A treadmill can be a valuable piece of exercise equipment that you can use with a combination of exercises. You can work on your cadence–especially if you are running in front of a mirror–you can have a hill workout, or you can do some interval work. Everyone from novices up to experienced runners can receive benefits from exercising on a treadmill.
Before you begin any exercise program, talk to your doctor. Treadmills are good for people who are just starting an exercise program. All you need to do is to start the treadmill and begin walking. On most treadmills, if you want to walk faster or increase the hill grade, you push the up arrow. To go slower or to reduce the incline, push the down arrow. You don’t even need to learn the proper form. You just need to walk.
Working out on a treadmill burns more calories than working out on an exercise bike, a stair climber or a rowing machine, according to the My Optum Health website. If you work out at a moderate pace on a treadmill, you can burn up to 40 percent more calories than you would working out at the same intensity on a stationary bike.
If you plan to do more on your treadmill than walk, you need to warm-up first. Start at a slow walking pace of no more than 1.5 to 2 mph for one or two minutes, according to the Treadmill Talk website. During this warm-up, switch from walking toe-to-heel for 30 seconds to heel-to-toe for 30 seconds. After you have been working out awhile, you can begin your warm-up at 4 mph, which is a power-walking speed. You should keep the same workout for four weeks before you try to increase the difficulty level. This helps you from hurting your muscles. When you are done, always cool down to avoid cramping by slowing down your pace until your heart rate returns to its normal level.
Cardiovascular workouts on the treadmill focus on keeping your heart rate up. You don’t want your heart rate to go too high, so you should use a heart monitor. A good rule of thumb to gauge your intensity is that you should be breathing hard, but you should not be gasping for air during your workout, according to Treadmill Talk. You should be able to talk during this workout.
Start by walking on your treadmill for 20 minutes for the first four weeks. You can be at the power-walk stage if you like. Then, add 10 minutes to your walking time every week for the next five weeks until you reach 60 minutes of walking time. You can change your incline and your walking speed during this workout. Make sure you stay in your target heart range throughout the workout.
To burn calories on the treadmill and tone, you should vary your heart rate and your workout’s intensity. One way to do this is by doing sprint intervals. Warm-up, and then walk for one minute. Increase to a fast walk or sprint for a minute. Alternate like this for three to five minutes. For the next 30 minutes, use the treadmill by alternating your pace. Cool down when you are done. After four weeks of this exercise, increase the sprint intervals to two minutes. The goal is to sprint for three to four minutes each time.
Another toning workout is incline intervals. These work the same way as sprint intervals. You keep your pace, but you increase your incline. After you warm-up, walk for five minutes, then raise the incline level 5 or 6 degrees for five minutes. Do this workout for 30 minutes. After four weeks, increase your incline.
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