10 Benefits of Walking on a Treadmill (and 3 Disadvantages)

It can be hard to fit in a good workout, especially if you’re short on time. 

And many people imagine that the only way to get a good workout is by going to the gym, but that’s not true. You can get a great workout at home with just a few pieces of equipment.

One of my favorite pieces of equipment is the treadmill. Treadmills are great for getting in a cardio workout and are perfect for people who don’t have time to go to the gym. Plus, there are some other benefits of walking on a treadmill.

Let’s review them below.

1. Convenience

walking on a treadmill is convenient

Walking everyday is a great exercise, but sometimes it can be tough to find the time to walk outdoors. That’s where a home treadmill comes in handy. 

A treadmill is convenient for getting your steps in without leaving the house. And if you have bad weather or don’t feel safe walking in your neighborhood, a treadmill can be a lifesaver. Plus, you can walk anytime, day or night, and you don’t have to worry about getting sweaty or dirty. 

2. Varied Routines

As any fitness enthusiast knows, a walking treadmill can provide an excellent workout. Not only does it allow you to vary your speed and incline, but it also provides a low-impact way to get your heart rate up. 

But did you know that the settings on your walking treadmill can also significantly impact your workout? 

In fact, by changing up the programs, inclines, and speeds, you can target different muscle groups and achieve a more well-rounded workout. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • If you want to boost your cardio fitness, then you should experiment with different programs and speeds. By varying the intensity of your workout, you can challenge your heart and lungs to improve endurance and reach your weight goals.

So the next time you step on the walking treadmill, don’t be afraid to mix things up! 

3. Weight Loss

treadmill walking benefits weight loss

Walking on a treadmill is an excellent way to lose weight for several reasons. 

  • It’s a great cardio workout. Walking on a treadmill even for ten minutes gets your heart rate up and helps you burn more calories. 
  • Walking on a treadmill helps tone your muscles. When you walk on a treadmill, you use all the muscles in your legs and core to keep yourself upright and moving forward. Pumping your arms alongside each movement will also tone your upper body. Sculpted muscles accelerate your resting metabolism, thus helping your body burn more calories even when resting.
  • You release stress. Walking on a treadmill releases endorphins, which can help improve your mood and reduce stress levels. That’s essential because long-term cortisol can inhibit weight loss. And, in this day and age, we’re all stressed from work, using screens excessively, or having to be perfect parents for our kids.

Read more: Maximize Your Weight Journey With Incline Walking

4. Muscle Building

When you walk on a treadmill, you are not just relying on your legs to move the belt beneath you. You must engage your core muscles and pump your arms to keep your balance and maintain a steady pace.

That means you’re getting a total body workout.

But you can take that workout to a new level:

  • Consider using ankle weights, a weighted vest, or a resistance band above your knees to build your lower body muscles.
  • Wearing wrist weights or using the treadmill’s built-in resistance bands for arms increases the effort required, resulting in more defined upper body muscles. The added weight also helps your core engage more, thus sculpting your abs and obliques.

Pro tip: Avoid carrying hand weights if you’re getting too sweaty because they might start feeling slippery. At this point, the instinct is to contract your wrists, thus forcing them into an unnatural position. Also, if the speed is too high, your shoulders will start tensing, leading to possible injury.

Related: Muscles Worked by a Treadmill: The Complete Guide

5. Reduced Risk of Illness

walking on a treadmill improves your health

Walking is often touted as the best exercise because it requires no special equipment and provides a host of health benefits. One of those benefits is reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol. 

How does walking achieve this? 

For one, it helps lower blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity, both significant risk factors for diabetes. Walking also helps lower blood pressure and promote healthy lipid levels, reducing heart disease risk. Finally, walking helps increase HDL (good) cholesterol while lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Besides, walking improves your immune system, thus making you better equipped to fight other health problems. In fact, one study shows that it’s enough to walk for 20 minutes per day to decrease your sick days by 43%.

6. Improved Mood

It’s no secret that exercise can improve your mood. But did you know that walking on a treadmill can give you a brain boost? 

That’s right – according to recent research, stepping on the treadmill can increase brain activity. And the benefits don’t stop there. 

Treadmill walking has also been shown to improve memory and cognitive function. Walking also stimulates the production of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, reducing overall cortisol.

So if you’re feeling down, walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes. You’ll feel clearer headed and happier in no time. 

7. Better Sleep

walking on a treadmill improves your sleep

That’s right, walking on a treadmill can help you get a better night’s sleep. Here’s how it works: when you walk on a treadmill, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that improve mood and make you feel happy. They also have a calming effect, which can help you relax and fall asleep more easily. 

In addition, walking on a treadmill also helps to reduce stress levels. 

When you’re feeling stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol. Cortisol makes it difficult to fall asleep and can cause you to wake up feeling tired. But getting rid of it brings you one step closer to a more restful sleep.

8. Many Programs

Many treadmills feature built-in programs that can make your workout more effective and enjoyable. For example, most treadmills have a pre-set interval program that alternates between high-intensity and low-intensity exercise periods. This workout helps to improve your cardiovascular fitness, boosts your metabolism, and helps you burn more calories. 

In addition, many treadmills have programs that simulate different terrains, such as hills or even trails. This can add some much-needed variety to your workout and help to reduce the risk of boredom or burnout. 

9. Accurate Stats to Monitor Your Progress

treadmill walking offers Accurate Stats to Monitor Your Progress

As any self-respecting gym rat knows, tracking your stats is essential to reaching your fitness goals. Tracking your stats:

  • Ensures that you’re constantly challenging yourself and making progress.
  • Helps you identify negative patterns and see where you need to improve.
  • Gives you a sense of progress and motivation to keep going. 

Pro tip: If you need more in-depth stats and reports, ensure your treadmill can connect to an app that saves these metrics. Otherwise, you’ll have to jut them down yourself. Also, consider investing in a heart rate monitor for more accurate results.

Related: Are Treadmills Calories Accurate?

10. Healthier Bones

One of the best things you can do for your bones is walk on a treadmill regularly. Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that improves overall bone health as your body becomes better at handling the impact. 

Additionally, walking on a treadmill helps to improve bone density, which is especially important as we age and our bones start to deteriorate. The reason is that when we walk, our muscles push against our bones and help to stimulate new bone growth. 

So not only does walking improve the health of our existing bones, but it also helps to prevent future problems by keeping our bones strong and dense. 

And you don’t even need an hour-long workout to reap these effects. 10 or 15 minutes per day are enough to start with.

Pro tip: If you already have bone-related issues, pick a cushiony treadmill with multiple ergonomic layers that absorb impact.

Treadmill Walking Disadvantages

disadvantages of walking on a treadmill

After we discussed the main advantages associated with walking on a treadmill, let’s discuss the three main drawbacks:

1. Walking on a treadmill can be boring

When you are walking on a treadmill, you are confined to one spot. You might be able to change the incline or the speed, but you are still in the same place. However, walking outdoors lets you explore and see new things. You can go for a walk in the park or around your neighborhood – there is always something new to see.

Fresh air is also good for your lungs. So instead of the recycled air that you breathe indoors, walking outdoors lets you breathe in the fresh air, which translates into healthier lungs.

2. Treadmills can be expensive

Buying a treadmill can set you back anywhere between $500 to $1,000 for a decent machine, and that’s before you even get started on the monthly maintenance costs.

So without any doubt, walking outdoors is a LOT cheaper – and by cheaper, I mean free.

3. Treadmills take a lot of space

Another disadvantage of walking on a treadmill is that it can take up a lot of space in your home. They are usually large and bulky, taking up a lot of space in your home. So if you’re short on space, this may not be the best exercise option for you.

Wrap Up

As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to walk on a treadmill. Although there are some drawbacks too, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. So whether you’re looking to improve your sleep or boost your bone health, walking on a treadmill can help. 

However, it’s essential to purchase the right treadmill for your goals.

A basic model will suffice if you only want to become more active. But if you’re interested in guided virtual walks or total-body training, you’ll need a more advanced model.

With the suitable machine, you’ll be on your way to achieving all of your fitness goals in no time.

Happy walking!

Mary D. Brown

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