The Best Ways to Work Out on a Treadmill for the Fastest Results

The Best Ways to Work Out on a Treadmill for the Fastest Results

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Your treadmill workouts should be challenging for fastest results.

Chris Clinton/Digital Vision/Getty Images

If you're going to spend the time doing cardio, you want to get the most out of your workout. The treadmill is just one of your options when it comes to cardiovascular exercise. Treadmills allow you to walk, jog or run on a flat or incline surface. All of the different variables make it appropriate for beginners to advanced exercisers. The best ways to work out on a treadmill for the fastest results take into consideration your goals, fitness level and health.

Write It Down

Desired results from an exercise program vary from person to person. Improved fitness, better health, more energy, faster running and weight loss are just a few of the things you can accomplish with treadmill workouts. You need to define what your goals are so your treadmill workouts give you the fastest results. Improving your health and losing a lot of weight can have different exercise recommendations. List out all of your goals before hopping on the treadmill so you can work to accomplish them in the shortest amount of time.

Make Sure It FITTs

Frequency, intensity, time and type, or FITT, are factors you need to consider in your treadmill workouts, or any type of exercise program. The type is cardiovascular work on the treadmill. Your frequency should be at least three to five times per week for 30 minutes at a moderate to vigorous intensity for improved health and fitness, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. If you have a lot of weight to lose, or want faster results, you may need to do a bit more. Do five to seven days per week on the treadmill for up to 60 minutes per session at a moderate to vigorous intensity.

Keep It Steady

Steady-state workouts often get a bad rap. Keeping your intensity level at a steady, or the same, intensity level doesn't mean it's easy. Remember, your intensity level should always be moderate to vigorous. So if walking at 3 miles per hour feels easy, then bring it up to 3.3 mph, and add a 1 or 2 percent incline. A challenging steady-state workout that yields results should begin with a warm-up and end with a cool-down. For example, warm up by waking at 3 mph for five minutes. Increase your speed to 4 mph and walk briskly for 20 or more minutes. End with a five-minute cool-down of walking at 2.6 mph. If you can, jog or run for the work portion of the steady-state workout to burn more calories.


High-intensity interval training is another effective option you can do on the treadmill for faster results. In an HIIT workout you alternate moderate-intensity intervals with very challenging, short bursts of activity for the duration of your workout. So maybe you can't run for 20 or 30 minutes straight, but you can do one minute at a time. A treadmill HIIT workout may look like this. Warm up for five minutes by walking at 3 mph. Run for one minute at 5 mph. Walk briskly at 3.5 mph for two minutes. Alternate running and walking for 30 minutes. End with a five-minute cool-down walking at 2.8 mph.

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