Treadmill Walking Weight Loss Workout Plan

woman on treadmill

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In This Article

Treadmill walking is a great way to burn extra calories each day to help you lose weight. Aim to burn 300 extra calories per day with cardio exercise such as brisk walking. This is about 60 minutes per day of moderately-intense exercise, in addition to controlling the number of calories you are eating.

Tips for Treadmill Weight Loss

Throughout this program you will challenge your body by changing the workout throughout the week with harder days alternating with easier days. You can modify this schedule to fit your own lifestyle. You can add in rest days as needed, but it is best not to have more than one rest day in a row.

If you can't schedule enough time on the treadmill, you have a few options to reach your calorie-burn goal.

  • High-intensity training
  • Longer-duration, moderate-intensity
  • Short-duration, vigorous-intensity workouts

Studies have shown that both longer-duration, moderate-intensity workouts and shorter-duration, vigorous-intensity workouts are effective for fat loss. But research also suggests that high-intensity training is more time efficient.

So, if you don't have a 60-minute block of time to work out, you can choose a high-intensity workout for about 15–20 minutes or add time to your moderate-intensity workouts by supplementing with one or two extra 15-minute walks (on or off the treadmill) throughout the day.

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Watch Now: How to Get The Best Treadmill Workout

Week 1

Use this schedule as a basic model for your workout plan, but modify as needed according to your schedule.

Moderate Intensity Walking Workout

Start the week right with 60 minutes of a moderate-intensity workout. You can burn up to 300 or 400 calories depending on your speed and weight. You can break this workout into two sessions of 30 minutes if you can't set aside a continuous hour.

After warming up for 10 minutes at an easy to moderate pace, increase your pace to a brisk walk that brings your heart rate up to 60%–70% of your maximum heart rate. Use a heart rate calculator to get your target numbers if you don't know them.

Many treadmills have a grip pulse detector or heart rate monitor that can help you track your heart rate and exertion. An RPE scale—or rating of perceived exertion—can also be an effective method of monitoring workout intensity and it requires no equipment.

To use the scale, simply choose a number between 6–20 that correlates to your workload with 6 indicating that your body is at complete rest and 20 indicating that you are working a maximum intensity (i.e., not sustainable for longer than a few seconds).

Easy Health Walk

You put in a great effort on Monday, so today you will take a 30-minute walk at an easier pace for your cardio exercise. Aim for a heart rate of 50% to 60% of maximum or an RPE rating of 11–12.

Use this workout to concentrate on your walking posture and technique. This will help you speed up in your more vigorous workouts.

Follow up your treadmill session by doing an upper body workout with dumbbells or exercise bands.

Treadmill Hill Workout

You can burn more calories per minute when using the incline feature of your treadmill. If your treadmill has pre-programmed hill workouts, choose one to use today. You can choose a steady climb or hill intervals.

Because you will be working harder, aim for 45 minutes and get in at least 30 minutes of hill work, with your heart rate in the moderate- to vigorous-intensity zone of 70%—85% of your maximum heart rate.

If you are using the RPE scale, it should feel like you are working at a 14–16 range or moderate to hard.

Moderate Health Walk

Walk for 30 minutes at a moderate pace. You should feel like you are working, but not working very hard. On the RPE scale, you might choose a 12–14. The workout intensity should feel sustainable. You want to be sure to keep this workout in the moderate range to preserve energy for Friday's more intense workout.

After today's workout challenge yourself with some core work at the end. No equipment is required. Simply choose 2–3 of your favorite ab exercises, such as:

  • Ab curls
  • Plank
  • Standing abdominal exercises

Speed Intervals Workout

Most treadmills come with pre-programmed speed interval workouts. Intervals are short segments where you walk or run at a challenging pace, then slow down for a longer segment to catch your breath before speeding up. For example, you might speed up for 30–60 seconds, then recover for up to two minutes.

Choose one of the pre-programmed workouts or make up your own. If you are comfortable jogging, you can alternate jogging for your speed interval and walking for the recovery interval. If your treadmill doesn't have a speed interval program, vary the pace yourself by manually increasing and decreasing speed.

Aim for a duration of 30–45 minutes for the total workout, with about 20–30 minutes of intervals.

On the speed segments, you should feel like you are working hard to very hard (15–18 on the RPE scale) or about 80%–90% of your maximum heart rate. Keep the recovery segments active but relatively easy (10–12 on the RPE scale).

Distance Workout

Aim for an hour or more of walking at a comfortable pace. This is a great opportunity to take your walk outdoors for the day and walk in a park, along a greenway, shopping, or exploring. Track your steps and distance with your smartphone or activity tracker so you can balance how many activity calories you are burning with any weekend diet splurges that may be planned.

If you choose to walk indoors on the treadmill, consider listening to a podcast or stream your favorite show to pass the time. Some treadmills have a screen built in so that you can watch your favorite show. You may also be able to use a tablet or smartphone to watch your program.

Active Fun and Stretching

Put your walking legs to work just enjoying an active day with friends and family. Use a warm-up stretching routine to loosen up. Research other physical activities, such as bicycling or swimming, which will exercise different muscle groups from walking. The goal today is finding joy in moving and being alive.

Week 2

Repeat the treadmill workout week pattern. Explore the different pre-programmed workouts on your treadmill for variety on the hill workout day and the speed interval day.

If you haven't been walking regularly for fitness, you may need to start off with shorter treadmill sessions and build up your time each day. Reach your time or calorie goal by adding 15-minute walks throughout the day as needed.

To lose weight with exercise, you also need to control the amount that you eat. Start a sensible diet and use a food diary so you can be honest with yourself about your calories eaten.

If you burn 300 extra calories per day with exercise and you reduce your calorie intake by 200 calories per day, you should achieve a 500-calorie-per-day deficit. By many estimates, this should result in a weight loss of about one pound per week, as long as you don't change your activity level or food intake in other ways.

Week 3

Modify the weekly schedule to fit into your lifestyle. Work on your walking posture and form, especially using tips on how to walk faster so you can burn more calories within the same workout session.

As you progress, you may improve your fitness and lose weight so that you'll need to use more speed and incline to raise your heart rate into the desired exertion zone.

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