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Use your treadmill settings to maximize the fat loss in your workout.
The treadmill is a great tool to get the exercise you need to stay healthy without having to worry about the weather outside, and you can also use it to burn calories and lose weight. While running and other types of vigorous exercise help burn fat, so does walking on the treadmill if done correctly and for enough time. If you're ready to burn fat, get ready to walk briskly on your treadmill, at an incline, to get the exercise you need to stay fit and trim.
Boost Your Heart Rate
To burn fat, you'll need to get your heart pumping. Ideally, you want to get to at least 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate during the majority of your workout, recommends the American Heart Association. This is considered the best way to burn fat.
Calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. For example, if you're 30 years old, subtract that from 220 to get 190, which is your maximum heart rate per minute - so you'd want to keep your heart rate between 95 and 133 beats per minute. Monitor your heart rate while walking on the treadmill, increasing your rate of speed slowly until you achieve your ideal heart rate. Try to maintain this rate for 10 minutes before gradually reducing your speed. Over time, you want to work up to 30 to 60 minutes of walking at your ideal heart rate.
Count the Calories
When you walk on the treadmill at a faster rate, you'll burn more calories. For example, the average 155-pound person will burn 149 calories walking 3.5 miles per hour in a 30-minute period, according to Harvard Medical School. Walking 4 miles per hour, that increases to 167 calories, and walking 4.5 miles per hour gets you up to 186 calories burned in 30 minutes. Slowly increasing the rate that your treadmill is moving will help you increase your calorie burn, but walking for longer periods of time at a lower rate will also help you burn more calories. It's up to you, depending on your time constraints.
Walk on an Incline
Walking on an incline can actually burn more calories than walking on a flat surface, according to a study published in the May 2014 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Another study, published in the September 2015 edition of PLoS One, found that walking on an incline can make your workouts more vigorous and intense.
To make your workout on the treadmill more effective, set your incline to 1 percent to start, and work your way up to around 5 percent over time. To get used to walking on an incline, which strengthens different muscles than the ones you use walking on a flat surface, you may need to walk at a slower pace at first. Try working your way up to walking at the same speed you had previously been walking, only with an incline, before increasing your incline.
Mix Things Up
For an ideal fat-burning walking workout, it's best to mix up the speed and incline on the treadmill. Start out walking slowly to warm yourself up for about 5 minutes before increasing your speed to a brisk walk for 5 minutes; then go back to a slower walk for 5 minutes, followed by a brisk walk at an incline for 5 minutes. Repeat this pattern for up to 60 minutes. Working out for short periods of time at different speeds keeps your heart rate going and increases your calorie burn more than walking at the same pace for a set period of time.
Invest the Time
To maintain your weight, you'll need to walk on a treadmill at a moderate pace of 3.5 miles per hour for no less than 150 minutes per week. Or you can walk at vigorous pace of 4.5 miles per hour for 75 minutes per week.
To lose weight, you'll need to walk for a longer amount of time at either pace. For this reason, a daily treadmill workout of 30 minutes per day would give you 210 minutes of exercise per week, enough to start burning off excess fat.