Updated: Sep 18
Treadmills are the most popular piece of exercise equipment people buy, with an estimated 33% of all workout machines being a treadmill every single year; however, most people get on them for a few minutes a day and think that’s the most they can do with their treadmill. In actuality, treadmills are a versatile machine that can give anyone a powerful workout. Read on to learn how to begin your treadmill workouts and push them to the next level.
How to Begin
Fitscope curated a list of budget friendly machines (which one can find here) if someone is wondering where they can find a quality machine at an affordable price, but what should they do once they actually have the machine? First off, it’s important to make sure the soon-to-be treadmill user has the right gear, like a good pair of running shoes that provide adequate arch support and don’t rub against the foot or toes. Next, people need to take the time to determine both their fitness goals and their current fitness level. It’s okay to only be able to workout a few minutes at the beginning—stamina will come later. The top issue most people have when beginning a workout plan is starting with too much too early, resulting in burnout and possibly injury. Instead, beginners should take time to get to know their machine and workout for as long as they are physically comfortable with doing so. If something hurts or aches, the user should stop immediately; after all, the treadmill will always be there for another day. Before a workout, users should start with a brief warmup lasting between 5-10 minutes at around 3-4 mph (depending on fitness level and whether they’re going to power walk or run) and always stretch after their workout for about the same amount of time. Finally, beginners should remember to make their workout a fully-body workout when possible, pumping their arms and practicing correct form to get the best quality workout.
Power walking is an excellent workout for those who cannot or do not want to run. It’s easier on the joints than running and quickly strengthens muscles and bones. Users who power walk tend to burn almost as many calories as those who run, and as long as they’re keeping up with their workouts, the pounds will begin to melt away. There’s no ideal speed for powerwalking, but most users find it’s between 3.5-4.5 mph, depending on their stride length and current fitness level. When power walking, it’s important to remember that it’s supposed to be a full-body workout, so users should plan on pumping those arms and keeping up a fast-paced walking speed that’s just below jogging. As the user’s fitness levels increase, they may decide to increase the speed of the treadmill or adjust the incline to make their workouts more intense.
Just like power walking, running is an excellent workout and perfect for those looking to get the most out of their workout. While it can be slightly harder on joints initially, those who become avid runners put less pressure on their knees and ankles, and a 2016 study found that runner’s actually have less inflammatory chemicals in their joints than non-runners. Other benefits include increased cardiovascular health and decreased cancer risks. Again, like power walking, there’s no “ideal” running speed, with most people falling somewhere between 4-8 mph for their workouts. For those starting out, it’s important to remember that workout intensity is decreased when holding on to handrails because it makes the machine do more work than the body. Instead, runners should look to run as quickly (and comfortably) as possible without holding on to the handrails as well as making sure they have proper form throughout the workout.
Mix It Up
Power walking and running both have a plethora of benefits (including increased endurance), and it can be beneficial for people to mix up their workouts with a combination of both strategies to make their workouts as impactful as possible, even if they’re already an avid runner. Runners who power walk a couple times a week are less susceptible to injuries while power walkers who run can experience an increase in calorie burns and strengthen up their joints.
Make It Fun
One of the best things about working out on a treadmill is that the user can move the machine anywhere in their house. Many users find that music can help them power through their workouts as they focus on what their listening to rather than counting down the seconds until their workout is completed. In addition to music, many users can really increase their treadmill workout efficiency while still keeping it fun by following along with trainer videos like the ones available through Fitscope. These video workouts allow the user to receive proper instruction from the comfort of their own homes and Fitscope is proud to offer workouts for a variety of fitness levels.
Practice Proper Form
Finally, beginners should look to practice proper form, whether they’re power walking or running. Instead of mindlessly walking or running in the treadmill hunched over, users should have proper posture, pump their arms (it helps burn between 5-10% more calories versus keeping them stagnant), practice full foot motion from heel-to-toe to create a rolling effect and keep their side natural by following their body’s natural stride pattern versus taking steps that are too large or using an unnaturally long running stride. Proper form greatly reduces user’s chances of becoming injured as well as preventing burnout from over exertion.
Beginning a treadmill workout regimen is a fun and exciting time that will provide a plethora of health benefits, but why not take your workouts to the next level with Fitscope? Fitscope offers online studio classes for power walking, hiit running, and endurance runs as well as other workouts like yoga, ellipticals and spinning. Unlike other workout programs, Fitscope offers all of their workouts at one low monthly rate, so you can change what type of workout you’re doing every single day. Experience the difference that is Fitscope today.