How to lose weight with a treadmill workout?

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This article has been reviewed by certified personal trainer Paul Sawh scientifically and practically.

Walking might seem too easy to contribute to weight loss, but done right, it can be a highly effective workout to complement your weight loss plan and help you reach your fitness goals. Walking is a great exercise that can help you maintain your health, shape your glutes, improve your body form, strengthen your hamstrings and lose fat, especially around your belly. You don’t need any equipment other than standard running shoes to get a nice walking workout. However, people turn to treadmills for various reasons. A treadmill gives you different options. You can adjust the pace and incline to burn precisely as many calories as you need to during a given period of time. Also, you can keep your treadmill routine in any weather and have more focus on your workout since you are not distracted by what may come your way during a walk.

How does losing weight work?

We lose weight simply by burning more calories than we receive. The more the difference between our calorie intake and calorie burn, the more weight we lose. You have to lose 3500 calories to lose one pound of fat. If you burn 100 calories more than what you receive daily, losing one pound would take 35 days. If you want to reach 1 pound of weight loss in 10 days, you would have to burn 350 calories more than what you receive daily.

How many calories do I lose by walking on a treadmill?

You can calculate your calorie burn during a walk based on your pace, the incline, the walk duration, and weight. If you want to lose more weight quickly, an incline walking workout is highly recommended. Fortunately, when walking on a treadmill, you know your pace and incline exactly. With this data, you can use an online calorie calculator to calculate the number of calories you’re burning during your workout. (just Google “walking calorie calculator”)

You can also use smart gadgets to count the number of your steps, your heart rate, and your burnt calories.

How much should I walk to lose weight?

According to CDC, an adult should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity workout per week. You’re free to distribute this time over a week as you please, be it 30 minutes, five days a week, or 75 minutes, two days a week. While this is a standard amount of physical activity, you probably need more exercise to lose weight if you are not dieting.

How do I make a standard treadmill workout plan?

How do I make a standard treadmill workout plan?
How do I make a standard treadmill workout plan?

People with different fitness levels need different workout plans. It is ideal to ask a personal trainer to give you a fitness plan based on your unique need. You can also use exercise apps to plan your exercise routine based on the data you provide. 

Treadmill walking is excellent for those who want to begin exercising. If you are just starting, you’d better ease into your walking routine. Start at a slower pace and increase the intensity level as you go on. A heavy workout for an unready body can cause injury, tire you out, and discourage you from continuing. Consistency is essential here. Start with the walking speed of 2.5 mph and an incline of zero for 15 minutes, three times a week. Add 5 minutes a day each week until you reach 30 minutes a day. Try to reach 30-minute workouts of four mph and an incline of 4%, up to 6 days a week, in 3 months. At this point, you can take on heavier tasks, so you can increase your workout intensity as you wish.

If your body is in relevantly good shape, you can start with brisk walking for 30 minutes 3 days a week and moderate-intensity workouts in-betweens for the first week. Increase the intensity as you go on.

A standard brisk walk is when you are breathing heavier than usual, yet you are not out of breath.
Use pre-programmed interval training and incline workouts

Use pre-programmed interval training and incline workouts

Some treadmills have speed interval programs that divide your time on the treadmill into short vigorous-intensity and longer moderate-speedwalks. Interval training is excellent for burning fat. If you think you’re up for heavy exercising, set your treadmill for 30-second intervals of your fastest speed with a 15% incline and 2-minute walks of 3 mph at a flat level. Do this for 30 minutes, or just use your treadmill’s pre-programmed hill workouts.

Your daily walk doesn’t have to happen at once. You can break down your walking time based on your schedule.

What is the right walking technique?

A man is running on the treadmill
A man is running on the treadmill

Beware of your posture. Stand up straight and keep your face forward. Check-in with yourself every few minutes to ensure you’re walking with the correct posture.

Do not hold on to the handrest to maximize your calorie burn.

Stride at a normal length. Your steps must not be too short or too long.

Swing your arms. This will engage your arms in the workout and increase your calorie burn.

Always warm-up before a workout session and cool down afterward.

Do not increase the intensity of your exercise if you are not yet used to the intensity you’re going with currently.

Your fat-burning point is when your heart rate is 70% of your maximum heart rate. A smartwatch with a heart rate monitor can help you measure your heart rate. According to CDC, to calculate your maximum heart rate, you should subtract your age from 220. So, a 40-year-old person’s maximum heart rate is 180.

Feeling pain in your active muscles also means pushing your body to its limit, which is good. That’s how the body builds muscles. 

It’s good to have at least one rest day in your weekly walking workout plan to give your body time to recharge.

How do I complement my treadmill workout to lose weight?

Exercising works best for weight loss when you diet as well. Consult a dietitian or use a diet app to help your body burn fat and lose weight more quickly.

Consider weight training or other muscle-strengthening exercises twice a week to build muscles and have a stronger body.

You can add light weights to your walking exercise to burn even more fat. You can also alternate between walking and weight training to mix things up and have a complete workout routine.

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