According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, healthy adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week (or a combination of both) (2). Treadmill workouts are popular ways to get aerobic exercise, and there are both pros and cons to using a treadmill. In this article, we’ll go over the pros and cons of treadmill workouts, as well as everything else you should know before starting a treadmill workout routine.
What Are Treadmill Workouts Good For?
This often overlooked piece of cardio equipment can actually offer a great workout. Some of the benefits of treadmill workouts include:
- Help improve your heart health. Regular aerobic exercise has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
- Burn calories and lose weight. Treadmill workouts can help you burn a significant number of calories, which can lead to weight loss.
- Build endurance and improve your stamina. Over time, treadmill workouts can help you build up your endurance and stamina.
- Ease joint pain. Treadmill workouts are a low-impact form of exercise, which means they put less stress on your joints than activities like running or playing tennis.
What Are Treadmill Workouts Bad For?
Treadmill workouts aren’t for everyone, and there are some potential drawbacks to consider before starting a treadmill workout routine, including:
- You may get bored. One of the biggest complaints about treadmill workouts is that they can be repetitive and boring. If you find yourself getting bored on the treadmill, try switching up your routine by adding in some hills or intervals.
- Muscles overuse injuries. Because treadmill workouts are repetitive, there’s a risk of overusing certain muscles. To avoid overuse injuries, be sure to rest the muscles you’ve worked on other days of the week.
- Joint impact. Although treadmill workouts are low-impact compared to other activities, there is still some joint impact. If you have joint pain or other issues, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a treadmill workout routine.
How To Structure Your Treadmill Workout For Weight Loss
If your goal is to lose weight, there are a few things you should keep in mind when structuring your treadmill workout. First, aim for a moderate to vigorous intensity level. This means you should be working hard enough to break a sweat, but still able to carry on a conversation.
Second, aim for at least 30 minutes per day, five days per week. This consistency will help you see results. Finally, make sure you’re eating a healthy diet. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet, so be sure to focus on both diet and exercise for the best results.
What Is A HIIT Treadmill Workout?
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a type of workout that alternates between short periods of high-intensity exercise and recovery. HIIT workouts have been shown to be effective for weight loss, and they can be done on the treadmill or any other type of cardio equipment (1). For example, a HIIT treadmill workout might look like this:
- Warm up for 5 minutes at a moderate pace
- Sprint for 30 seconds
- Recover for 1 minute
- Repeat for a total of 20 minutes
HIIT workouts are typically shorter than traditional workouts, but they’re more intense. They are similar to treadmill sprint workouts in that they involve periods of high-intensity exercise followed by recovery, but HIIT workouts are typically done at a lower intensity than sprint workouts.
If you wish to free yourself from all the extra pounds that have been weighting you down for way too long, start using the BetterMe app and overhaul your entire life!
Is A Treadmill Workout Better Than Running Outside?
Running outside may be better for those who enjoy being in nature, whereas treadmill workouts have their own set of benefits. Treadmill workouts are more controlled, which means you can better monitor your speed, distance, and intensity.
This can be helpful if you’re training for a specific event or trying to lose weight. Treadmill workouts are also more convenient than outdoor workouts because you can do them indoors, no matter the weather.
If you’re new to running, starting with a treadmill workout can be a good way to ease into the activity. You can gradually increase your speed and distance as you get more comfortable with running.
An incline treadmill workout can also be a good way to mix things up. An incline treadmill workout mimics the feeling of running uphill, which can help you build strength and endurance.
Sample 30 Minute Treadmill Workout
Here’s a sample 30-minute treadmill workout that you can do to lose weight or just get in shape. This workout alternates between walking and running, and it can be adjusted to fit your fitness level.
- Warm up for 5 minutes at a moderate pace
- Run for 2 minutes at a pace that feels comfortable
- Walk for 1 minute to recover
- Repeat the run/walk intervals for a total of 30 minutes
If this workout is too easy, you can increase the running intervals to 3 or 4 minutes. If it’s too difficult, you can decrease the running intervals or take more walking breaks. You can also adjust the speed to make the workout easier or more difficult.
Before starting any workout routine, it’s important to take some safety precautions:
- Have the Right Gear: Invest in a good pair of running shoes and some comfortable workout clothes. If you’re going to be running on the treadmill at home, you may also want to invest in a treadmill mat to protect your floor.
- Warm Up: Always warm up before starting your workout. This will help to prevent injury and get your muscles ready for exercise. A 5-minute walk is a good way to warm up before a treadmill workout.
- Run with Proper Form: Be sure to run with proper form to avoid injury. Keep your head up, shoulders relaxed, and hands at your sides. Let your arms swing naturally as you run.
- Land on your feet lightly,and don’t overstride. Overstriding can lead to injury.
- Cool Down:Be sure to cool down at the end of your workout. This will help your muscles recover and prevent soreness.
- Take Rest Days:It’s important to take rest days so your body can recover from exercise. Give yourself at least one day off from exercise each week.
Yanking yourself back in shape has never been so easy with our game-changing fitness app! Start transforming your life with BetterMe!
The Bottom Line
Treadmill workouts are a great way to lose weight, get in shape, and improve your overall health. There are a variety of treadmill workouts you can do, and they can be customized to fit your fitness level. If you’re new to running, start with a basic treadmill workout and gradually increase your speed and distance as you get more comfortable.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Evidence-Based Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training on Exercise Capacity and Health: A Review with Historical Perspective (2021, nih.gov)
- How much physical activity do adults need? (2022, cdc.gov)