You turn to the treadmill for healthy cardio and calorie burning, but can it trim arm fat? Well, not really -- working out affects muscles, not fat, so spot reduction doesn't exist. Plus, the treadmill doesn't target arm muscles. The good news is that you can lose weight all over to thin your arms proportionately, and walking or running on the treadmill can perfectly complement your total weight-loss strategy.
Treadmill and Weight
Weight loss comes down to expending more calories than you eat, and the treadmill comes in handy for rapid calorie burning -- but intensity matters. At a body weight of 155 pounds, walking at a casual pace of 3.5 mph burns about 150 calories in 30 minutes. At a speedier 4.5 mph, you'll burn 190 calories in 30 minutes. Jogging at 5 mph is far more efficient, burning 300 calories in the same time frame. Bump it up to 7.5 mph, and you'll torch 465 calories in half an hour. A pound of fat is approximately 3,500 calories.
The treadmill focuses on your lower body, so turn to resistance training if you want to tone arm muscles. While these moves won't remove fat, they will add definition. Pushups, pullups, biceps curls, triceps extensions and shoulder presses all work the arms. Perform 12 repetitions for each exercise, rest, and repeat for one or two more sets. Schedule resistance training two or three times weekly, allowing muscles a day of rest between.
You can't talk about weight loss without mentioning diet -- what you eat affects body size more than any other factor. Lose weight by consuming 500 to 1,000 fewer calories than you expend each day to lose a pound or two each week. Trade potato chips for fresh fruits and crunchy, leafy vegetables, and ditch the soda for water or seltzer. Eat high-fiber whole grains such as oatmeal and whole-wheat pasta, which slow digestion to help your stomach feel fuller, longer. Choose proteins with little fat, such as beans -- which also have fiber -- tofu, salmon and egg whites.
Planning a Treadmill Workout
Use the treadmill or perform other aerobic exercises for 300 minutes per week for optimal weight loss. This works out to an hour a day five days per week, but you don't have to stick to that specific schedule. As long as each cardio workout lasts at least 10 minutes, you'll get the same benefits no matter how you stagger your sessions. If you're new to the treadmill, start out walking and then slowly add jogging intervals to your routine. Always check with your doctor before starting a new fitness plan.
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.