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Is It Enough to Walk on a Treadmill to Lose Weight?
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Is It Enough to Walk on a Treadmill to Lose Weight?

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on November 24, 2022
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5 min

Losing weight is one of the biggest reasons for people to exercise. Today, we look at treadmill workouts as inclusions in weight loss workout programs. Is it truly possible? Find out!

treadmill walking for weight loss
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Walking is something we all do; walking on a treadmill, however, not so much. However, when it comes to losing weight, the aerobic exercises that typically spring to mind are running or swimming. That is because both exercises typically burn large amounts of calories. 

Today, we discuss treadmill workouts as an option for burning calories and losing weight. But how do they compare to other cardiovascular exercises, and is weight loss truly possible? Stay with us as we unravel the facts!

Is It Enough to Walk on a Treadmill to Lose Weight?

The answer is yes, but it takes more than just a leisurely stroll to see results.

In order to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit, meaning you need to burn more calories than you consume. As such, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you eat to lose weight. This typically accounts for burning about 500 calories daily over a week.

While walking on the treadmill can help you burn calories and shed a pound or two, how many calories you burn depends on the intensity of your workout.

To paint a much clearer picture, a casual walk might burn around 200 calories in 30 minutes, but if you pick up the pace and walk at a moderate-to-vigorous intensity, you could burn closer to 300–400 calories in the same amount of time.

3 Ways to Increase Calorie Burning by Walking on a Treadmill 

As stated earlier, the only way to effectively lose weight while walking on a treadmill is to increase the workout intensity, leading to a higher calorie burn.

In line with that, here are 3 fitness tips to burn more calories with your treadmill workout.

#1 Increase walking intensity

With aerobic workouts, the goal is to exercise at a moderate intensity to lose weight. Therefore, your treadmill workout should revolve around either a brisk walk or at 3.5mph for at least 30 minutes. Overall, your workout should not leave you gasping, but you should be able to hold a conversation mid-stride.

You can also switch to a shorter-duration, vigorous-intensity workout if you are short on time. For example, 15–20 minutes of speed intervals or high-intensity interval training will burn as many calories as a regular workout.

Research confirms that shorter-duration, vigorous-intensity, and longer-duration, moderate-intensity workouts are excellent calorie and fat burners. Still, evidence suggests that high-intensity workouts are more effective.

#2 Increase walking duration 

According to the CDC, healthy adults require a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise, or a combination of both, over a week.

With weight loss being the guideline, you should try to go past the weekly requirement, especially if all you do is walk, as doing so helps you burn more calories.

That is because, in order to lose one pound, you need to burn about 3,500 calories more than your weekly calorie intake. A 150-pound person walking for 30 minutes at 3.5mph burns 107 calories. At this rate, if they exercise every day, they will lose one pound in over 4 weeks.

Therefore, you must develop and consistently follow a functional exercise routine. As such, you may need to increase the duration of your exercise, walk faster, wear weights, add inclines, or even include other exercises to see significant progress.

You can also use one of the many fitness trackers to keep tabs on your exercise. The accuracy these gadgets or apps offer allows you to restructure your routine on the fly to maximize calorie burning better. 

If you are struggling with increasing your walking mileage and duration, we would recommend trying the Walking.Diet app. It is a beginner-friendly application created for people who are looking to spend their time actively and seeking to shed some pounds.

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#3 Incorporate upper body exercises

Incorporating some upper body exercises into your routine greatly boosts your metabolism.

Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and planks are all excellent exercises for toning your arms, shoulders, and core. If you want to increase the intensity, add some weightlifting exercises like bicep curls and overhead presses. 

You can also wear weighted vests or swing light dumbbells while walking on a treadmill.

5 Reasons Why You Should Start Walking on a Treadmill

At this point, enough evidence supports the claim that walking on a treadmill can help you lose weight. However, not everybody who ventures into workouts seeks a weight loss program; there are other reasons people want to exercise.

Thus, here are five reasons why you should start walking on a treadmill:

#1 Burns calories

Walking on a treadmill burns more calories than regular walking due to the diversity it brings in such a small package. As such, people living in urban settlements can easily replicate certain outdoor conditions, for example, elevation changes, using the treadmill, further boosting their calorie burn. 

With a walking speed of 3.5mph, a 125-pound person burns about 107 calories in 30 minutes. Similarly, at 3.5mph, a 155-pound person burns 133 calories, and a 185-pound person burns 159 calories. 

#2 Boosts your mood

Walking on a treadmill is a better and healthier way to decompress compared to stuffing yourself full with sweet and salty snacks. That is because, as you exercise, your brain releases endorphins – a chemical responsible for relieving pain and promoting pleasure.

Studies show that releasing this chemical helps reduce anxiety and depression and boosts mood. In addition, it can improve self-esteem and reduce symptoms of social withdrawal.

#3 Improves your muscles and bones

Because walking is a weight-bearing exercise, it can help to improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. In addition, since it is a low-impact exercise, the stress on your joints is relatively low. 

It relieves joint pain and stiffness by aiding lubrication and strengthening supporting muscles. But, then again, treadmills offer better impact cushioning than running outdoors, accounting for less stress on your joints.

Additionally, the slow and steady pace of treadmill walking can help to build muscle endurance and strength. And because you can adjust the speed and incline of the treadmill, you can make your workout as challenging as you like, developing your musculoskeletal system better.

Likewise, walking on a treadmill helps improve balance, reducing your chances of falling over and injuring yourself. 

#4 Increases energy levels

Treadmill walking is a great way to get your heart rate up and boost your energy levels. In addition, it increases oxygen levels while keeping blood pressure at a fairly stable position compared to other exercises.

In tandem, it also increases your body’s cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine levels, creating a surge in energy levels.

A few minutes on the treadmill can help you feel more alert and focused. And, if you keep up a consistent walking routine, you’ll find that your energy levels will gradually increase over time. 

#5 Reduces stress

According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, simply walking can drastically reduce your stress levels and depression and enhance mental clarity.

Likewise, the increased blood flow to your brain improves brain function, boosting creativity, cognitive function, etc.

A Word From Our Coach

From a professional standpoint, walking on a treadmill at high intensities is enough to see you lose weight. Still, you must be consistent with your fitness routine to see positive results. 

Furthermore, you need to be careful when doing treadmill workouts. Even though it classes as a low-impact exercise, exercising with the wrong form can lead to severe injuries. You also need the right fitness equipment.

You can enlist the help of a personal trainer to guide you through your fitness journey. They have the tools and experience to ease your struggles and make losing weight easier.

Conclusion

The treadmill is one of many fitness tools found in gyms. Losing weight through treadmill workouts is certainly possible. However, you must be consistent with your workout routine to see positive results. 

Therefore, you need to create a workout schedule that you can follow consistently. Likewise, you must prioritize eating healthily as exercise and dieting determine how efficiently you lose weight.

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by
Isabel Mayfield is a certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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