By Simon Gould
Treadmills provide excellent workouts because you can go at any speed on them. Your speed is shown whether you’re walking or running. You always have that readout so you can work out your average time and distance. Walking is how many people start out on a treadmill.
Walking is especially an advantage if you’re a beginner, are elderly or overweight. Walking can get you losing weight or introducing you to the treadmill and exercise. Then in time you could start to run on the treadmill and have all the benefits that go with regular exercise.
Average treadmill walking speed
Walking on a treadmill you will generally find you go at 2 mph to 4 mph or 3.2 km/h to 6.4 km/h. How fast this will be for you depends on many factors. If you are tall and have a long stride then a brisk walk will be 4 mph. If you have a small stride that maybe a slow jog. What is important is that you’re exercising to where you’re feeling like an exertion.
If you’re walking on a treadmill to lose weight, you may want to set an incline of around 5%. This makes the walk harder and therefore burns more calories. As long as you’re not over doing it and you feel comfortable completing 30 minutes or so reguarly, you’ll start to lose weight. The good thing about a treadmill is you can easily see your speed on the console unlike walking outside.
The average walking speed will be found by collecting your speeds from the workouts you have done and dividing by the number of those sessions. You should find that to progress you need to walk further and/or quicker to get more healthy. We have some workout plans for walkers that will help you lose weight and introduce you to exercising on a treadmill:
Average treadmill walking speed by age
Our walking speed gets slower as we age. This is obvious to us all, but at what age does this start to happen? Research shows this starts in our 50’s. For someone aged 49 or below, average walking speed is 3.0 to 3.2 mph. From 50, it goes down by about 0.2 mph for every decade. So at 40, around 2.9 mph, 60 is 2.7 mph, 70 is 2.5 mph. Aged 80 and above goes down sharply to 2.1 mph.
This is the range found by the research. There are outlier’s, some maintained their younger speed, while others were a lot slower as they aged. There are many other factors like sex, stride length and height. A brisk walk for some may feel an exhausting speed for others. So you need to listen to your body when judging how fast you should walk and your own particular average speed.
Treadmill walking speed for weight loss
You should brisk walk on a treadmill for weight loss. As I said above, the actual speed differs for every person. The best way to encourage weight loss is to use the incline. If you can brisk walk on an incline you’ll burn far more calories than otherwise. You burn 25% more calories by walking on a 6% incline for 30 minutes. That number rises if you have a heavy build.
Walking is a great way of losing weight and if you have a treadmill, there’s no excuse not to do it. The best treadmills for walking are flat belt treadmills* and they only cost a few hundred. They make a great investment in your health and wellness at any age. They don’t have a motor so you’re not restricted by speed.
How long you should walk for
The CDC have physical activity guidelines. They call brisk walking, moderate physical activity. They recommend all adults of any age, even 65 and above, do 150 minutes per week. This equates to 30 minutes per day 5 days per week. They do say be as active as you can if you find that amount difficult.
This is something that is perfect for a treadmill. You don’t need to use the incline of you don’t want to. Brisk walking is slightly faster than an average walking speed. The CDC says this is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. Governments around the world have the same physical activity guidelines.
When you have completed the walking workouts. Hopefully you may have lost weight and are ready for running. There is a plan we have that involves walking and running called the couch to 5k. This is also done on a treadmill and will have you walking for a few minutes then running. The end of the plan will have you running non stop for 30 minutes in 9 weeks.
The important thing is you get used to regularly going on the treadmill and exercising. You’ll find your average speed isn’t so important, you’ll be measuring your weight loss or how far you get in the workout plans. They are good goals to aim for and getting on the treadmill is just the beginning.
Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here’s my favorite, I always recommend it when asked*