How Fast Should You Walk on a Treadmill?


How Fast Should You Walk on a Treadmill

If you are walking to improve your fitness levels or to lose weight, you have to walk fast enough to achieve a fat-burning pace. Anything less than that won’t qualify as an exercise. The pace of walking is different for each person and is based on factors like age, heart health, level of fitness and previous exercise history.

How Fast Should You Walk on a Treadmill?

In order to achieve good results by walking on a treadmill, you should warm up at the speed of 2.5 mph to 3.0 mph and then slowly build the momentum. You can go upto the speed of 5 mph, which is termed as a fast walk. Beyond that speed, your walk will automatically convert into a run. So, you can walk between 3 mph to 5 mph on a treadmill to have a good workout.

How to Walk on a Treadmill for Best Results?

Treadmill walking is done differently for different goals. Here are some of the most popular treadmill walking workouts. You can try all of these one by one and then stick to the workout regimen that you are most comfortable with. You can also juggle between different workouts by alternating between 2-3 different formats.

  1. Steady Pace and Incline Treadmill Workout

This plan gives you a moderate to intense level of workout. To start, set the incline and speed enough to exercise your heart to a moderate level. Keep the incline and steady throughout the workout. Raise the incline by one percent every week.

  1. Steady Pace and Changing Incline Treadmill Workout

In this plan, you have to keep your pace, or speed of walking steady while changing the incline of the treadmill every 2-5 minutes. Start at a lower incline, shift it to a higher incline, then come back to a lower incline, then back again. Do this for 30 minutes while keeping your pace constant.

  1. High Incline and Varying Speed Treadmill Workout

Choose a higher incline and then keep it the same throughout the workout. Start walking at a slower pace like 2 mph then go up to 4 mph and then come down again. Vary your speed after every 2-5 minutes and continue walking for 30 minutes.

  1. High Intensity Interval Treadmill Workout

This workout is for those who have been walking/training on a treadmill for a few months. This plan involves fast paced walking at a high inclination. Time your walking to 15-30 seconds then come back to a slower pace to recover for 1-2 minutes.

  1. Backward Walking Treadmill Workout

This workout comes into picture after you have mastered walking on the treadmill. In this workout, you will walk backwards on the treadmill at a medium pace. Doing so helps strengthen thigh muscles and improves co-ordination and balance. Please remember that this workout is not for the beginners.

Is Walking Better Than Running?

Walking and running are two different forms of exercising in terms of strategy, goal and pace. Most people believe that running produces better results than walking. This is not true. As already mentioned, both walking and running are different and can produce different results depending on what you are trying to achieve and your current fitness level. Walking has been proven to be effective in burning calories and reducing weight if you do it right.

According to experts, it may also be easier to stick to a walking plan instead of a running agenda. If you are starting out, you should choose walking, first slowly and then at a brisk pace. This does not mean you cannot run but it is not advised to start running on day, 1 without preparation and training.

Which Devices can be Used to Measure Walking Speed?

There are a plenty of devices that you can use to measure your walking speed. Here is a quick list for your help.

  • Your Treadmill
  • Treadmills have now become smart. They come with a number of features and one of them is speed calculator. Your treadmill can tell you how fast you are going. If you have this option in your treadmill, you do not need any other device to measure your running speed.
  • Your Phone
  • Smartphones both Android and iOS can help you measure your walking speed. Simply find a good walking app in PlayStore and download it. Fiddle with the settings to sync your phone with your workout sessions and you are good to go. There plenty of apps available for both types of phones.
  • Your Watch
  • Smart phones are a great way of keeping track of the speed. You can easily find a smart watch that has GPS monitor and can tell you how fast you walked along with your pulse.
  • Your Armband

Fitness armbands are also a very popular method of counting calories, monitoring heart rate and measuring walking speed. Invest in a good model from an acclaimed brand for accurate results.

Does Walking Faster Burn More Calories?

Walking faster burns more calories but it also depends on your walking speed and the distance you cover. You will burn a greater number of calories by walking fast in a fixed amount of time but you have to ensure that you do not take too many breaks. Adding hills or running for short distances, in between walking can also help in burning more calories.

Which are the Common Treadmill Walking Mistakes to Avoid?

  • Do not get on a moving treadmill. Always stop it before you climb on it. Once you are ready, start the treadmill at a slow rate. This may seem like a boring advice but jumping on a moving treadmill can cause serious injuries. It is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Do not hold on to the equipment. Holding the handrail or the console results in a wrong walking/running posture. Hold onto the rails only if you have balance issues. If you are having trouble walking without support, talk to your instructor. He may be able to help you by adjusting your speed and inclination.
  • Do not over stride, which means do not take big steps. Take small steps and move faster rather than taking a smaller number of big steps.
  • Do not forget to use your arms. Keep your hands free and move them with your body to achieve the right walking posture. According to experts, a proper hand motion can help you walk faster and burn more calories.
  • Do not ignore the features of your treadmill. Options like incline, speed, heart rate monitor, programmed workouts, etc. can improve your walking pace as well as the result of your workout. Take time to understand all the features and customize your exercise accordingly.

Is it Important to Warm Up and Cool Down?

Warm up and Cool Down are two very essential aspects of a workout. Warm up means preparing the body for strenuous exercise. Cool down means gradually bringing the body to the resting state. With walking workouts, you should walk at a slow place, in a good posture for a few minutes before increasing your pace or inclination. You should also stretch your body before jumping on the treadmill.

At the end of your workout, cool down by slowly bringing down your walking pace over several minutes. The point is not to start or stop the workout abruptly. Without warm up you may injure yourself and you need to cool down so as to slowly bring back your heart rate to normal.

Walking on a treadmill is an effective workout butthere isn’t a fixed, prescribed speed for this workout. It is true that fast walking gives better results but again, your ideal speed depends on your body type and current health conditions. It is advisable to consult your doctor before you decide to do any form of treadmill workout. Also, always workout under the supervision of an experienced trainer.

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