Cardio treadmill exercise focuses on elevating your heart rate up to a certain level without overdoing it. A heart rate monitor is absolutely essential for monitoring your heart rate during your workout. Jogging on the treadmill at a speed/incline that makes you breathe hard without gasping for air while still being able to talk is a simple indicator that you are giving your heart a good workout.
As a beginner you shouldn't push your cardio treadmill exercise. Twenty minutes a day at a speed of 4-8 mph is plenty during the first 4 weeks, depending on your individual fitness level, of course. Don't forget to warm up and cool down for 10 minutes before and after your cardio walking session. Once you feel comfortable exercising for this time period, start adding another 10 minutes or so gradually during the next 4 weeks until you spend a total of one hour on the treadmill. To keep boredom at bay you can change the treadmill incline and vary the speed during your main running session, always keeping your target heart rate within range.
But what about burning some fat and losing weight? The good news is that treadmill users get more than a good cardio workout from treadmill running; it's also a great way for an effective fat burn. Research has shown that varying the intensity of your treadmill exercise and your corresponding heart rate increases the body's metabolism more than running at the same pace for a long period of time. So in order to burn fat efficiently you should vary the speed of your treadmill belt accordingly.
Treadmill interval running should alternate between running at either a slower or faster speed for anywhere from one to five minutes each. Here's how to start your interval training the right way:
Sprint Intervals – After the 10-minute warm-up period increase your walking speed to a moderate run for three to five minutes during which time you increase your speed to a fast walk or sprint at one-minute intervals. Keep changing your pace for a total of 30 minutes, followed by your 10-minute cool-down period. Every month, keep adding one minute to the sprint intervals until they reach 3 to 4 minutes each.
Incline Intervals – You can also vary the incline of your treadmill. Treadmills with push-button incline adjustment are ideal for these types of workouts. The focus is on varying the incline while running on the treadmill. After the 10-minute warm-up you continue walking for 5 minutes, then continue walking with the incline raised to 5° or 6° and continue for another 5 minutes.
With the incline raised, you may have to walk at a slower pace, but your total energy expenditure will be greater than walking on a flat surface. You can alternate your workouts by running at different elevation angles for 30 minutes plus an additional 10 minutes for the cool-down. Increase the incline slightly every 4 weeks so you won't reach your plateau. Interval workouts don't require spending longer periods of time on the treadmill as in sprint or cardio treadmill exercise.
Kevin Urban is the webmaster and chief editor at TreadmillTalk.com. The popular site provide independant treadmill reviews and advice on treadmill exercise. You can contribute to the site by submitting your own consumer treadmill review.
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