When you put in time on the treadmill you usually work up a good sweat; sometimes it's even a chance to catch up on television shows you'd otherwise miss. But a good 30 to 45 minutes on the treadmill can do more for you than you might realize -- it will improve your health in so many ways, starting with enhancing your circulation.
Only If You Use Them
Just like buying a gym membership won't make you lose weight unless you actually go to the gym, treadmills will only improve your circulation if you use them. Personal trainer Matt Siaperas says you can walk or run on the treadmill every day if you want to, but he recommends getting a cardio workout at least three days a week, using the treadmill for about 30 minutes each day.
Benefits of Walking and Running
You can use the treadmill for anything from walking to jogging to all-out running. Any of these activities will improve your circulation, but that's just the tip of the benefits iceberg when it comes to getting your blood pumping. An article published on the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine website includes reducing blood pressure and cholesterol, along with burning calories and relieving depression, anxiety and stress, all as benefits of walking. The Mayo Clinic also recommends getting your legs moving to prevent or slow the development of varicose veins.
Whether walking or running on the treadmill, you need the proper footwear to assure safety and comfort during your workout. Both walking and running shoes should provide a firm foundation for your feet from side to side and support for your entire foot, including the arch. They should be well cushioned and fit comfortably when you try them on in the store. Walking shoes aren't as cushioned as running shoes are, which tend to be a bit bulkier. If you prefer using the treadmill for running, you won't need a shoe built for running trails. Opting for a shoe that is designed for running on the pavement and packed surfaces is the best choice to pad your feet and protect them while you're pounding out rhythmic strides on the treadmill.
Other Ways To Improve Circulation
Improving your circulation will improve your overall health, and adopting habits like a regular run or walk on the treadmill to improve circulation is a wise investment in your future. Besides scheduling cardio exercise into your routine, be sure to drink plenty of water each day in addition to other fluids you take in, eat a balanced diet including vegetables, whole grains and fruits, and limit or eliminate processed foods, sugar, salt, white flour, alcohol and caffeine from your diet. Also, the Mayo Clinic recommends elevating your legs as a way to increase your circulation. So put your feet up -- you deserve it.
- Mayo Clinic: Varicose Veins
- American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine: Walking And Your Feet: Benefits of Exercise Walking
- Killer Diseases of Women
- Matt Siaperas; Personal Trainer, Hardbodies Gym; Blackfoot, Idaho
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.