How to Get The Best Workout On a Treadmill

Three Methods:Focus on Heart RateFocus on SpeedFocus on Incline

Even if you prefer to get your exercise outdoors, there will be days of blistering heat or pelting rain, when you need to take your jog or your walk inside. Using a treadmill for your cardio workout is a great way to burn calories, increase strength and keep your heart and body healthy. Get the best workout on a treadmill by adjusting the speed and incline to settings that you find challenging and sweat-producing.

Method 1
Focus on Heart Rate

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    Determine your maximum heart rate before you begin your treadmill workout. All you have to do is subtract your age from 220. So, if you are 40 years old, your maximum heart rate is 180.
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    Run or walk on the treadmill until you reach at least 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. The American College of Sports Medicine says that when you hit this target, you maximize the amount of fat and calories you burn.
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    Use the heart rate monitor on the treadmill. Most machines in gyms and fitness clubs have a monitor that measures your heart rate; you simply need to put your hands in the designated location.
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    Run or walk at between 70 percent and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate for as long as you can. When you get tired, slow your pace to a jog or a steady walk and then build back up to the 70 to 85 percent level again.

Method 2
Focus on Speed

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    Increase the speed on your treadmill to the point where you are walking or running with intensity. This will raise your heart rate and increase the distance you cover as well as the number of calories you burn during your workout.
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    Start at a low speed and build your way to a higher speed gradually. For example, walk for 5 minutes at a speed setting of "2" and then raise it to a "5" for 10 minutes. Continue increasing the speed until you are running.
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    Run hard during intervals. Set the speed on your treadmill to an easy jog, and then increase it for 3 to 5 minutes so you are running fast. Then, bring it back to a jog.

Method 3
Focus on Incline

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    Start your workout on a flat treadmill surface and walk or run for 5 minutes or so.
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    Gradually increase the incline level. Raise it to a 3 and then a 5, continuing until you feel like you are walking or running uphill. This will give your legs and lower body a great strength workout and increase the number of calories you burn.
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    Look for pre-programmed settings on your treadmill. Some of them have a "hiking trail" available, which will give you periods of flat walking or running as well as inclines.
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    Combine different incline levels with different speed intervals. The change in pace and incline will mimic how you run when you are outdoors and keep your workout from becoming too boring.

Tips

  • Incorporate a warm-up and cool down period into your treadmill workouts. This will give your body a chance to both prepare for and recover from the physical activity.
  • Get even more from your treadmill workout by using weights. You can use hand weights while you run or walk to supplement your cardio routine. There are also ankle weights you can strap on to increase strength and burn more calories.

Article Info

Categories: Running for Fitness