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Although people who use treadmills, either at home or in a gym, might have different fitness goals in mind, the universal purpose of this type of workout is to burn calories. Whether you choose to walk, run or include a bit of both during your treadmill workout, this exercise machine is one of the best ways to burn calories to help you lose weight or maintain your current physique.
Whether you choose to run or walk on the treadmill, you're receiving many of the same benefits as if you pursued either activity outdoors. The benefits of running and walking include increased cardiovascular health, stronger bones and muscles, the maintenance of an ideal weight and even a boost to your mood through the release of endorphins. Treadmill-specific benefits are mostly related to convenience; you don't have to run outdoors in excessively cold, hot or rainy weather and you can watch TV while you run.
A workout regimen that includes an aerobic exercise, such as running, will help you burn calories at a rapid rate, which is ideal if you want to lose fat. The number of calories people burn during any aerobic activity, include running on a treadmill, is tied to their weight and the length and speed of the exercise. A person who weighs 185 pounds and runs at a speed of 5 mph will burn 355 calories in 30 minutes; if the same person can run for 30 minutes at 6 mph, he'll burn 444 calories.
Running on a treadmill provides a slightly different feeling than traditional running, given that the belt beneath you is passing by, rather than remaining stationary. To get accustomed to using a treadmill, stand on the side rails and turn it on to a slow speed, and then step on the belt and begin walking. As you get comfortable with walking, begin increasing the treadmill's speed until you're walking or running at your desired level.
Running outdoors can occasionally be a lonely feeling, but using a treadmill provides plenty of features to keep you engaged. Treadmills have a variety of settings, and many allow you to adjust the incline in small increments to create a greater challenge. Treadmills commonly provide interval options, giving you the ability to customize a workout that includes periods of sprinting, jogging and walking, and many of the machines have designated handles to hold to measure your heart rate. You can also keep track of your distance, speed and the calories you've burned during your workout.