A treadmill is truly an ingenious invention, isn't it? A machine designed to make people walk! It would seem that walking has become a rarity in the wake of cars and motorcycles increasingly used for the shortest journeys, that man had to invent another mechanically powered device that would make people walk! But a treadmill is more than that.
It just takes a change in perception to see what the treadmill is. More than just a mechanical device, it is also a motivator and a trainer. It ensures that you walk the whole amount of time that you've punched in and that too, at a preset pace. It basically makes sure that you exercise.
Think of it as a non-human personal trainer! Can anything else make you walk briskly for up to an hour? Can land elevate itself at your command? The answer to both these questions is 'no'. And that's where a treadmill comes in. It comes with a range of functions which helps you lose weight.
Walking, jogging, and running are all cardiovascular exercises. What cardiovascular exercises do is, they ensure movement of the largest muscle groups of the body; the legs.
When you move this muscle group at a fast pace, it creates an activity, which burns a lot of calories. Hence, cardiovascular exercises are looked upon favorably as great tools for ensuring weight loss. The most commonly done cardio exercises are the treadmill and the exercise bike workouts.
First, you should decide whether you want to do a few minutes of cardio workout every day or dedicate up to 2 days a week solely for it. If you are a beginner to this form of exercise, it may not be a good idea to have a full workout around the treadmill, as it may tire you out. It would be better to do about 15-20 minutes of cardio every day, as a beginner.
Treadmill Workout Routine
The first and most obvious thing that comes to mind when one says treadmill, is walking exercise. You can set a pace, which you feel comfortable walking for up to 20 minutes. You could start with a speed of 5 km/hr, and if you feel that the pace is too slow for you, you could yank it up to 6.5 km/hr.
Walking is a simple exercise for you, and it is better you start your workout with this, if you have never played any sports. It is also a good warm-up exercise.
If you have played sports before and feel fit enough to run for a while, you could skip the walking and start your treadmill workout with a light jog. Begin with a brisk jog at 10 km/hr. And depending on whether you are comfortable or not, you can increase or decrease the speed of the treadmill.
Ideally, you should maintain a steady pace throughout, so select a speed, which you are comfortable with, before beginning the workout. Don't overdo it, as it may cause injury. Reduce the speed for the last 4-5 minutes so that you can cool down.
Using the Incline
To increase the intensity of the workout, the treadmill offers the incline function. When you use the incline, the treadmill automatically lifts itself up and gives you the feeling of walking uphill.
Walking uphill is obviously tougher than walking on a flat surface hence it burns more calories too! Hence, you can use an incline of 2-3 levels, on a scale of 8 levels of incline. Do not go beyond that, as there are chances that you may not be able to adjust with the speed of the treadmill.
A treadmill also comes with an interval workout. An interval workout is a preset function, which does all the changes in the incline, and leaves you to adjust the speed. The interval workout intermediately increases the incline of the treadmill to give you a more challenging workout.
Treadmill exercises are great for losing weight, and should always be done in tandem with bodybuilding exercises.