If you're overweight, taking steps to get down to a healthy weight is important, and not just for aesthetic reasons. Obesity can increase your risk of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and strokes, so losing weight can help you live a healthier, longer life. And losing weight can also make you feel better about yourself, boosting your confidence and mood. One particularly useful and versatile tool for weight loss is the treadmill. Consult your doctor before starting any workout routine, such as a treadmill weight-loss plan.
There are many methods of exercising to lose weight, but using a treadmill can be a particularly wise choice due to its many advantages. One of the most significant advantages is its convenience. Commercial treadmills are available for purchase so you can use one in your home, making for highly convenient workouts. Treadmill running at home allows you to escape from having to fight bad weather running outside or investing time commuting to and from the gym. Treadmills also offer more precision than running outside, as you will be able to gauge your speed, distance and number of calories burned each workout. Running on a treadmill for weight loss also allows you to multitask -- or distract yourself -- by reading a book or watching TV during your workout.
Of course, treadmill running for weight loss may not be ideal for everyone. If you have joint problems, the high level of impact may aggravate your injuries, in which case a rowing machine or exercise bicycle might be preferable. And, running on treadmills can be boring with the lack of changing scenery. This boredom may cause you to reduce your workout time and you'll end up burning fewer calories. Treadmills and gym memberships can also be expensive, so you may find running or riding a bicycle to be preferable for weight loss.
Rate of Calories Burned
How much you get out of your treadmill workout depends upon the speed at which you run. If you weigh 180 pounds, running at a pace of 5 mph will burn 686 calories in 60 minutes. If you maintain a rate of 7 mph, you'll burn 986 calories in 60 minutes, while a pace of 8 mph will burn 1,157 calories in 60 minutes. Most treadmills have an information panel that allows you to track how many calories you're burning throughout the duration of your workout so you can adjust speed accordingly to meet your goals. Seeing this information can help motivate you to get the most out of your workouts.
If you aren't satisfied with your weight-loss progress when running on the treadmill, you can try some advanced techniques to speed up your efforts to slim down. Incorporating some high-intensity interval training, in which sprints are alternated with periods of slower jogging, can help you burn calories efficiently and overcome any frustrating plateaus. Additionally, increasing the incline on your treadmill runs will help you burn more calories and build muscle tissue -- which helps increase your metabolism -- at a greater rate than endurance workouts with no incline.
Brian Willett began writing in 2005. He has been published in the "Buffalo News," the "Daytona Times" and "Natural Muscle Magazine." Willett also writes for Bloginity.com and Bodybuilding.com. He is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina.