Although you can't choose where your body burns fat, the manual treadmill can help you expend more calories for a slimmer figure -- and your belly will shrink along with the rest of you. You'll get similar results on a manual treadmill as on a motorized one, as long as it operates reliably. The American College of Sports Medicine notes that, because you rely on foot power to move the belt, the pace can be difficult to regulate on some manual treadmills. Use a quality, smooth-moving machine to ensure accurate progress tracking.
Treadmills and Weight
You lose weight by burning more calories than you eat, and walking or running on the treadmill can help you reach your goals. Walking at 3.5 mph, a 185-pound person expends about 360 calories per hour; at 4 mph, she burns about 400 calories per hour. Running is even more efficient: The same person burns 710 calories an hour at a 5-mph pace, and about 890 calories per hour at 6 mph. It takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose a pound of fat, so you can easily lose a pound a week by combining regular treadmill workouts with a conscientious diet.
Although the treadmill helps with overall fat loss, it doesn't do much to tone your stomach muscles. For a defined abdomen, engage in strength-training exercises that target your core. At home, perform crunches, V-ups and planks. If you prefer the gym, try the reclining and seated crunch machines, twist machines and leg-raise equipment. Perform one to three sets of 12 repetitions for each exercise. In addition to your abs, work every area of your body, including legs, hips, back, chest and arms. Allow at least one day of recovery in between workouts, and plan strength-training workouts twice weekly, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
No matter how much time you spend on the treadmill, you won't trim your stomach without watching what you eat. For easier weight loss, HelpGuide.org recommends choosing foods with plenty of fiber, which fills up your stomach without adding calories to your meal. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice are all good choices. Avoid liquid calories from sodas, juices and alcoholic beverages, and skip the fast food in favor of home-cooked meals. Drink water throughout the day; people often mistake thirst for hunger, leading to overeating.
For optimal fat-burning benefits, use the treadmill or perform other cardio exercise about 300 minutes per week, as recommended by the CDC. Start out at a comfortable pace, and slowly incorporate more vigorous intervals for greater calorie burning; for example, walk briskly for three minutes, jog for 30 seconds and repeat the cycle. See a doctor if you haven't worked out in a while or you have health conditions.
- American College of Sports Medicine: Selecting and Effectively Using a HomeTreadmill
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- ExRx.net: Waist Exercise Menu
- HelpGuide.org: How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by USAToday.com, Fitday.com, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.