There are dozens of different exercise machines available on the market and new ones being introduced everyday. Each claim to be better than the rest, and while it’s true that some do offer unique benefits, the traditional treadmill continues to be the best all-around exercise machine. Not only does it offer fat and calorie burning benefits, it also improves heart health, bone density and lower body strength.
Turn on the Treadmill
Press the "Start" or "Go" button to initialize the treadmill. Choose the intensity you want to use by pressing the corresponding buttons on the control panel. If you are new to exercising begin with a very low intensity such as two or three. You can gradually increase this speed during your workout if you find it too easy.
Choose the incline you want to use by pressing the corresponding buttons on the control panel. Walking on a higher incline is more challenging, but it is also a great way to strengthen your glute muscles. You can adjust the incline throughout your workout.
Choose the length of your workout and press the start button. You can end your workout before the allotted time if you find you are getting too tired.
Choose a Workout
If you are new to exercising, choose a steady workout, whether it is walking or jogging. This will get your joints and muscles accustomed to the movement of the treadmill. Running on the machine is considered a high-impact movement because your feet are pounding against the belt. This type of movement also increases your bone density.
For a bigger fat burn, opt for the interval mode, if your machine has one. This will include a period of faster running or jogging followed by a less intense recovery period of walking. If your machine does not offer this mode, you can make your own interval workout by increasing and decreasing the speed of your machine in 30 second to 1 minute intervals.
Choose higher incline modes for additional glute and leg strengthening benefits. Avoid leaning on the treadmill control panel or holding on to the side handles to maximize these strength benefits.
- American Council on Exercise: What’s the Best Piece of Cardio Equipment to Use?
- Spine Health: Treadmills for Exercise and Pain Relief
- National Osteoporosis Foundation: Exercise for Strong Bones
- Journal of Applied Physiology: Lower Extremity Muscle Activation during Horizontal and Uphill Running; Mark A. Sloniger et al.
- Journal of the American Medical Association: Energy Expenditure with Indoor Exercise Machines; Anne I. Zeni, et al.
- MedlinePlus: Exercise and Physical Fitness
- International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism: Higher Fat Oxidation in Running than Cycling at the Same Exercise Intensities; Benoit Capostagno et al.
- Read your treadmill instruction guide before operating your machine or go over the options of the treadmill at your gym with gym representative before using the machine for the first time. Always warm up before your workout and cool down after your run. End your workout by stretching of all your major muscle groups. Run with your chest slightly forward and your body relaxed. Avoid leaning forward while running on an incline.
- Check your treadmill before using it. Do not use it if the belt shows signs of advanced wear and tear. The high-impact of running on a treadmill can cause back, hip, knee or ankle stress. Stop exercising if you feel any sharp pains. Speak to your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen. If you are new to running, start with a slow pace and gradually increase the speed after your become comfortable. The gradual increase will allow your muscles and organs to adapt to the increased demands.
Andrea Chrysanthou began writing professionally in 1993. Her work has been published internationally by "The Cyprus Mail," MochaSofa and My Favorite Trainer, among other magazines and websites. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts in journalism from Ryerson University. Chrysanthou is a certified fitness instructor and personal-training specialist with more than 10 years of experience in the fitness industry.