A Great Way to Multitask: Working Out while You Work
Would you like a way to save time and energy by working out while you work? And would you like a way to burn a ton of calories while you do it? They say that time is money, and when you are doing a side hustle or second job or regular overtime to earn more money, that seems particularly true.
As a busy mama of three young children who works full time and also spends many hours a week working to build up this blog, I feel that time is very precious. I am a fairly avid runner (which doesn’t mean I am good at it—that just means I enjoy it as a way to keep in shape 😊), and my favorite way to run by far is to run outside. But I also live in a place where it’s cold enough during the winter (and smoggy enough) that it’s not really very comfortable to run outside for at least four or five months out of the year (at least, not comfortable for me).
So during that time, I am very grateful for treadmills so that I can keep exercising the way that I want to throughout the winter months. At my job, one of the awesome perks is an on-site gym, and one of the best things about that on-site gym is this simple, genius invention.
A Productivity Lifesaver
I enjoy running on treadmills, but something else I enjoy (in some ways just as much—actually, in some ways more, which is why I’m writing this article) is being able to work while I exercise. And that simple board allows me to do it. This multitasking option is a great way to save time and energy (and make more money)!
One of my talented fellow employees made those boards using his saw, but before we had them, another employee had used a simple foam stepping board, much simpler than but something like this one below. He got it at one of our local thrift stores for $5.
With the awesome treadmills that we have at work, you can do up to a 30% incline. And that means that you can burn a ton more calories than if you were just walking or running without any incline.
But you don’t have to have an incline of anywhere near that to still get an awesome workout. By using an 11.5% incline at 3.2 miles per hour, I am at a speed and a percentage of incline where I can comfortably work while I simultaneously burn away about 800 calories per hour. I usually exercise for about 80 to 90 minutes with a 5- to 10-minute cool-down afterward, and so I generally burn between 1,000 and 1,100 calories exercising each day—while I work! I love it!
And I’m also at a speed where I don’t generally perspire, so I don’t have to take the time to shower and get ready after my workout. I keep the treadmill fan on as I walk, and I think that is what allows me to not perspire (and not wearing heavy sweaters or things like that, so that I don’t get overly warm)—and I just might not perspire as easily as some do.
While I was experimenting with different inclines and speeds to see how many calories they burned per hour, this is the little chart I drafted:
2.5% incline @ 3.3 mph = 400 cal/hr
5% incline @ 3 mph = 480 calories/hr
6.5% incline @ 3.5 mph = 600 cal/hr
10% incline @ 3.1 = 700 cal/hr
11% incline @ 3.1 mph = ~ 750 cal/hr
12.5% incline @ 3.2 mph = ~ 820 cal/hr
So while I am working away, I’m also burning an amazing number of calories. I generally exercise every weekday during the winter, so that saved hour or more of time each day (more than five hours a week—but for me, really probably closer to 10 hours because of the saved time from also not having to change and shower and do hair and all of that) is huge!
When I learned that I could burn that many calories per hour simply from walking on an inclined treadmill, I was in heaven. I know many of you busy parents could use time savers like this, as well.
Healthy Living Program—an Added Incentive to Exercise
Every year we have the opportunity at my work to get a $30 rebate ($30 each for the employee and spouse) when we complete two-month-long wellness challenges. It’s another way my employer encourages us to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Since you can create the challenges yourself or use the ones they recommend, it’s a pretty great opportunity to both work on the fitness and wellness (they don’t all have to be related to physical fitness, though that is the emphasis) goals that are important to you and to also get a little reward for doing so.
So each year I complete the six wellness challenges for $30 each and the personal health assessment (PHA) for another $70, for a total of a $250 rebate on our annual health insurance premium. My husband completes the health assessment each year as well, and he typically completes a couple of the wellness challenges, so we generally receive a health insurance premium rebate each February of about $300 to $350. I know that’s not a ton of money overall, but given the choice between having an extra $300 or not, I’ll take it! Especially when I receive it for doing something that I should be doing anyway. 😊
A Worthwhile Purchase
Often we just use this money as extra fun money since we’re not counting on having it anyway. But sometimes we use this rebate for health-related purchases—for example, we purchased our last treadmill (which we bought used for a good price several years ago but which eventually broke) with that money. And that’s what we’ve intended to do with the money we received back last year and the money we will receive this year.
Our gym at work is pretty new (we’ve had it for only a little over a year), and when I was first introduced to these awesome inclined treadmills, I thought it would be a great idea to buy one. And I thought that if we saved the money we earned from our rebates for a couple of years (and throw in a couple of hundred extra dollars, if needed) to buy one, that would be a great way to spend the money.
So that’s what we intend to do once we receive the rebate in February (next month). And we will definitely be getting a stepping board or something like it so that my husband and I can type away on a laptop while we’re walking on the treadmill. And then I will be able to burn thousands of calories each week while I’m working on this blog! Win!
Do you have a similar wellness or living healthy program at work? If so, are you taking advantage of it to improve your health (the biggest reward) and earn a little extra cash (a fun side benefit)? If you don’t have a wellness program, is your company large enough that doing something like that would be feasible? Consider asking your manager or HR representative if it is a benefit that could be added.
A Few Treadmill Options
There are quite a few good options for treadmills with at least a 12% incline and that go up to 12 miles per hour. We may get on the local online classified and buy a gently used one, or knowing that we intend to use it for years to come, we may go to Target or Walmart or Amazon and order a new one.
We would definitely be looking to spend $1,000 or less, even for a new one. So here are a few of the options we might consider if we were buying a new one:
- The ProForm 705 CST Treadmill, available from Target ($899), Walmart ($799), and Amazon ($799). It has up to a 12% incline and a speed of up to 12 miles per hour.
- The Proform 905 CST Treadmill, available on Amazon right now for $699, with 12% incline and speed of up to 12 miles per hour.
- The Schwinn 830 Treadmill, which goes up to 12 miles per hour and has up to a 12% incline, and which is currently selling at $699 on Amazon.
- The NordicTrack C 990 Treadmill, which also has a 12% incline and goes up to 12 miles per hour, and which is currently available for $999.
If you don’t want to spend quite that much money and you’re OK with a little bit less of an incline, there are even more options. Here are a few of them:
- The NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill has a 10% incline and speed of up to 10 miles per hour, and it is currently available from Amazon for $599.
- The NordicTrack C 700 Treadmill has a 10% incline and speed of up to 10 miles per hour, and it is currently available from Amazon for $799.
- The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515 Smart Treadmill has a speed of up to 8 miles per hour and up to a 12% incline. If you don’t intend to run super fast (8 miles per hour is about as fast as I ever go), this may be a great option for you. And Amazon has a sale on this treadmill for 43% off right now—only $399.99 (a $300 savings!), free shipping included. That is a great deal!
And of course, if you are willing to buy used you might be able to find a great deal from your local online classified or from Amazon or a similar site. Actually, if you are willing to be patient and keep looking, I’m sure you will eventually find a great deal. 😊
Your Own Work-Exercise Multitasking
If you don’t currently have a gym at your workplace, do you work for an employer who would let you set up something like this, a treadmill with a simple laptop board? Would your company spend $1,000 or less to buy a treadmill that you could share, and get an inexpensive laptop board (or even a stepping board), so that those who wanted to could take turns exercising while they work? Why not find out? Why not try to kill two birds with one stone?
If having a treadmill with laptop board isn’t an option at work and you don’t currently have a treadmill (or don’t have a treadmill with an incline) in your home, perhaps you would be interested in purchasing one of these treadmills so that you can be on your laptop and get a great workout while you work. And if you are one of the people who is fortunate enough to be able to work from home (or work from home some of the time), then you could get fit while saving a lot of time each week by using an inclined treadmill with a laptop.
If you’re in a situation where time is a rare commodity and you feel that working out while you work is a great option for you, then look into getting one of these inclined treadmills and an inexpensive laptop board! They’re an awesome combination!
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