How to Get the Best Results From Treadmills


A treadmill is a great workout tool for cardiovascular exercise. Regardless of weather conditions, you can still go for a walk or run in the comfort of your home or at the gym. Don't be intimidated by treadmills; you don't have to spend hours on one to get a good workout.

Step 1

Set a time goal. If you establish a reasonable goal for how long you are going to work out on the treadmill, it can be less intimidating. Many people avoid treadmills because they believe that they'll have to work out for a long time to get results. That's not necessarily true. Try to spend 20 to 30 minutes, as a minimum, per session. Even the busiest schedule can accommodate 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking or jogging on a treadmill to support good cardiovascular health.

Step 2

Set a schedule for frequency. If you are aiming for 20 to 30 minutes each time you use the treadmill, you must decide how many times per week you will implement this. Start with a reasonable frequency, such as three times per week. Once you are consistently using the treadmill at the established frequency, consider adding an additional session. Monitor your use and continue to increase the frequency over time.

Step 3

Establish a challenging but reasonable baseline pace. A leisurely stroll on a treadmill isn't going to give you good results, but neither will overexerting yourself. Experiment with various speeds to develop a baseline pace. Aim for a pace that allows you to walk or jog, feeling slightly winded but still able to talk.

Step 4

Increase your speed over time. To see results, you must continuously push yourself and present new challenges. If you started with a baseline pace of walking briskly at a speed level of 3.5 and you can now hold an entire conversation at that speed without feeling winded at all, it's time for you to increase your speed. Aim for a speed of 3.7 or 3.8 until you feel you have mastered that level. Continue to increase your speed over time.

Step 5

Increase your incline. It is a common occurrence for people to underutilize the incline function on a treadmill. Regardless of speed, the incline challenges your body by pulling from various points of strength to keep up speed and walk on an uphill surface. Start with a basic incline of 1.0 or 2.0. As you become comfortable with your speed, increase your incline to maximize your results.

Step 6

Identify and maintain your target heart rate. Your target heart rate is measured according to your age and the presumed health of your heart. Reaching and maintaining your target heart rate helps you to maximize the work you are doing on the treadmill. A large of part of managing your speed and incline on a treadmill is aimed at reaching your target heart rate. Target heart rates are listed on some treadmills but can be found online or in printed materials at your local gym (see Resources).

How to Get the Best Results From Treadmills was originally published on LIVESTRONG.COM.

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About this Author

Shemiah Williams is a young but experienced writer. She holds a bachelor's degree in business and technology and a master's degree in clinical psychology. She serves as a subject matter expert in many areas of health, relationships and professional development. She writes for Demand Studios as a direct extension from her personal mantra turned blog: Dream Realized.