There is a myth that you can crunch your way to a skinny waist. But the truth is that to get rid of your muffin top, you need to burn away the fat. The treadmill is an effective way to lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, and lower your risk of belly fat-related ailments such as heart disease and diabetes. Treadmills offer a variety of ways to exercise to fit your fitness level, maximize your time and avoid boredom.
Calculate your target heart rate. To burn fat, you have to get your heart rate up and keep it up. Subtract your age from 220 and multiply the result by 0.50 and 0.85 to determine your target heart rate. For example, if you are 30 years old, subtract 30 from 220 to get 190. Multiply 190 by 0.50 to get 95 and by 0.85 to get 161.5.
Warm up for 10 minutes by walking on the treadmill to get the blood pumping and loosen the muscles.
Adjust treadmill settings to increase your heart rate to your target heart rate zone. You can achieve this by increasing either the speed or the incline of the treadmill. If you're comfortable running, increase the speed. If you prefer walking, increase the incline to simulate walking uphill. Work out in your target heart rate zone for at least 30 minutes, but ideally 60 minutes, three days a week.
Perform interval exercises twice a week. Interval training burns more fat in less time, according to a report in Science Daily. During interval training, alternate every 30 seconds to two minutes between low and high exertion. For example, alternate between jogging and sprinting on the treadmill. Adjust the incline to change exertion as well. Interval train for 20 to 30 minutes.
Cool down by walking on the treadmill for five to 10 minutes.
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Target Heart Rate and Estimated Maximum Heart Rate
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- ScienceDaily: Interval Training Burns More Fat, Increases Fitness
- Cardiovascular exercise alone can burn fat and tone the waist, but you can sculpt the abs by adding core exercises such as bicycles and planks to your workout.
- Treadmills are safe and effective, but are not without risks. Meet with a personal trainer or read the instructions for using the treadmill before exercising. Use the safety clip so that the treadmill will stop if you trip or fall.
- Always consult your doctor before starting a new workout program.
Leslie Truex has been telecommuting and freelancing since 1994. She wrote the "The Work-At-Home Success Bible" and is a career/business and writing instructor at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Truex has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Willamette University and a Master of Social Work from California State University-Sacramento. She has been an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America certified fitness instructor since 2001.