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Treadmill Walking Weight-Loss Plan

By Jennifer Loucks

Treadmills are a way to add exercise to your weight-loss plan and increase the number of calories burned. Adults need a minimum of two hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week to maintain a healthful lifestyle. A plan that includes brisk walking five times a week for a minimum duration of 30 minutes will burn calories and increase success with weight loss. Set up an appointment with your physician before you start a weight-loss walking plan to verify there are no underlying medical conditions that may cause a problem.

Set the treadmill speed to a comfortable walking pace between 2.5 and 3 mph. Select a pace where you can speak comfortably without taking a break to breathe. Walk for five to 10 minutes so the muscles warm up and loosen.

Press the treadmill pause button and step off. Complete leg stretches to focus on the calf, hamstring and quadriceps.

Step onto the treadmill, set the speed to a faster pace than the warm-up and walk at this pace for a minimum of 30 minutes. Set the pace fast enough that you cannot hold a conversation easily, generally in the range of 3 to 4 mph.

Increase the walking time by five minutes each week until you reach 60 minutes. The longer you walk at a fast pace, the more calories burned to assist with losing weight.

Reduce your speed to a comfortable walking pace between 2.5 and 3 mph to cool the body down before you step off the treadmill. Walk at this pace for a minimum of five minutes.

Step off the treadmill and complete leg stretches. Make sure to focus on the calf, hamstring and quadriceps.

Tips

Use caution when increasing your pace or duration to prevent creating an injury. According to American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, using the 10 percent rule of increasing duration by no more than 10 percent each week will lower injury risks.

Stretching is an important step before and after walking as it elongates the muscles and increases flexibility.

Fill a 20-oz. water bottle and keep it next to you on the treadmill to stay hydrated. Georgia State University recommends that you drink 8 oz. for every 20 minutes of vigorous exercise.

Reduce your intake of fats and sugary food and drinks. You must burn more calories than you ingest to lose weight.

Warnings

Only step onto the treadmill when it's not running. Turn the treadmill off and wait for the belt to stop moving before leaving the machine. Use the machine's safety cord by attaching it to your clothing. The cord will turn the machine off if you fall.

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