Increase the intensity of your usual treadmill routine by speeding up your pace. Speed walking on a treadmill is an effective way to get a cardiovascular workout and increase the number of calories you burn in a walking workout. Speed walking may seem difficult at first, but as you start to get in better shape, it will feel easier.
Practice the proper posture for walking on a treadmill. Using the correct posture will help you maintain balance and develop a comfortable rhythm for speed walking. Keep your head up and look straight ahead -- watching a TV in front of you can actually help your walking posture.
With your shoulders back, let your chest naturally stick out and your arms hang loosely. Don't clinch your hands into tight fists or hold onto the side rails; let your arms swing as you walk. Hold your core muscles in to help you stand up straight and keep your hips loose as you walk. Take moderate strides and let your heels hit the treadmill first. Don't forget to take deep, smooth breaths throughout your entire workout.
Find the right speed for speed walking on your treadmill. Start by walking slowly and increase the speed of the treadmill gradually. You want to reach a speed that increases your heart rate and gets you sweating, but still allows you to talk normally without gasping for air. For speed walking, a good speed to start with on a treadmill is between 3 and 3.5 mph for most people.
Increase your walking speed and workout time gradually and in small increments. Adding intensity to your speed walking workout will help you burn more calories in the same amount of workout time. If your usual routine is walking for 30 minutes at 3.5 mph, and that workout has become easy for you, try increasing your speed for part of the walk.
Split the walk into six 5-minute parts. In each part, walk at 3.5 mph for 4 minutes and then walk 4 or 4.5 mph for 1 minute. After you're comfortable walking at those speeds, try walking at 3.5 mph for 3 minutes and 4 or 4.5 mph for 2 minutes. Alternate these intervals until you finish 30 minutes of speed walking. Increase the intensity of your speed walking each time you become comfortable at a certain speed. If you're able to dedicate more time to working out each day, increase your workout time by small increments as well, adding only 2 minutes of speed walking to your workout each time.
- Know how to properly use and stop your treadmill before starting a workout.
- Don't hold your breath. Focus on keeping your breathing relaxed even when you increase your workout intensity.
- Add hand weights to your speed walking exercise to build muscle and burn more calories.
- Watch TV or listen to music or an audio book while you speed walk to keep your exercise routine interesting and fun.
Courtney McCaffrey graduated from the College of Charleston in 2008 with a B.A. in media studies. She has served as an editor for Blooming Twig Books and the MADA Writing Services publishing company. She is now a writer on various outdoor sports such as snowboarding, skiing, surfing and bodysurfing.