack of self-care, and a deflated state of being. Adding too much to one pie of the wheel, such as when there is a focus on schooling, work, caring for a children, or long work days can lead to burnout, especially when there is extended time involved in focusing on that one portion of the wellness pie.
Exercise and the benefits that it has on emotional wellbeing, physical activity can be difficult for some. Those in cold or rainy environments, and places where outdoor exercise is difficult can be a detriment. In these situations, indoor running is the way to go.
And, for some treadmill users, the time spent on a treadmill can be time to watch movies, television shows, or listen to music. This can be time that “rounds out” the wellness wheel and adds a much-needed time of entertainment.
This article explains more on these concepts of emotional and physical wellbeing in treadmill use. In fact, treadmill users ran farther, and with higher heart rates when they watched self-selected entertainment during their treadmill run, compared to watching nature images (both a static image or a dynamic nature image).
Treadmill use can also add benefits in emotional wellbeing. Participants in one study showed lowered levels of anger, dejection, and anxiety, as well as increased excitement after exercising on a treadmill.
Preferred music also can have an impact on running performance, according to a different study.
So when it comes to incorporating motivating and meaningful physical exercise into the health and wellness pieces of overall wellbeing, it is beneficial to incorporate entertainment and leisure activities like listening to preferred music or watching movies and television shows.
When weather is bad or it’s too cold outdoors, I turn to my treadmill. I love to run along to music, podcasts, and even Netflix when running on the treadmill. What motivates you?
With the Horizon Fitness treadmills and fitness equipment, there are a number of entertainment apps and streaming options, including Bluetooth speakers, live or on-demand fitness apps, and other streaming fitness opportunities. All of these extras are designed to promote improved physical exercise and meaningful motivation.
Check out the Horizon fitness deals, including free shipping that you can access now on the Horizon site.
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Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.