How Many Calories Will 20 Minutes On A Treadmill Burn?

Treadmill Running

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By Simon Gould

Treadmills are the best pieces of fitness equipment to burn calories for. Any time spent on them burns more calories than almost any other cardio machine. They are fantastic for helping you lose weight because they can burn so many calories. 20 minutes is an ideal length of time to exercise for, so how many calories does 20 minutes on a treadmill burn?

It depends what you're doing on the treadmill for 20 minutes

For those 20 minutes are you walking at 3 mph or running at 6 mph? Is the treadmill incline at 3% for the work you're doing? You're doing something right by thinking about the amount of calories you'll burn. It is something to consider when thinking about weight loss for your treadmill efforts. Generally, the quicker you go the more calories you burn for the same length of time. Same for the incline.

The usual amount of calories burned for running one mile is 130. So if in 20 minutes you run 2 miles, you will have burned around 260 calories. To do that you will be running at 10 minutes a mile which is 6 mph. If you take 20 minutes to do a mile which is a 3 mph brisk walk then you will have burned 130 calories. I've gone through more detailed examples below.

It also depends how heavy you are

Your weight plays a big factor in how many calories a treadmill will burn in 20 minutes. Heavier people will burn more than 130 calories per mile. As the numbers below show, one person weighing 30 pounds heavier than another will burn 30 to 50 calories more in 20 minutes. The workouts below are some examples you could do in that time frame. It's an ideal length of time to exercise.

Calories burned in 20 minutes of walking or running on a treadmill

  • Speed - 6 mph (running/jogging)
  • Incline - Zero/flat
  • Weight - 150 pounds
  • Time - 20 minutes
  • Calories burned - 243 calories
  • Speed - 6 mph (running/jogging)
  • Incline - Zero/flat
  • Weight - 180 pounds
  • Time - 20 minutes
  • Calories burned - 291 calories
  • Speed - 3 mph (brisk walk)
  • Incline - 5%
  • Weight - 150 pounds
  • Time - 20 minutes
  • Calories burned - 158 calories
  • Speed - 3 mph (brisk walk)
  • Incline - 5%
  • Weight - 180 pounds
  • Time - 20 minutes
  • Calories burned - 190 calories

As you can see running is significantly harder and so it burns more calories. But that doesn't mean 20 minutes brisk walking is not a good routine. You'll still lose weight by doing that. Don't use an incline if you're running as it's not good for your joints to do it for such a long time. It's fine for brisk walking though. Feel free to increase that incline by more than 5% for a greater calorie burn.

How often you should exercise for 20 minutes

The secret to losing weight is getting on a treadmill regularly. Once a week is not enough, it will take a long time for your weight to drop at this rate, if you ever do see results. You need to make it a lifestyle change and do it 3 to 5 times a week. You will really see results in your efforts if you can maintain this. In just a few weeks you should notice your weight start changing on the scales.

I'm a testament to this. I was quite heavy and had to work up to running 20 minutes. Once I did, I did it 5 times a week and my weight came down. It took me about 10 weeks to lose 30 pounds. I did it on a treadmill too. You'll see results if you brisk walk as well. It just takes a commitment of 20 minutes on most days of the week and I'm sure we can all find the time if we wanted to.

How fast you should go

Don't go so fast that you can't even manage 20 minutes. You should be able to accomplish it without exhausting yourself. You'll be surprised to know you don't need to that fast at all. We need to get in the fat burning zone which is when you'll burn the most calories for the time you're putting in. So for brisk walking on an incline it will be around 3+ mph and set the incline to 5% or higher.

Running at any speed will get you in this fat burning zone. It's a vigorous activity so you could even jog at 5 mph. When I lost 30 pounds I was running at 5.2 mph. This is the most comfortable speed for me. I couldn't manage 20 minutes at a faster speed and you don't need to go faster. Just remember, losing weight is not a race, don't over do your speed, be patient and you'll see results.

Summary

So 20 minutes on a treadmill burns a decent amount of calories. After a few months you could increase the length of time to 30 minutes. This would obviously burn more calories if you still have a few stubborn pounds you wanted to lose. What I do recommend is, even if you've reached your goal weight, keep exercising because of the many health benefits.

Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here's my favorite, I always recommend it when asked*

Meet The Author

Simon Gould

I'm Simon Gould. I've been around treadmills my whole life. From running on them at an early age to working in treadmill dept's of national stores. I've run outside and I've run on treadmills and I prefer running on treadmills. I still run on one nearly every day and love it.

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