Hi on this beautiful sunny morning! It is such a perfect weather to be out in the open. Post the Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations it is imperative that I like most of us, need to get out and do our bit for our health and fitness. I have gained marginally over the last month and I should see myself get back in shape. Treadmills are a great way to do this. Yes, they serve both cardiovascular fitness and fat loss goals beautifully. So, if the weather is intolerably cold or you have snow in your part of the country, a home or gym treadmill is a perfect treat for yourself post-partying.
Here’s 10 ways you can lose weight using a treadmill:
1. Brisk walk at 0% incline: Treadmill should not be synonymous with jogging and running only. It is a great equipment for easy or brisk walking. If you are new to treadmills or if you are not sure or easy with balance, you can walk briskly on a flat belt (0% incline). Find the speed you are easy with for a brisk walk. A setting of 6.8 kmph should be good for this purpose. Start slow, ramp up and then cool down (at lower speeds). Do this for 30 – 55 minutes, 4-5 times a week.
2. Walk on inclined belts (Trail Hiking): For those of us who are confident with body balance, you may try the more challenging trail hiking. As usual start slow for 3-5 minutes at 0% incline, then raise the incline to 0.5 or 0.7% for 5 minutes, raise the incline every 10 minutes by 1 – 2% but go no further than 6%. Cool down for 5-7 minutes at 0% incline. Do this 3-5 times a week for 30 minutes each session. You may vary belt inclination and timing at an incline level as per your body signal and comfort level.
3. Walk Backwards: This is also known as Retro walking and has gained popularity in the last couple of years. It is especially beneficial for those of us looking at . It is easy and just requires getting used to. Start very slow. After you are mentally comfortable with this backward flow, you may increase the speed a bit. At these speeds, you will feel different lower leg muscles engage and get a workout. You may hold on to the support rails if you are new but this is not a preferred option. It is safe to retro walk at speeds close to 6 kmph on or on an inclination. Take care not to slump forward as this will injure your back and limit your routine to 30 minutes. You are safe to do this 4-5 times a week.
4. Jogging: This is my pet activity on the treadmill. If you have an iShuffle or an MP3 on yourself and wireless earphones, this is a great way to let go of stress. Be tuned to your body signals though. If you experience discomfort in your shins, back, heart or breathing or anywhere else, STOP. Get the gym instructors attention or see your doctor. Always remember to warm up – start slow at 6.0-6-4 kmph for 5 minutes, then ramp up to anything between 6.8 kmph to 7.5 kmph as per your comfort. Spend 5 minutes on cooling down at initial speeds. You may jog for 30 minutes to an hour for 3-5 days a week.
5. Running: This also provides a great combination for cardio and weight loss exercise. It takes the same pattern as jogging with a warm up, ramp -up and cool down. However, the ramp up speeds are higher. You may reach up to 9 or 10 kmph but it may be difficult to keep at those for longer. Therefore, you could run at higher speed for a 2-3 minutes and then fall back to 7 kmph speeds for 5-7 minutes, then speed up again. Again, 30 to 40 minutes 3-5 times a week is good to lose weight.
6. Vary timing within speed loops: Suppose your usual pattern on the treadmill is 5 minutes at 6.4 kmph and 10 minutes at 6.8 kmph, 10 minutes at 7.6 kmph and the last 5 at 6.4 kmph, see if you can play with time within speed loops. Stay at 6.8 kmph for 5 minutes and at 7.6 kmph for 15 or 20 minutes or do a whole session at 7 kmph. Varying the routine is fun!
7. Start with a walk, do other equipments, jog, do other activities, run: Switch between equipments if you are at the gym or activities if you are at home. Jog/run for 10 minutes on the treadmill, bike for 5 minutes, do weight stations for another 10 and hit the treadmill again for the last 10 or 20 minutes.
8. Interval training on treadmill: You may warm up for the initial 5 minutes at 0 % incline at 6 kmph, then do a 6% incline for 1 minute at the same speed. Ramp down again to 1% incline, same speed for 2 minutes. You can following this routine for the entire duration of your workout or vary speeds and belt inclinations together. See your comfort level. Recommend 30 minutes 4-5 days a week.
9. Vary between Zones: You may also choose to work at different target heart rate zones. Stay at 60-70% of THR for 10 minutes, then increase it to 70-80% for 5-10 minutes and then go back to 60-70% of THR for the last 10 minutes. This is a great fat burner exercise on the treadmill.
10. Use programs: Most treadmills come with built-in programs such as Quick Start, Cardio, Fat Burn, Calorie Burn, Random, Hill, 5K, 10K, Bolder Boulder etc. You may try a different one every session to keep losing weight from being a chore. Most of these can be done for 30-60 minutes 3-5 times a week.