Treadmills are one of the most popular pieces of equipment down at the fitness center and sales of home treadmills have gone through the roof in recent years.
But is this popularity justified and is it really possible to lose weight simply by walking on a treadmill for a few minutes each day?
In a nutshell, yes it is possible. But as always, there's a little more to it than just strolling along for a short while. See, although any amount of movement will help you to burn calories, you only start to see real results when you push yourself into a sweat!
So in order to get maximum results from your exercise routine, there's a few things you need to consider:
Increase Your Work Rate
To see massive benefits in the shortest time, you really need a treadmill fitted with a heart rate sensor. If your machine doesn't have one, it's ok to use a heart rate monitor watch.
If you make your workout too tough you will burn yourself out and put yourself at risk of injury. Do too little and your benefits will drop dramatically. So you need to keep your workout rate within a sweet spot and the best way to do this is to maintain your heart rate within your optimal training zone.
Boredom is the enemy of your good intentions. More people give up on their fitness goals through boredom than for any other reason. For this reason, many treadmill manufacturers have fitted entertainment systems into the treadmill console where you can plug in a CD player or ipod and exercise along to music or instructions from a personal trainer.
Higher end treadmills have built in video monitors so that you can work out as you watch TV or follow your favorite fitness instructor.
Vary Your Routine
Going hand in hand with the problem of boredom, if you stick to the same routine, over time it will lose its effectiveness. Again, the treadmill manufacturers have tried to combat this by including a whole range of built in workout routines.
Taking this concept a stage further, treadmill manufacturer Proform has developed a system that puts you in competition with a virtual competitor. This is as close as you can get to road running with a friend.
So to answer the question, yes you can lose weight using a treadmill. But like everything else, it takes perseverance, not to mention a little motivation and sprinkling of dedication.
To get the most benefit from each workout session, it pays to follow a few simple treadmill exercise tips