Treadmill Walking 101 - How to Get Started

Man Walking on Treadmill
Man Walking on Treadmill. Vincent Starr Photography/Cultura/Getty Images

Walking on a treadmill is a great way exercise. Treadmills are the most popular home exercise equipment, with 33% of the sales, according to Sporting Goods Business magazine.

Treadmills are also an effective way to exercise indoors. Studies found that treadmills ranked number one among exercise machines in burning calories. While you could use an elliptical trainer, indoor cycle or other exercise machines, more people find it easiest to walk or run on a treadmill for exercise.

There is always a debate about whether it's better to use a treadmill or to walk outside. Both have advantages and disadvantages. More: Treadmill vs. outdoor walking

Which Treadmill Should You Use for Walking?

Having a home treadmill can eliminate many excuses for not doing your walking workouts. It can be a big investment, with good quality treadmills selling for over $1000. It is often a good tactic to buy a better quality used treadmill than to buy the least expensive new treadmill.

  • Before You Buy a Treadmill: what to look for when shopping for a home treadmill. You don't want to end up with a flimsy or under-powered treadmill that won't last long.
  • Should You Buy a Folding Treadmill? You may want to maximize your living space by using a folding treadmill. The question is, will it just stay folded up or is it easy to set up and use regularly?
  • Finding Free or Cheap Treadmills to Use: How to find bargains for home treadmills, and tactics for using good treadmills at fitness centers, work or school.

Getting Started with Treadmill Walking

Once you have located a treadmill or brought one into your home, it's time to get started.

It's wise to slowly and steadily build up your exercise time, especially if you have been inactive.

Treadmill Workouts

These workouts were developed by fitness trainer Lorra Garrick to help you vary your treadmill workouts and pump up the intensity.


Zeni AI, Hoffman MD, Clifford PS. "Energy expenditure with indoor exercise machines." Journal of the American Medical Association. 1996 May 8;275(18):1424-7.

Moyna NM, Robertson RJ, Meckes CL, Peoples JA, Millich NB, Thompson PD. Intermodal comparison of energy expenditure at exercise intensities corresponding to the perceptual preference range." Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2001 Aug;33(8):1404-10.

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