Are you looking for an easy way to lose weight? Treadmill exercise is a great way to burn calories and lose weight.

Treadmill exercise can help you lose weight and get fit. The cardiovascular benefits of treadmill exercise include improved heart health, lowered blood pressure, and reduced risk of developing diabetes.

Treadmill exercise can also help you build muscle mass, increase bone density and improve joint flexibility.

If you want to get started on your weight loss journey with treadmill exercise, here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your workouts:

Set realistic goals – When starting out on your weight loss journey with treadmill exercise, it’s important to set realistic goals that meet your needs. For example, if you’ve never exercised before then it’s best not to try running 5 miles every day right away. Instead start off with walking for 10 minutes at first until your body becomes used to moving again then increase from there by walking for longer periods each time until you’re ready for the next step up in intensity which could be jogging or running instead of walking which would mean increasing the speed at which you walk/jog while maintaining the same pace as before

Treadmill Exercise For Weight Loss

A man using the treadmill in his home as a way of burning calories, burning fat, and losing weight.

4 Ways to Lose Weight with a Treadmill Workout

The treadmill is a hugely popular aerobic exercise machine. Aside from being a versatile cardio machine, a treadmill can help you lose weight if that’s your goal.

In addition to helping you lose weight, working out on a treadmill has other benefits too. For instance:

  • You can use the treadmill year-round.
  • It’s possible to watch your favorite TV show while you exercise.
  • The treadmill has handrails, which is ideal if you’re recovering from an injury.
  • As with any heart-pumping cardio workout, it can help reduce your risk for heart disease and other chronic diseases, improve sleep, boost your mood, and improve brain function.

Treadmills are available at almost every gym, making it an accessible option for all fitness levels. Plus, if you prefer working out at home, treadmills can easily become part of your home gym, too.

Let’s explore the basics of treadmill weight loss, along with possible workout plans and tips.

1. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) 

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves alternating sets of high-intensity exercise and rest.

According to a 2017 studyTrusted Source, HIIT workouts can be an effective way of reducing body fat and burning calories in a shorter amount of time.

The idea is to work extra hard for short periods and rest between the high-intensity bursts of exercise. This burns a lot of calories, which helps contribute to weight loss.

Additionally, after a HIIT routine, your body attempts to return to a normal resting state. It does this by metabolizing body fat for energy.

Here’s how to do HIIT on a treadmill:

  1. Set the treadmill so it’s flat. Walk at 2 mph for 5 minutes to warm up.
  2. Run at 9 to 10 mph for 30 seconds.
  3. Walk at 3 to 4 mph for 60 seconds.
  4. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
  5. Walk at 2 mph for 5 minutes to cool down.

For a more advanced workout, alternate between jogging and sprinting. You can also add more minutes to each high-intensity set. Ideally, your rest intervals should be twice as long as your high-intensity intervals.

2. Find your fat-burning zone

During a treadmill workout, exercising at your fat-burning heart rate can help promote weight loss. This zone is where you burn the most calories per minute.

To find your fat-burning zone, you’ll need to calculate your maximum heart rate first. This is the maximum number of times your heart can beat during 1 minute of exercise.

Your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. For example, if you’re 40 years old, your maximum heart rate is 180 beats per minute (220 – 40 = 180).

Generally, your fat-burning zone is 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. If your max heart rate is 180 beats per minute, your fat-burning zone is 70 percent of 180, or 126 beats per minute (180 x 0.70 = 126).

With this number, you’ll know how hard you should work to support weight loss. Here’s one way to do it:

  1. Wear a heart rate monitor on your wrist or chest. Set the treadmill to flat. Walk at 2 mph for 5 minutes to warm up.
  2. Set the incline to 2 percent. Jog at 4 mph for 1 minute.
  3. Run at 8 to 10 mph, or until you enter your fat-burning zone. Run for 15 to 30 minutes at this heart rate.
  4. Jog at 4 mph for 1 minute.
  5. Walk at 2 mph for 5 minutes to cool down.

While 70 percent is the average fat-burning zone, everyone is different. Some people might enter the fat-burning zone at 55 percent of their maximum heart rate, while others might need to reach 80 percent. It depends on various factors like sex, age, fitness level, and medical conditions.

You might also enter your fat-burning zone at a lower treadmill speed.

A personal trainer can help determine your ideal speed and heart rate for optimal weight loss.

3. Get out of a rut

Another strategy for treadmill weight loss is to switch up your routine. By doing a different workout each time, you can:

  • Reduce your risk for injury. Repeating the same workout is stressful on your joints. It increases the risk of overuse injury, which can set you back.
  • Avoid a training plateau. The more you do a certain workout, the less you’ll see results. Your body needs to be challenged to progress.
  • Prevent boredom. You’re more likely to stick to you routine if you regularly mix up your workout.

Here’s a sample workout plan, where different treadmill workouts are incorporated into a balanced exercise routine:

  • Sunday: rest, leisurely walk, or gentle yoga
  • Monday: treadmill HIIT routine for 20 to 30 minutes
  • Tuesday: light treadmill jog and strength training
  • Wednesday: rest, leisurely walk, or gentle yoga
  • Thursday: light treadmill jog and strength training
  • Friday: treadmill HIIT routine for 20 to 30 minutes
  • Saturday: barre class or bodyweight workout
A man using the treadmill in his home as a way of burning calories, burning fat, and losing weight.

4. Add hills

To make a treadmill routine more challenging, add hills. Walking briskly or running at an incline burns more calories because your body has to work harder.

It also activates more muscles, which contributes to building more lean muscle mass. This helps you lose weight, since muscle burns more calories than fat.

If you’d like to exercise on an incline, try this treadmill sequence:

  1. Set the treadmill to flat. Walk at 2 mph for 5 minutes to warm up.
  2. Set the incline to 1 percent. Jog at 4 to 6 mph for 1 minute.
  3. Increase the incline by 1 percent each minute. Repeat until you reach an 8 to 10 percent incline.
  4. Decrease the incline by 1 percent each minute. Repeat until you’re at a 0 to 1 percent incline.
  5. Walk at 2 mph for 5 minutes to cool down.

Generally, 4 to 6 mph is the average jogging speed. You can increase the speed or add more minutes to make this workout harder.

For an easier version, increase the incline by 0.5 percent each minute. Repeat until you’ve reached a 4 to 5 percent incline, then work in reverse.

Benefits beyond weight loss

In addition to weight loss, cardio activity like a treadmill workout offers many benefits. It may help:

  • improve endurance
  • control blood sugar
  • increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels
  • improve memory and cognition
  • protect against Alzheimer’s
  • promote healthier skin
  • strengthen muscles
  • decrease fatigue
  • decrease joint stiffness
  • relieve stress and anxiety
  • promote better sleep
  • increase energy levels
  • boost your immune system
  • improve sexual arousal

The bottom line

As a form of cardio exercise, using a treadmill is an excellent way of burning calories and losing weight.

If you’re not sure what type of treadmill workout is best suited to you, talk to a certified personal trainer. They can work with you to create a customized treadmill weight loss program.

For best results, combine treadmill workouts with strength training. Both forms of exercise can help support weight loss and overall health.

If you’re new to exercise, or if you haven’t worked out in a while, talk to your doctor before you start a new fitness routine.

5 Awesome Treadmill Workouts For Burning Fat

5 Treadmill Workouts For Weight Loss

Bored to tears by that steady-state cardio? It’s time to mix up your treadmill routine. Whether you’ve got five minutes or 40, these treadmill workouts will break you out of any running rut and jumpstart weight loss with super-efficient intervals, if that’s a specific health and fitness goal you have.

Created for SELF by Bonnie Micheli and Tracy Roemer, the founders of >Shred415, these routines incorporate challenging speed work, leg-burning inclines, and major creativity. Intense interval training routines are key for fat loss, because working out at high intensities creates an afterburn effect known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). That means you’ll continue to burn calories even after you hit the stop button as your body works restore its oxygen levels and return to its natural resting state.

If you can’t get to Chicago or St. Louis to try Micheli and Roemer’s cardio-meets-strength training class for yourself, put their workouts to work in your own gym. Here are five of their best treadmill workouts for weight loss:

  • Image may contain Text Plot and Word
    Graphic by Jocelyn Runice1If you only have 5 minutes, try this quickie interval workout.Pre-game these efficient flat-road intervals with an easy three-to-five minute jog. Then do this simple circuit once, or repeat as many times as you’d like.
  • Image may contain Text
    Graphic by Jocelyn Runice2Tackle some rolling hills with this 10-minute routine.During this rolling-hill run, you’ll walk the high hills and speed up on the lower ones, Micheli and Roemer explain. As the incline goes down, the pace goes up, so the walking intervals act as your recovery.

WATCH20-Minute Total Arms Workout

  • Image may contain Field and Word
    Graphic by Jocelyn Runice3Get ready to run the town with this 21-minute workout.This run is inspired by the city where it all began for Shred415: It mimics the small hills throughout Chicago, explains Micheli and Roemer. If only you got the views, too! “Be sure to walk slow during the one-minute recoveries to drop your heart rate down.”
  • Image may contain Text Number and Symbol
    Graphic by Jocelyn Runice4This 20-minute routine starts easy but you’ll pick up the pace—and the incline—before it’s over.The first two runs start on a flat incline, but you ramp up the intensity (and the incline) during the third and fourth intervals. Each is four minutes long, and the last one is the most challenging–it’s the fastest and the steepest. But remember, you GOT this!
  • This image may contain Text Label Advertisement Poster Paper Brochure and Flyer
    Graphic by Jocelyn Runice5You’ll alternate between walking, jogging, and running in this 40-minute routine.This 40-minute run is great for weight loss and building up your endurance for races, according to Micheli and Roemer. Your jog and run pace increase every 12 minutes…5k fun run, here you come!

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