Good treadmill exercises for beginners

Written by michelle powell-smith
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Good treadmill exercises for beginners
Treadmills are a good start to a fitness routine. (man exercising on treadmill 6 image by Ken Hurst from Fotolia.com)

Treadmills offer a low-impact workout without a steep learning curve for beginners. Walking is a natural movement appropriate for all fitness levels. Build up your workout length and intensity gradually as your fitness level increases. Beginners can opt for interval training, hill walking, or even a combination of walking and jogging on the treadmill.

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Function

Treadmills allow you to walk or run indoors, regardless of weather. Most treadmills allow you to adjust the incline and speed at which you run or walk. Readouts on the treadmill generally provide you with information about your heart rate, speed, and distance. This information can help you pace yourself and exercise at a safe, yet challenging, pace.

Types

Treadmills work the lower body and provide aerobic exercise, whether you opt to walk, jog or run. Beginners should limit themselves to walking or jogging, rather than running, the Treadmill Online website recommends. Depending upon your fitness level, you may opt to walk at a moderate pace or alternate intervals of walking and jogging for a more intense workout. Gradually intensify your workouts week by week as your fitness level increases, the All About Abs website instructs.

Time Frame

Start by walking for 30 to 60 minutes at least three to four times a week. Aim to maintain a pace of about 5 km to 6km (3 to 4 miles) per hour. The following week, add one minute of jogging for every four minutes of walking. Gradually increase the amount of time you jog each week, the my Treadmill Trainer website suggests. If you prefer, opt to jog or power-walk at varying intensities over the course of your workout, the FitSugar website recommends.

Considerations

You should always stretch before a workout to reduce the risk of muscle cramps or injuries, Treadmill Online advises. Alternate bouts of more intense jogging or faster walking with slower recovery runs or walking for the greatest benefits, even as you become more fit.

Warning

While walking is gentle and appropriate for most people, consult your doctor before beginning any fitness program, particularly if you have joint, heart or other health concerns, Treadmill Online cautions. If you plan to jog or run on a treadmill rather than walk, check to make sure your joints can handle these higher-impact activities.

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