When I was looking around to purchase a treadmill for myself, I intended to adopt a healthier lifestyle and perhaps lose the weight I gained over the last couple of years. So I researched the topic before I eventually bought one.

Here is what I found.

Can you lose weight using a treadmill?

Being an excellent cardio machine, using a treadmill regularly is a great way to lose weight and burn calories. You can either walk, run or use one of those pre-programmed exercises to lose weight.

Curious about how you can use a treadmill to help you lose weight? Continue scrolling as I expand on the topic.

How to Lose Weight Effectively Using a Treadmill

do treadmills help lose weight - Using a treadmill to support weight loss

1. Meeting the Target Heart Rate

Meeting the target heart rate is what you are after when exercising on a treadmill. When you meet your target heart rate in the fat-burning zone, your body will start using the fat stored in your body for energy instead of using basic sugars from your body. This results in fat loss, which in turn lead to losing weight.

Find Your Target Heart Rate

There are many target heart rate calculators you can find online. However, if you want to get the formula and make your own calculations, here it is:

Target heart rate is expressed in a percentage of between 50% to 85% of the maximum heart rate.

Maximum heart rate = 220 – (your age)

Example: I am 28 years old. So I subtract 28 from 220 and that will give me 192.

192 is my maximum heart rate.

To calculate my target heart rate, I would calculate:

50% x 192 = 96 beats per minute

85% x 192 = 163 beats per minute

Therefore, to lose weight, I would ideally do a session with moderate workout intensity so that my heart rate stays within the target heart rate bracket. 

If you are a beginner at exercising or you took a break from exercising, please work your way up gradually to avoid overexerting yourself. Do discuss with your physician before starting a new workout routine.

2. Adopt the 12-3-30 Treadmill Workout

The origin of this treadmill routine was made popular by Lauren Giraldo on TikTok, who lost 30 pounds (approx. 15kg). Many have since sworn by it as the routine is so easy yet effective.

All you need to do is to set the treadmill incline to 12, speed to 3 miles per hour (4.8km/h) and walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes.

This would be a good activity for those who want to ramp up their cardio exercise routine as it can be categorised as a vigorous activity for some. 

Being on an incline with that speed can make your heart work harder, which will also make it stronger.

3. 30 Minutes Beginners Treadmill Routine

There are different variations of a 30-minute beginner’s treadmill workout routine but this is one that I like to recommend because it is so easy to remember.

You can either walk for 1 to 2 minutes, followed by a light jog for 1 to 2 minutes. Keep repeating until you reach the 30-minute mark.

As you progress, you will be able to jog for longer and set a faster pace as you build your endurance.

Read this article for more beginner treadmill workout tips.

What Happens When You Use Treadmill Every Day

Weight loss journey to lose body fat

Lose Weight

Since the treadmill is such an amazing piece of fitness equipment, using it every day will make you lose weight. It is very effective as a cardio machine for burning calories and improving fitness.

Choose either a steady speed for 30 minutes to 40 minutes or work on a high-intensity interval training (HIIT workouts) for 20 minutes. You should be able to see some changes in your body within a few weeks.

Improved Endurance

When you have done a certain workout for some time, you will find that your body adapts and becomes stronger. 

Likewise, doing a cardio workout like walking and running on a treadmill helps make your heart stronger and have your muscles and body accustomed to the workout you do daily. 

What you will notice is that you are able to run for a longer distance or time without feeling as exhausted as when you first began the routine.

Having a More Efficient Runner’s Form

According to Runner’s World, people who run on a treadmill have reduced stride length and higher stride frequencies compared to people who run outdoors. 

Having smaller stride lengths and higher stride frequencies are what makes a more efficient running form. These are achieved by having a controlled environment using the treadmill.

When running outdoors, you are faced with different terrains, weather conditions and temperature changes. All of these have an impact on your stride, posture and muscle contraction, which may affect the stride length and frequency.

Other Equipment You Can Use Along With Treadmill

Treadmill workouts - does treadmill help lose weight

When you are ready to up your game with the treadmill or you are bored with just walking, jogging and running, you can attempt to level up the difficulty by using this equipment.

  • Ankle Weights

Ankle weights add weight to your body making your muscles work harder than it is used to. You will be able to expend more calories thus losing some weight, toning the legs, and increasing endurance.

However, wearing ankle weights on a treadmill may bring some risks. This is definitely not suitable for beginners. Ankle weights are also not recommended for brisk walking to prevent ankle joint and leg muscle strains.

Holding light dumbbells can help to incorporate strength training into your cardio routine. Just make sure they are not so heavy that they weigh down your shoulders, which can add to the risk of injury. 

Adding dumbbells to your treadmill routine is like doing a cross-training workout. Cross-training are great to prevent workout boredom while also training the core and arms.

  • Weighted Vest

Besides adding variations to your usual treadmill routine, a weighted vest can help improve posture and help with strength training. With the added weight distributed to your upper body, your core is sure to be engaged.

Just make sure you are not wearing a weighted vest that is too heavy for you or you may risk tripping and risk serious injury on an operating treadmill.

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1. How long should you work out on a treadmill to lose weight?

A moderate-intensity workout on a treadmill for 30-40 minutes should be sufficient to burn calories. Diets also play an important role when it comes to losing weight so just spending 30 minutes on the treadmill may not help much if your diet contains a lot of empty calories. Aim for more nutrition dense food.

2. How much weight can you lose in a month by using a treadmill?

Combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise using a treadmill, losing around 2kg in a month may be possible. Aim to lose around 0.5kg per week for a more realistic number.