Will Walking on a Treadmill for 30 Minutes Help Me Lose Weight?

Almost everyone touts the benefits of running on the treadmill, and if you’re to heed these sources, you’d think that walking is overrated.

But it’s not.

Walking on the treadmill for as little as 30 minutes per day has numerous advantages on your health. It can make you feel happier, more rested, full of energy, and yes – it even helps you lose weight.

We’ll tell you why that happens, plus how to maximize your weight loss below.

How Many Calories Does Walking on a Treadmill for 30 Minutes Burn? 

Walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes burns 100-200 calories, depending on your: 

  • Speed
  • Body composition
  • Biological sex
  • Age
  • Other medical issues (e.g., metabolic problems)

If you’re walking at an incline, you can burn up to 150% more calories. For example, Healthline gives these numbers for walking and incline walking at 3.5 mph for an hour:

Weight3.5 mph — on a flat surface3.5 mph — uphill
130 pounds224 calories354 calories
155 pounds267 calories422 calories
180 pounds311 calories490 calories
205 pounds354 calories558 calories

That brings us to the following point:

How Effective Is Walking on a Treadmill to Lose Weight? 

how effective is walking on a treadmill for losing weight

Walking on a treadmill to lose weight is highly effective. 

Consider that each pound of weight needs you to burn 3,500 calories. So, just half an hour of daily walking will help you lose two pounds per month.

You will shed three pounds per month if you’re walking at an incline.

And there’s plenty you can do to accelerate that progress:

  • Wear a weighted vest to increase your effort and, therefore, your calorie expenditure.
  • Walk for an hour every day instead of just 30 minutes, if you have the time.
  • Start eating healthily and watch your portion sizes.
  • Incorporate other fun activities in your routine, like swimming or dancing.

Does Walking on the Treadmill Burn Fat? 

Walking on the treadmill can burn fat. Picture these two situations:

  • Slow-moderate walking. In this case, you’re not walking fast enough to reach that fat-burning zone. However, you are creating a calorie deficit, which means you’re losing weight from somewhere. That somewhere is the accumulated fat stores in your body.
  • Intense walking. Fast walking or walking at an incline will raise your heart rate into your fat-burning zone. At this point, your body will start using your fat stores for fuel instead of simply burning carbs. That means you can burn fat quickly.

Is it hard getting in that fat-burning zone?

Well, a 35-year-old female weighing 130 pounds can get in that anaerobic area at 3.5-4 mph. If you’re heavier and younger, you could reach your fat-burning zone faster.

Will Walking on a Treadmill Burn Belly Fat? 

will walking on a treadmill burn belly fat?

Walking on a treadmill burns fat, so implicitly, it burns belly fat.

If you want to increase belly fat burn, follow these tips to burn belly fat faster by walking on the treadmill:

  • Walk at an incline. Studies show that even a tiny 2% incline increases your heart rate to 155 bpm. By comparison, a 15% incline may bring your heart rate to 180 bpm.
  • Do HIIT workouts. HIIT allows your body to burn fat after your workout is done. So, consider adjusting your speed on intense and moderate-intensity intervals, respectively.
  • Increase your speed. You may not be very fast when you first start, and that’s perfectly normal for beginners. However, you can strive to increase your speed in a few weeks. Keep challenging yourself and walk every day to gain more strength and stamina.
  • Involve your upper body. The more muscle groups have to work, the faster your heart rate and the larger your calorie expenditure. So, pump those arms along with your steps or do upper body strength movements while holding onto weights.

Pro tip: If your goal is fast fat loss, purchase a walking treadmill with incline, HIIT programs, and upper body resistance bands.

How Long & Often to Walk on a Treadmill

You can walk on the treadmill for as long and as often as you’d like without overdoing it. That statement implies different things for different people, depending on your fitness level, preexisting health issues, time, and so forth.

However, take these two things into account:

  • You need a good number of steps/ day. According to some sources, that’s 10,000 steps/ day, about 5 miles. So, you can walk for an hour on the treadmill each day and then do the rest of the 3000-4000 steps as you carry on with your daily activities.
  • You don’t want to push yourself over the limit. If you’re feeling extraordinarily sore or exhausted after 1,000 steps or after a mile, stop. The goal is to build that strength up, not demoralize yourself or get injured. Also, if you have body dysmorphia or an eating disorder, make sure you’re setting healthy exercise goals too. For example, forcing yourself to walk more than 20,000 steps/ day for weight loss/gain is crossing that limit, and so is any exercise that feels dangerous for your wellbeing.

In Conclusion

Walking on a treadmill can help you lose weight, even if it’s just for 30 minutes/ day. However, you have to make that half an hour count. Remember to choose the right workout program, adjust the incline, and wear resistance bands to maximize your progress.

Mary D. Brown

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