July 10, 2008

Ramp Up Your Treadmill Workout Group Classes Aim to Make It the Next Spinning

By Elisabeth Mistretta

[email protected]@dailyherald.com

Sure, you could start your spring fitness regimen alone on the treadmill.

Walking faster.

Or slower.

Or, just to be wild, you could even trek on an incline.

Problem is, that regimen can get really old, really fast.

And yet every week at two suburban fitness centers, about 10 treadmills are marked with "reserved" signs for members who keep coming back to these trusty machines.

Do they simply have patience you don't?

No. They are part of treading, a class that spices up the humdrum treadmill workout and that's offered at the Buffalo Grove Fitness Center and The Wellness Center in Arlington Heights.

Much like spinning rejuvenated stationary biking with its base- thumping group cycling classes, treading also aims to turn things up a notch.

"It does take the treadmill workout to a new level for a lot of people," says Marilyn Bergeson, The Wellness Center treading instructor.

"It helps to jump-start these people who really can't afford personal training and need motivation," she says.

A typical hourlong class takes six to 10 participants through speed intervals with the teacher lowering or revving up their heart rates by instructing them to change their pace, their incline - or even walk backward, sideways or lunge at low speeds.

"It really takes the boredom out of it," says Sheila Hamilton, group exercise coordinator at Buffalo Grove Fitness Center.

The popular class has been offered at her facility for three years. At the Arlington Heights site, members are even asking for a second class to be added to the schedule.

Not all treading participants are marathon runners or even seasoned athletes. Hamilton and Bergeson agree the class is appropriate for all fitness levels.

"If someone has an individual goal, the instructor will work with them," Hamilton says. "It's not just letting people do their own thing on the treadmill."

(c) 2008 Daily Herald; Arlington Heights, Ill.. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.