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When most people hear the word “treadmill”, they associate it with running, but walking on a treadmill has amazing benefits and shouldn’t be overlooked. Walking can help improve your overall health, which includes your body both internally and externally, as well as your mind.
The all-or-nothing approach is common when it comes to getting in daily exercise. We are often wired to think that we must train super hard and for long periods to see results. Many people think that exercise only counts if we’re struggling to catch our breath and drenched in sweat by the end. The truth is, walking on a treadmill has great health benefits, is more widely available, and is a wonderful low-impact exercise that you can do every day.
According to the CDC, Americans need at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. This can be a brisk-paced walk for at least 10 minutes at a time.
A treadmill can make this goal even more achievable too. With compact treadmills that are smaller and require less space and budget-friendly treadmills like Horizon’s T101, there are lots of choices for you to choose from for your home.
Now that we know the minimum amount of aerobic exercise that we should be doing each week, I’m going to tell you about 10 amazing benefits of walking on a treadmill, so you can add it to your workout regime.
1. You can walk anytime
Walking inside on a treadmill lets you choose when you want to walk, especially if you have a treadmill at home. No matter what the weather is like outside, or what time of year it is, you can always get in a walk on a treadmill.
Check out our best treadmills list and find one that fits your needs so you can get walking anytime.
2. Keep your walks structured
You can control the pace and incline, as well as time spent walking on your treadmill. That goal of a minimum of 150 minutes of walking per week just got a little easier because you can keep track of your duration. Over time, you can even work on increasing your pace and incline.
When outside, it can be hard to find different routes that let you mix up your walks, but with a treadmill, you can change up your speed and incline levels.
3. Build muscle and burn calories
Along with working all of the muscles in the legs, you can engage your core while walking and strengthen those muscles as well as improve your posture.
The number of calories you burn will vary depending on things like how fast you walk and if you walk on an incline. Either way, you’ll burn more calories if you add in a walk, versus if you don’t.
4. Reduce your risk of certain diseases
Reduce your risk of certain diseases. Walking on a treadmill can help reduce the risk of health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cardiovascular disease.
According to the American Diabetes Association, physical exercise like walking has been shown to improve blood glucose control specifically in type 2 diabetes.
Something to keep in mind is that a brisk pace is encouraged when walking because a faster pace has been seen as a factor in how well walking reduces the risk of these diseases. So, try to up your mph when walking on the treadmill a little bit, if you can.
5. Boost your mood, ease stress, and feel better overall
If you’re having a bad day instead of reaching for sweet or salty snacks, try going for a walk.
Walking increases blood flow throughout your body, as well as your brain. During your brisk walk, your brain will release chemicals called endorphins that make you feel good. Your stress levels will go down and the increased blood flow to your brain can help you think more clearly as well.
6. Many treadmills come with built-in entertainment
Many treadmills come with built-in features that let you watch shows or follow along with a class.
Subscription workout programs like iFit have plenty of guided walks that can take you through several different parts of the world, virtually of course.
iFit content is integrated into treadmills from brands like NordicTrack and ProForm. Others come with preloaded apps like Netflix, and some include a screen mirroring feature like the F85 Treadmill from Sole Fitness. With screen mirroring you can mirror content from your phone or tablet onto the treadmill’s screen.
Most treadmills also include a reading rack so you can read a book/magazine or use a tablet while you walk. All in all, walking on a treadmill doesn’t have to be boring!
7. Build a more consistent workout routine
If you struggle to exercise regularly because you’re bored with your routine, or maybe burnt out, adding in walks on your treadmill could help.
It’s important to vary the intensity of your workouts that way your regime won’t feel stale, and you can reduce your risk of injury. If you always exercise really hard, you’re likelihood of getting burnt out and even hurting yourself increases. Stay on track with getting regular physical activity by adding some walking into your schedule.
8. Improve your bone health, balance, and lessen joint pain
Regularly walking on a treadmill will improve your balance over time. With improved balance, you’re less likely to fall and hurt yourself, and you’ll keep your bones strong and healthy.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, exercise is an important way to treat osteoarthritis. Walking is a great option because it is low-impact and won’t put any added strain on your joints. Walking will actually ease stiffness and allow the joints to get relubricated.
This can be especially good for older individuals who need to focus on getting exercise and moving. Check out our list of best treadmills for seniors to find out top recommendations.
9. Get similar benefits to running
Yes, running is more intense than walking, and it burns more calories, but walking and running share a lot of the same benefits. Running can also give you a lot of the benefits that I’ve mentioned.
So, if you’re unable to run, know that you’re getting a lot of the same benefits that you would see from running too. This is especially true if you walk faster and for longer periods.
10. Improve your overall health
Your cardiovascular system, metabolism, digestion, and immune system all benefit from regular aerobic exercise, like walking.
With an improved cardiovascular system, your heart will be stronger and healthier. If you increase your metabolism, you’re more likely to have more energy and lose weight if that is a goal of yours.
By improving your immune system, you’re likely to help avoid getting sick, and physical activity is great to help aid digestion.
As you can see, walking comes with plenty of benefits. While I’ve only listed 10, there are definitely more. So, what are you waiting for?
I challenge you to set aside just a half-hour a day (or 15 minutes 2 times a day) to spend walking on your treadmill 5 days a week. If that’s not enough of a challenge for you, try walking for a longer duration or pick up your speed, if you can. Maybe even try to walk every day.
Add this into your workout routine, or if you’ve fallen off the fitness wagon use this as a way to get back into it. It’s never too late to get walking!