3 Easy (and Effective) Treadmill Walking Workouts

3 Easy (and Effective) Treadmill Walking Workouts

Walking is arguably the most natural form of exercise the human body can enjoy. Fortunately, whether you are dealing with record-high temperatures, sleet and snow, or just want to catch up on Netflix, getting the movement you need can be as simple and accessible as climbing onto the treadmill.

Wondering if you can lose weight while you’re at it? Find out how long and hard you need to walk on the treadmill to lose weight and check out the three treadmill walking workouts we created to help you reach your goals.

Can You Lose Weight Walking on a Treadmill?

Walking on the treadmill is a great form of exercise and way to facilitate weight loss, as long as you’re active in such a way that you are in a caloric deficit, aka, expending more energy per day than you’re consuming through food. In fact, long-term research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that walking helped people both lose and better manage their weight during a 15-year period.

However, exactly how much weight you lose with treadmill walking workouts depends on various factors, including how hard you’re exerting yourself during your walking workouts, your current fitness level, and your current weight. In fact, estimates from Harvard Medical School show that a 155-pound person can expect to burn roughly 149 calories during a 30-minute walk at a pace of 3.5 mph and about 186 calories at 4.5 mph. However, a 185-pound person can expect to burn roughly 178 calories at 3.5 mph and 222 calories at 4.5 mph. Find out how many calories you can burn walking.

treadmill-walking-workout

How Much Time Do You Need to Spend on a Treadmill?

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, for general health, adults should perform between 2 hours and 30 minutes and 5 hours of moderate aerobic physical activity per week, 1 hour and 15 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes of vigorous aerobic physical activity per week, or a combination of both. Spread out over five days per week, that amounts to a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity walking to 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity walking per day. Adjusting speed, incline, and intervals during treadmill walking workouts can fit either intensity level.

Treadmill Walking Workouts: Getting Started

The talk test

Walking exercise intensity can most simply and effectively be judged based on the “talk test.” When exercising, if you can comfortably talk, but not sing, without huffing or puffing, you are working at a moderate intensity. If you can’t say more than a few words without taking a breath, you’re working at a vigorous intensity. It’s also worth noting that all of these walking workouts may change to running workouts as your fitness levels increases.

Warm up and cool down

For all workouts, start at a low speed and zero incline for at least two minutes. You should feel like you are working at a low intensity — able to sing without a problem if you wanted to. This is the time to focus on your posture, arm swing, and to get yourself excited for the workout ahead. You will adjust the speed and incline for your workout and will return to this reduced speed and flat incline, to slowly lower your heart rate and cool down at the end of your workout.

treadmill-walking-workout-2

1. Treadmill Walking Workout

This steady-pace workout helps you meet the guidelines for aerobic activity, prioritizing sustained effort at an appropriate pace.

  • Once warmed up, increase your speed by 0.5 mph every 30 seconds until you are exercising at a moderate intensity, according to the talk test.
  • Walk in this zone for 30 minutes or more, making sure that you stay in this intensity range throughout. Decrease or increase speed as needed.
  • Every week, try increasing the incline by 1 percent. You may need to decrease speed to stay in a moderate-intensity range as you increase the incline. That’s OK!

Note: Do not increase incline past 10 percent or to the point that you are unable to complete the workout without the use of the treadmill handles. You should maintain an upright posture and arm swing throughout.

2. Incline Treadmill Workout

Walking at an incline on a treadmill is a great way to increase muscle recruitment and the number of calories you burn without increasing speed.

  • Once warmed up, increase your speed by 1 mph every 30 seconds until you are exercising at a moderate-to-vigorous intensity, according to the talk test.
  • Maintain this speed and incline for 5 minutes.
  • Increase your incline 1 percent every 2 minutes until you are exercising at a vigorous intensity, according to the talk test.
  • Maintain this speed and incline for 5 minutes. This should feel challenging!
  • Decrease speed by 0.5 mph every 30 seconds until you are exercising at a moderate intensity, according to the talk test.

Note: Do not increase incline past 10 percent or to the point that you are unable to complete the workout without the use of the treadmill handles. You should maintain an upright posture and arm swing throughout.

3. Interval Treadmill Walking Workout

Treadmill walking intervals are a great example of HIIT exercises, or high-intensity interval training, which can help you burn more calories in less time through hard, concerted efforts mixed with periods of active recovery.

  • Once warmed up, increase your speed by 1 mph every 30 seconds until you are exercising at a moderate intensity, according to the talk test.
  • Maintain this speed for 2 minutes.
  • Increase your incline until you are exercising at a vigorous intensity, according to the talk test.
  • Maintain this speed and incline for 30 seconds. This should feel very challenging. Adjust your speed if needed; increase if you need more of a challenge or back off if you find it too difficult.
  • Decrease the incline back to moderate intensity. Maintain this speed and incline for about two minutes.
  • Repeat, increasing the incline to exercise at a vigorous intensity. Perform rounds for 15 minutes or more, making sure to listen to your body, not push past the point of pain, and maintain proper form.

Note: Do not increase incline past 10 percent or to the point that you are unable to complete the workout without the use of the treadmill handles. You should maintain an upright posture and arm swing throughout.

About

K. Aleisha Fetters is an experienced nutrition and fitness writer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. She has written for print and online publications including TIME, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Runner’s World, SELF, SHAPE, U.S. News & World Report, Weight Watchers, Men’s Fitness, Yahoo! Health, Furthermore by Equinox, Cosmopolitan, Daily Burn, and Girls Gone Strong. Follow her on Twitter.

Try Openfit for FREE Today!

Get Started
shares