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How to Run On a Treadmill to Lose Weight: Tips for Better Efficiency & Safety

how to run on a treadmill to lose weight
Written by Thomas Bailey
Last Update: December 12, 2022

A treadmill is a machine of choice for people who like to run. They are comfortable and convenient. Imagine bringing an outside activity into your living room—wall, the treadmill. Indeed, How to run on a Treadmill to Lose weight and it’s an activity any born athlete does. This time, the treadmill brings positives and disperses the negatives.

Through this piece, we intend to show you the ways to maximize and optimize your workout routine. All you need to do at this point is sit back, relax, and read through our guide on how to run on a treadmill. Before starting, you will need to…

How To Run On a Treadmill to lose weight for Beginners

How To Run On a Treadmill Beginners

1. Warm-up

The first step is to pump some heat into your muscles. You can warm up through dynamic stretching, which moves your body. After stretching, walk for five minutes. Your muscles and joints ought to get ready too before we start running.

A warm-up is necessary because it makes you ease your body into a workout. Warm-ups also give you comfortable ease during the early parts of your workouts and also help you avoid injuries.

2. Know Your Treadmill

If you want to maximize your experience, you need to learn all the functions of your treadmill. If you do not have a treadmill, and are using one at the gym, ask your coach to educate you on the features of the treadmill you are using. However, it might not be visible. Most treadmills have the following functions.

a) Heart Rate Monitor

This helps you know how intense your workout is. However, since they will require you to hold the rails, you might want to get a wearable heart rate monitor.

b) Calorie Calculator 

If you intend to burn calories, this loosely specifies how much calories you burn from your run. They are not the most accurate devices, so take whatever read with a pinch of salt.

c) Pre-Set Workout or Intervals

When working out, you might want to change your routine. This is convenient because they give you the option to set before a workout and forget. While moving, it is recommended not to press buttons to avoid a fall and worse.

d) Speedometer

This shows how fast you are going—calculated in mile per hour.

3. Incline Slightly

Incline the treadmill between one percent and two percent. Since there is no wind resistance indoors, a slight incline mimics running outdoors. However, if you are still a treadmill beginner, it is okay to set the treadmill at zero inclines until you are fit to take it up a notch.

As soon as it becomes easy, create more challenges. A zero incline simulates a slight downhill run. Make sure that your run actually challenges you. While it is not recommended that every one of your runs has to be at a hard pace, you should always push yourself.

Increase the speed or the incline, so it is challenging in parts fo your workouts. Alternate between hard pace running and a gentle pace running. Interval training can be done once or twice a week, do not do them two days in a row.

4. Don’t Make It Too Steep

Do not place too much strain on your back by setting the incline above seven percent. It is tempting to think a great workout implies a challenging steep incline for an entire run. Yet, running on steep hill running is not good and can easily lead to injuries. Most 3-mile hills are never inclined at 5-6 percent.

Mix up steep running with some running on zero inclines. Do not run on an elevated incline for more than five minutes; this is a safer and better measure to workout. Those elevated running will help you to build your strength, while the flatter ones help you with your endurance.

5. Keep Your Hands Off the Handrail

Most people erroneously believe they are required to support themselves with the handrail when they are running on a treadmill. The handrails are there to assist you in getting on and off the treadmill.

Holding the handrail makes to hunch. This is not an efficient running form and can lead to joint pains. Your head should always be up, your shoulders equal, and your back should be straight.

Just like you would do running outside, keep your arms at a 90-degree angle.

Holding the rails can give you a feeling that you can work harder when, in reality, you are only reducing your load. If you’re cautious of falling down, then it means you are running too fast. Slow down and reduce the incline also if necessary.

6. Don’t Lean Forward

Keep your body upright all the time. Do not lean forward because the treadmill is pulling your feet back. Leaning forward too much may make you end your run with back and neck pain, and you could fall. Check your posture before getting on a treadmill; pull your abs in as you settle your shoulders above your hips.

7. Don’t Look Down

It is tempting to take a glance at the console to check the distance you have left. However, when you are faced with downward, you’re not applying the proper running technique. Do not check your feet too, as this will make you hunch, leading to neck and back pain. Whether you are running outside or indoors, always, look forward.

8. Notice Your Stride

Run on the treadmill, the same way you will do outside. Do not change your gait. If you feel off with the form, slow the pace to the point where it feels natural and proper. Then, increase the pace gradually.

9. Improve Your Stride Count

As you take more steps per minute, the more efficient your running becomes. Count how often your foot hits the belt by the minute. Use the timer on the console and multiply the number on the timer by two to know your steps by the minute.

If you want to improve your count during a run, take shorter, and quicker strides and keep your feet close to the belt, with this exercise, you are going to beat any sort of boredom creeping in. Elites run at a rate of 180 steps per minute.

10. Don’t Get on or off While the Treadmill Is moving

Treadmill injuries often come about when people are jumping on and off a running treadmill. If you want to get into the bathroom, slow the machine down, and reduce the incline. Then get off carefully. Repeat the same action when you are getting back on.

Take your time, and do not attempt to pick back up where you left off. It is better to have everything you need before you start running so that you do not have to get on and off the treadmill.

11. Listen to Music

Listening to Music while running outside might not be safe. However, listening to Music atop a treadmill is a great way to avoid beating the boredom for you to run longer. Choose songs that are motivating, and create a playlist. You will not notice the time fly by

If you want to watch a movie while jogging, please do. Just beware of your form. Don’t crane your neck to see a screen and do not bend or lean. If you cannot check the screen without hunching or craning, then don’t watch the movie at all; instead, just blast any music you like.

12. Visualize a Route

This is another way to beat the boredom. Visualize an outdoor route you love and imagine yourself running down that path. Change the incline as you run up the imaginary hill on the rote.

Change the speed too. When you are running outside factors like the wind, and hills can slow you down. So, try to mimic your favorite outdoor running route.

13. Don’t Forget to Stay Hydrated

It is possible to lose more water running on a treadmill than outside, due to less air resistance, which cools you off. Keep your water within reach and drink 4 to 5 ounces of water every twenty minutes on the treadmill.

14. Cool Down

Sometimes, immediately after running on a treadmill, we feel dizzy or have the sensation that we are still moving. When you stop suddenly, it can cause light-headedness because of the sudden drop in blood pressure and heart rate. If you wind down gently, then your heart rate and pressure fall gradually.

Do not end the cool down until your heart rate is below 100 BPM.

Beginner Treadmill Workout

Stretch first and give the treadmill a go. It is normal to feel a little off if you are working on the treadmill for the first time. The base of the treadmill moves, so remember not to only raise your feet but try to run as you would when running outdoors.

Beginners should always take the beginning of a workout at a slow pace to avoid a fall and discouragement. Once the slow speed feels more natural, then you can level up. Run at a speed where your heart beats fast, but you can still speak.

Interval Treadmill Workout

    • Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Jog at a high intensity for 30 seconds to one minute
  • Take one minute to a ninety seconds work
  • Get the jog on
  • Alternate between the paces for 20 minutes
  • Finally, have a five-minute cool down workout on the treadmill

Additional Tips for Running on a Treadmill

  • Choose an appropriate shoe
  • You can mix your treadmill run with work or fun to avoid boredom
  • When you improve your form, you are less likely to get injured or have pains, making you enjoy the run.


Q. 1: How Long Does It Take to Run 1 Mile On a Treadmill?

Ans: This is determined by your fitness level. However, it takes about 10 minutes for a decently fit person to run a mile

Q. 2: How Long Should You Run On a Treadmill to Lose Weight?

Ans: Thirty minutes five times a week is the average for a decently fit person.

Q. 3: Can I Lose Weight On a Treadmill?

Ans: Yes, you can. A treadmill is an exercise machine that aids you to run. Taking the right treadmill routine can help you lose weight.

About the author

Thomas Bailey

A Gym Equipment Expert

I’m Thomas, a healthy guy as people often say. During the 90s when I frequented local gyms, I used to experience an issue that few people could tell knowledgeably when and which piece of equipment to use or work with for which specific part of the body. I won’t tell ‘nobody’ could, but there was lack of perfect guidelines and decisive mentorship when it comes to weightlifting, exercise, and bodybuilding. Since then, I spent so much of my time and patience in finding out the reality about the different tools, exercise units, and equipment that anybody would tell it was going to be my profession, but that’s not really going to happen. However, it has been my pursuit for half the decade. I help, guide, and talk to people who I come across. You’re welcome to take a look at my posts.

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