Although outdoor walking has its benefits, one of the main advantages of using a treadmill is that it allows you to easily control the time and intensity of your workouts. It’s also easy therefore to plan your progress by making your workouts a little harder each week. This 6 week plan is based on a daily 20 minute treadmill walking workout which progresses by increasing the incline work you do each week.
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Increasing the workload with treadmill workouts
With most treadmills, you have two options for increasing intensity – increase the speed or increase the gradient. Both are very effective at improving cardio fitness and burning calories. However, using an incline will challenge your muscles differently and therefore add more muscle toning benefits. For this workout, the pace stays the same, while the incline and the time spent walking on an incline increase.
Buying a treadmill for home use
Now that folding treadmills are widely available, having a home treadmill doesn’t mean you need a dedicated workout space. You can fold your treadmill up and store it out of the way between workouts. If you’re thinking of buying a home treadmill, here are some points you should consider:
- Are you likely to run on it? If so, you should avoid very lightweight models. Also, a cushioned running/walking deck will help to absorb impact.
- Dimensions: there’s a slight variation in dimensions between models. If you’re tall, you might prefer a longer walking/running deck to allow for a longer stride. Obviously, the treadmill needs to fit in your chosen storage place when it is folded away.
- What sort of a console do you want? Is it important to you to have a multi-feature console with a choice of preset programs, or will you be happy with something simple that just lets you set speed and incline? Extra functions add to the cost of the treadmill, so think about whether you really need them.
- What is the incline range? Some treadmills only have a limited incline range. Models that offer up to 12% give you more options to vary your workouts and to challenge yourself more as your fitness improves.
- Maximum speed – if you run fast, or plan to do sprint intervals, you should bear the maximum speed in mind. For walking, or average speed running, any treadmill will be fine.
Recommended folding treadmill
This is a reasonably priced folding treadmill with an incline up to 12% and a maximum speed of 8mph (fairly fast running speed). The display screen shows time, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate and you can connect your device to play music through the built in speakers.
20 minute treadmill walking workout 6 week plan
The 6 week schedule alternates between increasing the incline one week, then increasing the incline time the next. This allows you to get used to walking at the new gradient, before increasing the time interval. You can download a printable copy of the chart by entering your e-mail address in the box below. Before you start the workout, please read these general safety guidelines.
For best results, do the workout 6 days a week with one rest day. If you can’t do 6, then do as many as you have time for. You don’t need to program the treadmill. Bring the pace up to a normal walking pace and then use the gradient increase and decrease buttons as required.