How To Get The Best Results From A Treadmill (Explained)

Treadmill Running

Africa Studio/

By Simon Gould

Treadmills are great machines for getting fit or losing weight. You can walk or run and both of these can help you get the results you're after. Exercising on a treadmill regularly can give important health benefits says the CDC. So here I'll tell you how to get those results and the sort of workouts you need to do.

Exercise regularly

The CDC says you need 2 hours and 30 minutes moderate physical activity per week. This includes is brisk walking and that time is 30 minutes per day 5 days a week. This is something you can do on a treadmill. Even if you are quite heavy to begin with you should be able to work up to 30 minutes at a time on a treadmill.

If you're doing vigorous exercise which the CDC says is jogging and faster then you only need do 15 minutes per day 5 days a week, or however you want to split 1 hour and 15 minutes total per week. I would say a jogging speed for everyone is if you have to lift your feet off the ground to maintain your pace then you're jogging.

Change your routine

Walking and running on a treadmill can get boring so change your workouts. Try increasing the incline or walking for a longer time than before. There are all kinds of high intensity interval workout routines specifically designed for treadmills. Doing these things help improve your health and fitness further and maintain your motivation.

Remember to measure your results and write them down. Make a note somewhere of your weight weekly if you're getting on a treadmill to lose weight. Have a goal in mind whether that's to reach a certain weight or complete a certain distance. As the numbers improve you'll want to keep it up. Share these online with friends and family for some extra encouragement.

Keep yourself entertained

Another way to get the best results is to listen to music. Research has shown that listening to upbeat music is great for helping you maintain your exercise routine. They show the people who listened to music burned more calories than those who didn't. Take advantage of this by choosing the music that gets you going the most.

Another way to keep yourself occupied during a treadmill run is watch TV. I have a TV mounted in front of my treadmill. I've gone through seasons of what are now my favorite shows while running. Some treadmill brands have streaming classes. These have a TV screen with an instructor taking you through a workout and are particularly enjoyable.

Build up the length of time on the treadmill

In order to achieve the CDC goals of important health benefits above you might need to build up the time you exercise on the treadmill. You probably won't be able to start by running for 15 minutes in one go so you start at 5 minutes for a week then 10 the next week and so on. This could be the same for walking.

As you build up to doing more minutes on a treadmill remember to keep yourself hydrated and listen to your body. If you feel thirsty or have any pains then this is something you may need looking at. Here we have some walking treadmill routines. Where you repeat a routine you may want to build up slowly as mentioned before. Here they are:

We've mentioned they are for weight loss and they will lose you weight together with the running ones coming up. Anyone can do them and you can do more repetitions to work up to 1 hour 15 minutes per week you need to run to maintain fitness. Running is harder but you don't have to do it for so long, here are the routines:

The treadmill walk/run couch to 5k

If you can walk and are able to run then we have a routine that would be ideal for you. It is the couch to 5k on a treadmill. This involves a walk/run method to help building your fitness up during 9 weeks. At the end you should be able to run for 5k or 30 minutes. This is a great start to your fitness and weight loss goals and one that many have turned to.

If your goal is weight loss then regularly exercising will achieve that goal and fortunately you become fitter and active as well. To see how you're progressing remember to weigh yourself once per week on the same day at the same time. Then you can see the difference your exercising is making. Be patient though as it takes 3,500 calories to burn 1 pound of fat.

The secret to getting the best weight loss results is to exercise at least 3 times per week for several months. Ideally you should carry on even when you're happy with your weight. You'll start seeing results within a few weeks. But these can be easily lost if you stop, which a lot of people do. So keep going and you'll get the body you want.

The treadmill is so useful for this because it's the best cardio equipment at burning calories. It's easy to get into the optimum fat burning zone which is 60% to 85% of your maximum heart rate. Maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. Most treadmills can read heart rate chest straps. As long as you find your exercise moderately strenuous, you'll be burning calories.

Run longer for even greater health benefits

If you're really enjoying your exercising and the feeling it gives you then you can get even more benefit from it. The CDC says on that same page as above that if you can double the exercise you're doing to reach their minimum then you will get "even greater health benefits". This equates to running 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week.

It's something I'm doing as you can see in the tables on my progress and I feel fantastic and that's why I'm doing as much as I can. I find running on a treadmill I'm not getting any over use aches or pains because of the soft deck. There is one problem though, the time. Getting to the gym, exercising and a shower afterwards is 2 hours. But I'm loving it.


I started overweight and from no level of fitness and I'm managing to run an hour on the treadmill at a time. If I can do it anyone can, anyone can get results from treadmill running. Remember running is easy, it requires no skill at all, just the perseverance to go longer each time and the body is made to achieve that.

The commitment is a big thing and will involve a lifestyle change but remember you can do just 15 minutes of running per day for 5 days a week for those important health benefits and you'll lose weight. You can get results from a treadmill all it requires is some work from you, the machine doesn't do it for you but you'll be pleased as to what you can achieve.

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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