The treadmill is a great way to get in shape because it is a cardiovascular exercise. You can start out very slowly with the treadmill by doing mostly walking. Then as your body becomes accustomed to the exercise you can start walking faster and even incorporate some jogging. If you have never jogged before or haven't jogged in a long time, work up to a full 30-minute jog slowly to protect your muscles.
Your first week you'll want to get your body accustomed to the treadmill. You can do this by walking for 30 to 60 minutes three to four times a week. While walking for this duration you'll want to keep your speed between three and four miles an hour.
Walking With Very Little Jogging
If you find that walking is boring for you, you can try to incorporate just a small amount of jogging into your treadmill workout. If you're just starting out it's best for you to warm up by walking between three and four miles an hour for four and a half minutes. At this point you should jog for 30 seconds at between four and five miles an hour. After your jogging stint, return to walking for another four and a half minutes. Repeat this process five times for a 30-minute workout.
Workout With More Running
If you want to challenge yourself a bit more you can start out by walking for three minutes between three and four miles an hour. After warming up, jog for two minutes between 4.5 and 5.5 miles per hour. Repeat this process five times for a 30-minute workout. If this is too much jogging for you, cut it back to walking for four minutes and then jogging for one minute; there is nothing wrong with working up to more jogging slowly.
If you are reasonably active and don't like to spend so much of your workout walking, you can challenge yourself by adding more jogging to the workout. To do this you should start with walking for a minute and a half at three to four miles per hour. After warming up with the walking you'll then jog for three and a half minutes at between 4.5 and six miles per hour. Repeat this pattern five times to complete a 30-minute circuit.