Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

Incorporating A Treadmill Into Your Workout

Wednesday, June 23rd

Incorporating a Treadmill into Your Workout

We all know we need to do it, but finding time and keeping ourselves motivated to exercise can be an entirely different thing.

Only 62 percent of all U.S. adults get adequate exercise on a weekly basis to maintain a healthy body. Adequate exercise is defined as 30 minutes of moderate exercise, at least five times a week. Of that 62 percent, the majority were not meeting exercise guidelines. Seven out of 10 adults do not engage in any kind of exercise, increasing their risk for health issues such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes.

If you are among the 38 percent who meet exercise guidelines, or are hoping to get in better shape and improve your exercise habits, a treadmill is a great way to accomplish your goal. Whether you work out at a fitness center or in the comfort of your own home, incorporating a treadmill into your workout can produce health benefits.

Before we discuss how to effectively use a treadmill during your workout, let's talk about the benefits and drawbacks to using one.

Treadmills are designed to provide compression-type exercise. What that means is that you are helping to make your bones and muscles stronger through a high-impact exercise. The impact felt when using a treadmill helps to keep bones strong and prevent the onset of osteoporosis. The downside to having a high-impact workout is that it may not be best for people who have joint, hip or knee pain. For those people, using a treadmill can aggravate your condition and should be avoided in favor of another piece of equipment, such as a recumbent bicycle or an elliptical trainer. Those pieces of equipment provide low-impact cardiovascular exercise, which is easier on the joints.

Now let's discuss some tips for getting the most out of your treadmill workout:

  • Use an incline. All treadmills have the option of increasing the grade at which you walk, otherwise known as an incline. If you are not using at least a setting of 1 on the incline option, then you are not getting the best workout possible. Increasing the incline forces your muscles to work harder, which in turn, burns more calories. Not only will you burn more calories with increased incline levels, but you also will build the muscle in your legs.
  • Go the distance. Many treadmills have fat burning and cardiovascular charts on them. Ignore them. Not only can they be deceptive, but studies have shown that walking or running for longer distances is the best way to burn calories and keep weight off.
  • Ignore the numbers. Most treadmills have indicators that will show you how many miles you've walked, as well as how many calories you've burned. While the mileage estimates are likely accurate, the calorie indicator probably is not. Exercisers should keep in mind that most treadmill settings are based on a 140 pound woman or a 180 pound man. If you do not fit into one of those categories, the readings it provides may not be entirely accurate for you.
  • Train in intervals. If you are new to exercising, it is wise to build up your stamina at a slow, steady pace. However, if you've been exercising for awhile or are ready to increase the intensity of your workout to prevent a plateau, interval training is the best way to accomplish that goal. During your workout, vary the speed at which you are walking/running, as well as the incline. Do this every couple of minutes for the entirety of the workout and you will see fabulous results.

These are just a few of the key elements of providing yourself with a rewarding workout on a treadmill that will not only leave you fitter, but also ensure that you will not become bored with your workouts.

The Best Treadmills Compare Treadmills Compare Treadmill Reviews What are the best Treadmills Best Treadmill Reviews

Treadmill FAQ

As one of the most commonly-used pieces of gym equipment, treadmills are usually the first machine people think of when setting up a workout space at home. Whatever your level of fitness, a treadmill can help you make progress: from low-intensity walking to running intervals on an incline, the possibilities are endless (and they don't depend on the weather!)
It depends on the model you choose. Some machines allow you to fold the tread surface up towards the console, similar to a Murphy bed. But, with the higher-end machines that come with plenty of features like live-coached workouts or sky-high incline capabilities, you're likely to need a reasonable amount of floor space. Check the dimensions of any treadmills you're considering and compare them against the places you're thinking of keeping your machine.
You might be surprised to learn that you can get a basic treadmill for under $600. On the other end of the spectrum, you'll see prices in the $9,000 and up range for models exactly like what you'd use at a fitness center or gym. Fortunately, there are plenty of mid-range options that give you good features, top-notch tech and durability without breaking your budget.
Yes. Coverage varies, and most manufacturers have different timeframes of warranty protection for the frame, electronics, and any labor costs. You may also be able to add an extended warranty and/or maintenance plan, to keep your treadmill in good shape for longer.
How does "free" sound? Many retailers of treadmills give you no-cost delivery. Just be aware that if you return your treadmill, you're likely to be on the hook for the shipment costs to get it back to the store (and your refund may have their original shipping costs deducted from it!).
Check the retailer's policies. Many offer return periods of 30-60 days, but some provide none at all. You may have to pay restocking fees of up to 25% too, in addition to the return shipping costs (which could get expensive on such a heavy piece of equipment).
Yes, though not all retailers offer it as an add-on service with your treadmill purchase. Look for that option during the checkout process. Otherwise, the company might be able to recommend an installer in your area. If all else fails, it might be worth it to call a fitness center or sporting goods store near you to get the name of a professional they trust.
There's no better way to get the world's widest selection of treadmills - at the best prices. Shopping online makes it easy and even fun to check out all of the latest features and see what customers say about the machines once they're in home use. And, there's no need to rent a truck or try to fit your treadmill in the back of your car with so many retailers offering free delivery right to your doorstep.
See the Best Treadmill
The Best Reviews of Treadmills