What Is Considered Moderate Running on a Treadmill?

Running at a moderate intensity allows you to talk but not sing.
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The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, five times per week. You can easily meet this goal through moderate running on a treadmill. Because it's not always convenient to get outside and run, it helps to have some guidelines for your workout that you can bring inside and know you're still getting what you need to be strong and healthy.

Measuring Intensity

Workout intensity is often measured by the percentage of your maximum heart rate that you sustain during the workout. You can estimate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Many treadmills have built-in heart rate sensors on the handles. For moderate running on the treadmill, your target heart rate should be between 50 percent and 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. If you are 20 years old, your max heart rate is around 200, so you would want to work out at an intensity level that keeps your heart rate between 100 and 140.


You should strive for 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity, such as moderate-intensity running on a treadmill, five days per week. At a moderate pace, you could typically carry on a somewhat choppy conversation, but you couldn't sing. If you can't carve out 30 minutes at once, the American Heart Association reports that you can still benefit from doing a few shorter -- 10- to 15-minute -- sessions in a day, as long as it adds up to 150 minutes per week.


Use options to make your runs fun and challenging.

It can get boring to just set the treadmill to a single pace and jog at moderate intensity for 30 minutes. Many of today's treadmills have programmed options for intervals and hills, ranging from rigid time intervals to random, cross-country style course selections. As long as you average within the zone of your target heart rate, it's OK to spice up your routine and run at a higher or lower intensity for periods of time.


You should be physically fit enough to work out before attempting any exercise on a treadmill. Most treadmills have a variety of buttons and settings, such as speed and incline, that you can adjust to your own comfort and fitness level. The heart rate sensors on the handles are a handy tool for ensuring that you are maintaining a moderate pace, though if you are new to working out you should consider starting off below your target heart rate and working up to it over time.

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