Can I Just Walk On A Treadmill To Lose Weight?
By Simon Gould
Treadmills are great for exercise and losing weight. Any exercise you can do counts and makes a big difference. You lose most weight by watching your diet and exercising. So let's say you have the diet sorted out and you need advice on the exercise. Maybe you just walk on a treadmill at the moment and that's ok. Here I'll tell you how many calories you can burn and how much weight you can lose by doing just that.
How to lose 1 pound of weight
You lose 1 pound of weight by burning 3,500 calories. That amount of calorie burn will take a bit longer to reach by walking but it is reachable. Walking counts as moderate exercise by the CDC and they're recommendation for "important health benefits" for adults is to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. That's 2 hours and 30 minutes.
That can be divided best by walking for 30 minutes a day from Monday to Friday. This sounds like a lot but if you plan this into your day you will soon pick it up as a routine. Plus 30 minutes a day will get you burning those calories and losing weight and that can be done on a treadmill. You are not dictated by the weather or anything else that could stop you walking outside.
How many calories walking burns
First we need to establish the speed you're walking at and this is easily done on a treadmill because you need to input the speed. Treadmill walking speed is between 2 and 4 mph where 4 is a brisk walk. Let's take our 30 minutes of exercise per week day that the CDC recommends and then with a few other factors we can determine the calorie burn you'll get.
You need to take your weight, speed and time spent walking to workout how many calories you've burned. Fortunately there is an online treadmill calorie burn calculator that will do just that. You can see that walking at 4 mph for 30 minutes and if your weight is 180 lbs, you'll burn 306 calories. Try inputting various numbers and you're told your own treadmill calorie burn.
So if you burn 306 calories 5 days a week then you will have burned 1,530 calories. This may sound like a small number compared to losing a pound of weight but if you can double that with your diet also losing you 1,530 calories you will start to burn fat. Also if you weigh a lot to begin with your calories burn from exercise will be a lot higher.
If your diet loses you the same amount as the exercise it will take you around 10 days to lose a pound of weight. That's not bad going when you consider that healthy weight loss is about 1 to 2 pounds a week. But there are ways we can increase that amount and it's still just by walking on a treadmill. This is key to getting maximum weight loss from your efforts.
How to increase the amount of calories burned
Using the above online treadmill calorie burn calculator we've have just input the figures for exercising at 0% gradient. There is a space for you to enter the incline and this can be make a fantastic difference to the amount of calories you've burned. If we take our 180 lbs person going 4 mph for 30 minutes and put a 2% incline in there. We will have burned 330 calories and 2% is small.
If we increase that to 8% then the calorie burn is 400. The numbers increase and the work does get harder but we're still just walking. you could do all the 30 minutes at 8% incline or you can vary it to give you some variety in your workout. We have some pages of some plans that will help you get started. You would spend some minutes at one gradient then change half way through. Here are those plans:
After walking, try running
When it comes to losing weight on a treadmill the natural progression from walking is running or jogging. This increases the calorie burn more and is something you may be able to do once you've established someone weight loss already. We have a walk/run plan that will help you get to running for 30 minutes in 9 weeks called the couch to 5k and this is a treadmill one too.
By jogging at 5 mph our example of the 180 lbs person could burn 370 calories by running for 30 minutes and 0% incline. By jogging on a treadmill it is more kinder to your joints than concrete. Running on a treadmill will also get you prepared for running outside which is another step you could take. Beyond that you could enter some races, there are all kinds of possibilities for you.
By choosing to exercise you've taken an important step to getting healthy and extending your life. Walking is a great start to this and something a lot of people choose, it's always recommended by physicians and doctors. As part of a weight loss plan you can't go wrong and our above plans will help you form a routine by exercising on a regular basis.
Remember to diet as well and lose weight faster than exercise or dieting alone. When you've reached your ideal weight whether that's by walking or running or a combination of them both, then stop dieting and eat enough to help you maintain your weight and you keep exercising. This way you get the benefits that exercise brings and you don't feel hungry, good luck.
Thinking of buying a treadmill? See my top 3 recommended treadmills for 2021