A treadmill can be a powerful ally when you are looking to shed pounds and improve your overall health and fitness. Walking on a treadmill to lose weight is incredibly effective for many people because treadmills are low-impact and beginner-friendly, and you can use one indoors regardless of the weather. Check out these useful tips from ZOZOFIT on how to get started.
8 Tips for Walking on a Treadmill To Lose Weight
To get the most out of treadmill walking, follow these tips.
1. Chat With Your Doctor
Before you begin, consult your doctor or medical provider just to be safe. You may have underlying health conditions or concerns that could make it tricky for you to exercise on a treadmill. For example, if you have balance issues, you may still be able to use a treadmill but should always use the handrails. Depending on your situation, your doctor might have a safer alternative to suggest than a treadmill.
2. Choose the Right Treadmill
Treadmills can fit into very tight spaces and be conveniently located right in your home. However, some models are bulky and not especially convenient, particularly if you plan to use one at a far-away gym. If you’ll be using a gym treadmill, it’s best to choose a location that is close to your home or work (or another place you go to frequently).
If you’re planning to get a treadmill for your home, the good news is that there are plenty to fit various budgets and space constraints. Evaluate your space needs before you purchase. You can get manual, motorized, or folding models, and some secondhand sporting goods stores offer good deals.
3. Set Realistic Weight-Loss Goals, and Track Your Progress
Walking on a treadmill to lose weight can be fun and effective, but the weight loss is unlikely to happen right away. Setting goals can help you stay on track over time:
- Determine your weight loss goals.
- Establish a realistic timeline for achieving them.
- Remember that safe and sustainable weight loss typically occurs at a rate of one to two pounds per week.
- Consider breaking up your goals into even smaller increments so you hit milestones faster.
For example, if your overall goal is to lose 100 pounds, it might be a year or longer before you reach it. Instead, reframe your immediate goal to be “Lose one pound a week” or “Lose four pounds a month.” Staying motivated with more easily achieved goals is a huge component of keeping the weight loss going.
Body scans are a great way to track your progress and see the results of walking on a treadmill to lose weight. With the ZOZOSUIT and app, you can get precise measurements from home or the gym. These measurements are more detailed than what a scale can offer, and you can observe progress in other areas such as fat loss or muscle gain. That can help keep you motivated if your weight loss is slower than you expected.
4. Match the Walking to Your Fitness Level and Experience
If you're new to treadmill walking, begin at a slow and comfortable pace. Aim for 15 to 20 minutes per session. Gradually increase the duration (and perhaps speed) as your fitness improves.
If you're used to moderate or vigorous exercise, you may be able to go harder for longer. High-intensity interval training on a treadmill focuses on high-intensity bursts in short periods.
Still, start cautiously to make sure you understand the nuances of your machine. After you’re confident in your handling of the treadmill, you could try a difficult routine such as this:
- Warm up at 2 miles per hour for five minutes on a flat treadmill.
- Sprint at your chosen maximum speed for 30 seconds.
- Jog for one minute.
- Repeat these steps five to 10 times.
- Cool down by walking at 2 mph for five minutes.
For a simpler routine, alternate between running and vigorous walking (instead of sprinting and jogging).
It could also be that walking on a treadmill to lose weight is just one way you’re hoping to break out of a rut or to spice things up. Maybe you don’t plan to use the treadmill every day or every other day but perhaps once or twice a week or every couple of weeks. Switching up your routine and alternating hiking, biking, walking on a treadmill, and other activities certainly can do wonders and help you avoid a training plateau or boredom.
5. Mix It Up
It helps many people to be proactive about varying their treadmill routines regardless of how often they walk on one. Change up these workouts, and try listening to music or audiobooks, or watching TV.
Mix treadmill HIIT routines, light treadmill jogs, and strength training, gentle yoga, other types of exercise, and even treadmill classes. You can also set your treadmill so you're walking or running "hills." This approach is great for building muscle, too. For reference, 5 mph is an average jogging speed.
Aim for more than 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week (150 minutes per week is what people need on average to simply maintain their weight, according to the CDC). Walking on a treadmill to lose weight can be an excellent part of greater weight-loss efforts.
6. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well
Proper hydration and a balanced diet should go hand in hand with your treadmill exercise routine. Drink water before, during, and after treadmill workouts, and eat nutrient-rich foods.
7. Remain Patient
Weight loss takes time, and the journey includes ups and downs. Stay patient and committed. If your treadmill walking routine no longer works, see if you need to switch your routine up with other types of treadmill workouts or incorporate exercises such as swimming into the mix.
8. Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to how your body responds to treadmill walking. Start gradually, and if you experience pain or discomfort, talk with a medical professional.