How to Use a Treadmill

Running on a treadmill is an incredibly efficient form of exercise, but it is often done improperly, hindering weight loss and fitness. Read this handy guide to maximize your results!


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    Find a convenient treadmill near you. Not everyone enjoys treadmills, or gets the results they want, so don't buy one until you are sure you want one, as they can be a large investment.
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    Decide why you are using a treadmill. Do you want to burn fat, strengthen your heart, muscles and lungs,or both?
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    Follow the instructions on the machine to start it. You can choose one of the preset exercises, or you can personalize your workout to your own liking. Manual model allows you to select your own choices of inclination and speed.
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    Set a realistic yet challenging time limit, and hold yourself to it.
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    To burn fat, jog at a moderate intensity; to improve your cardiovascular fitness and gain stamina, run at intervals between high intensity and a lower intensity. Quality is more important than quantity for cardiovascular fitness (basically it's more valuable to train harder for somewhat shorter periods of time).
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    To evaluate your progress, most modern treadmills also have Fitness Test options that measures your heart beat and other factors and provides you with a score.


  • Don't worry about what the person next to you is doing, and don't feel discouraged if everyone seems to be going faster than you. Everyone is at a different level of fitness and everyone has to start somewhere.
  • Listen to your favorite music or make a deal with yourself that you can only watch your favorite show (DVD box sets work great here) while you are on your treadmill.
  • Don't put the treadmill in "that dark back bedroom" that you hate to go into (or--if you must--clean it, paint it and let in some light...and a TV/stereo!).
  • To burn even more calories and get some variation in your routine, alter the incline settings every 2 minutes to go up 3%. For example 0:00=1%, 2:00=3% 4:00=6%, etc... Keep going until you get to around 12-15% and hold it until you feel ready to come back down. Then repeat the sequence coming down in percentage. Presto! Instant hill.
  • Don't do it everyday. You'll be sure to lose interest and it won't make working out a fun thing to do. Do it every other day or 3 times a week.
  • Try varying your exercise program (treadmills can get boring).


  • Make sure the treadmill is off or moving at a very slow speed before you step on.
  • Take it slow! Begin with easy exercises 3 times a week, and work your way up. If you try too hard you may strain a muscle or feel otherwise discouraged from "too much too soon".
  • Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.If you feel dizzy, lightheaded or out of breath while exercising, stop immediately.

Article Info

Categories: Cardio Exercises