Treadmill1-201x300 Fitness for Weight Loss: Spicing Up Your Cardio

Make the most of your treadmill time for effective weight loss.

Let’s face it, cardio exercise can be very boring, especially in the winter season when a lot of us are forced to be inside during our weight loss efforts. So what do most of us do? We get comfortable walking at a nice easy pace on the treadmill while watching our favorite television program or reading a magazine.

There’s a problem with this. If you only have a half hour to do your cardio session in the gym, then you need to use that time wisely. If you’re able to read a book while doing cardio, then you are not getting the bang for your buck. With a half hour of cardio, you have the potential to burn 300-400 calories but if you’re walking at a nice slow pace, then you’re in the 100-200 calorie range…that’s a big difference. Over a month’s time, that can add up to a 7000 calorie difference, which is 2 pounds! May not sound like much, but over the course of a year, that adds up to 24 pounds. So, what I would like to do is take you out of that comfort zone and get you into that 300-400 calorie range.

Here are three, 30 minute routines that I give clients to use on the treadmill. These can also be done on an elliptical using the resistance level as an incline. You will burn extra calories and the time will pass a little faster.

You will be altering the INCLINE and SPEED settings on the treadmill for these 3 routines

Routine 1              Speed Intervals

The incline setting will remain at 0 for this, but the speed will be changing frequently.

A medium pace is a comfortable walking or jogging pace, but you should still be working.

A fast pace is a pace that should be relatively hard to maintain. The numbers will be different for everyone. If your medium pace is a 2.5mph walk, then try a 3.5 walk. If you are jogging at 6.0 for the medium pace, then try 7.5 for your fast pace.

3 minutes Warm-up (Moderate walking pace)
1 minute Fast
2 minutes Medium
*Run through this 3 minute interval 8-10 times total
3 minutes Cool Down (back to that moderate walking pace) =
30-36 minutes of cardio

Routine 2              The Long Hill

You will maintain the same speed throughout this workout but the incline level of the treadmill will change frequently.

Use the same pace that you would use for a medium level, like in the speed interval workout. If you were comfortable with a 5.0 jog, use that. If you were comfortable with a 3.5 walk, use that. It will get harder as the incline gets higher, so do not get too crazy with speed at the beginning.

2 minutes Warm-up, moderate walking pace on a flat treadmill
After 2 minutes raise the incline up 1-2%
Every 2 minutes, raise the incline up 1-2% until you have totaled 12 minutes on the treadmill
At 12 minutes, lower the incline 1-2% and repeat every 2 minutes until you have reached 20 minutes total
At 20 minutes, Raise the incline 1-3% and repeat every minute until you reach 25 minutes
At 25 minutes bring the incline down by 5-10%
At 27 minutes, bring the incline to 0 and cool down for 3 minutes by continuing a moderate walking pace.

*If you choose to add on time, 1-2 minutes can be added to each stage.

Routine 3              Hill Intervals

This routine is like the speed intervals, but uses hills instead. For this, the speed will stay the same and the incline level will be changing.  Find that comfortable pace that still forces you to work a little bit when the treadmill is set at flat. For some, this may be a speed walk at 3.5 mph. For others, this may be a jog at 6.0 mph and for the advanced, this may be 7.0-7.5 mph.

3 minutes Warm-up
1 minute Flat
2 minutes Hill (4%-8% incline)
*Run through this 3 minute interval 8 times total
3 minutes Cool down

For more fitness tips and resources, visit Shane Diet Resorts’ adult weight loss program’s website.