The Best Treadmill Workouts for Beginners: A Complete Guide

The Best Treadmill Workouts for Beginners: A Complete Guide

Having treadmills at home can motivate you to do your exercise routine regularly. When you start, make sure to be consistent to achieve your desired body shape and a healthier body.

If it’s your first time using a treadmill, this post from Fitness Expo will help you find the best beginner workout to make the most of your exercise equipment.

Here are some workouts that are perfect for beginners. 

Walking Workouts

There is no need to immediately jump into a sprinting routine on your treadmill.

If it’s your first time exercising or you haven’t done it in a while, you need to slowly ease your way into any workout. The easiest way to do that is to start walking on your treadmill. 

  • Start with a 5-minute warm-up at a comfortable pace.
  • Then, increase the speed slightly for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Cool down for 5 minutes by reducing the speed back to your warm-up pace.

Interval Training

Interval training mixes high-intensity bursts with recovery periods. It boosts metabolism and burns more calories than steady-state workouts.

  • Begin with a 5-minute warm-up at a gentle pace.
  • Alternate between 1 minute of brisk walking and 2 minutes of slower walking for recovery.
  • Repeat this cycle for 15-20 minutes, then cool down for 5 minutes.

Incline Challenge

Incorporating inclines into your treadmill workouts intensifies the session without increasing speed. It targets different muscle groups and boosts calorie burn.

  • Gradually increase the incline every 2 minutes while maintaining a constant speed.
  • Aim for a moderate incline that challenges you but is not too steep to maintain for 1-2 minutes before lowering it again.
  • Continue this pattern throughout your workout, finishing with a flat surface cool-down.

Recovery Walks

Workouts may be good but once you do intense workouts, you need to recover too. Recovery walks are important after intense workouts or on rest days. They help muscles heal, prevent stiffness, and make you ready for more challenging workouts ahead.

  • Set the treadmill to a low speed that allows for comfortable pacing without causing exertion.
  • Walk for 20-30 minutes, focusing on relaxed breathing and movement.

Running Workouts

  • Start with shorter durations, such as 10 to 15 minutes, and gradually increase the time as your endurance improves.
  • Aim for a pace where you can maintain a conversation without gasping for air. This balance ensures you’re pushing yourself within safe limits.

Hill Workouts

Hill workouts introduce incline variations to your running sessions, which significantly boost leg strength and endurance. They also mimic outdoor running conditions, making them ideal for treadmill users looking for a more dynamic exercise experience.

  • Begin with a moderate incline setting (around 2-4%) and run at a steady pace for 1-2 minutes before returning to a flat surface for recovery.
  • Gradually increase both the incline and duration of each hill segment as your fitness level advances.

The Benefits of Treadmill Workouts

Here are some of the most significant advantages of incorporating treadmill exercises into your routine:

Heart Health

Treadmill workouts are fantastic for cardiovascular health. Regular use can help to reduce blood pressure, improve heart rate, and boost overall cardiovascular fitness. Walking or running on a treadmill puts less stress on the heart compared to other vigorous physical activities.

Weight Management

Engaging in treadmill exercises is highly effective for burning calories, which is important for weight loss and management. Depending on the intensity of the workout, you can burn a significant amount of calories in a short period of time, aiding in quicker weight loss goals.

Muscle Toning

Running or walking on a treadmill helps to tone and strengthen the muscles in your legs, including calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Additionally, if you use the incline feature on a treadmill, you can simulate hill workouts, which are great for strengthening the glutes and enhancing lower body strength.

Mental Health Benefits

Exercise, including treadmill workouts, can release endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. Regular aerobic exercise can also reduce overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, and improve sleep and self-esteem.

Safety and Convenience

Using a treadmill allows you to work out in a controlled environment where you can manage the pace and incline. You don’t have to worry about inclement weather, unsafe terrain, or poor lighting that might hinder outdoor workouts. This makes it easier to maintain a consistent workout regimen.

Flexibility of Workouts

Treadmills are versatile pieces of exercise equipment on which you can do a variety of workouts like interval training, endurance training, and fat-burning runs. You can easily customize your workout session to vary your intensity or aim for specific training goals.

Tracking Progress

Modern treadmills come equipped with digital monitors that track your progress, displaying vital statistics such as time, distance, calories burned, and heart rate. This data can be very motivating and can help you set and achieve realistic fitness goals.

Joint Health

Treadmills are designed with a smooth, predictable surface, which is much easier on the joints compared to running on uneven outdoor surfaces. This reduces the risk of impact injuries and is beneficial for those with joint issues or who are in rehabilitation.

What’s a Good Speed and Incline for Beginners?

woman helping other with treadmillFor those new to treadmills, start slow. A good initial speed is between 1.5 and 2.5 mph. This pace allows beginners to get accustomed to the movement of the treadmill without overwhelming them. Walk at this speed for about 5–10 minutes as a warm-up before increasing the intensity.

Warm-ups help the body be in good condition for the treadmill. 3 to 4 mph is a comfortable walking speed and won’t cause gasping of air. This speed is considered moderate exercise, but it is still effective.

Incorporating an incline into the treadmill workout adds another layer of challenge and benefits. Starting with a low incline of 1% to 2% mimics outdoor walking conditions and helps engage more muscle groups than walking on a flat surface does.

Over time, as endurance and strength improve, the incline can be increased in small increments.

Here are some tips for adjusting speed and incline effectively:

  • Don’t force your body to accelerate immediately; follow what your body says. If it needs to start low, then do so.
  • Incrementally increase your speed or incline by small amounts (0.5 mph or 1%) every week or two.
  • Don’t rely on holding on to handrails; they are there for safety but don’t rely on them all the time, as it can decrease the effectiveness of your workout.

To make your workout more effective, contact us at Fitness Expo so we can guide you on the right treadmill and also give advice on how you can maintain your equipment. Getting fit not only focuses on the body but also on overall well-being, so start your workout now and see a better version of yourself.