Treadmills are a staple in every fitness center for a reason - because they work. When I first started my fitness journey, this was the first ever machine I used in the gym. During my first two weeks, I started at 25 minutes at walking speed, brisk walk, and jogging. I did not follow any treadmill regimen, but instead listened to my body, and pushed it to do more little by little. I saw this meme my friend sent me that said, “If you think a minute goes by really you’ve never been on a treadmill.” Truer words have never been spoken. A minute could just as well be an eternity whenever you are on the treadmill because you are forced to keep up with it.
I started my fitness journey as an obese person. My health was in a poor state. I could not walk up my third floor apartment without running out of breath. I always get winded whenever I walk, even just for a short distance. After realizing that this is not the life I wanted, I started exerting time and effort to wake up early in the morning and walking around our neighborhood. Walking slowly turned into jogging and eventually a little bit of running too. I decided to take it up a notch and enroll in a gym where I got to use a treadmill. I want to share with you a few tips that worked for me and enabled me to lose fat on a treadmill.
1. Get Enough Rest and Energize
It’s very important that you are well-rested whenever you exercise or do any vigorous activity. This way, you have enough energy to spend and you can give your best in the exercise you will do to make sure that you get optimum result. I load up on my favorite pre-workout supplement before hitting the gym. I can trust that it’s going to be a productive workout whenever I rest up and take my supplement.
2. Get to Know Your Treadmill
I get it - treadmills can be intimidating. But the trick is to get to know them. Know their exercise and safety features. Most treadmills have an incline, pre-programme regimen, heart rate monitors, and safety stop features. They also have a monitor that should show the speed you are going, your heart rate, and the number of calories you have burned. Know how to operate the treadmill you are using, so you can get the most out of your treadmill workout.
3. Pace Yourself...It’s Not a Race
Remember running in a race is different from running on a treadmill. If, like me, you are overweight and trying to commit to exercising, do not pressure yourself to run right away. Take it slow at first and listen to your body. If it’s saying more, then go for it. If it has reached its limit, then just stay where you are and slowly reduce your speed. Remember, it’s more important to stay on the course for a longer period of time than being speedy.
4. Watch Your Heart
When I say pace yourself, I don’t mean take it easy. Remember, if your heart rate does not go up, you will never burn fat. Your body will only burn its stored sugar or glycogen. You reach the “fat-burning zone” when your heart rate is anywhere from 60% – 85% of your maximum heart rate. You should know your target heart rate. Just as you don’t want your heart rate to be low, you also don’t want to overdo it. Don’t push it too far above 80% of your target heart rate. This might lead to an unwanted health risk, but also your body might go to “fight or flight” mode that might preserve fat, which is exactly the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve here.
5. Quit at 45
My trainer would always tell me that the maximum amount of time I can spend on the treadmill is 45 minutes. We must know that somewhere at the 40-minute mark, our bodies begin to turn muscle tissue to energy. This process is called catabolism. Yes, our bodies can still burn fat, but less of it because muscle is easier to use for energy than fat.
6. Watch the Calories
No amount of exercise will ever suffice if you do not change your eating habits. For me, this is the most difficult part of my fitness journey because I am a professional eater, but with the help of my natural appetite suppressor, I survive.
They say that the toughest enemy we will ever have is ourselves, in part our very own fat, but remember we alone have the power to defeat it.