Working out can be confusing. Some exercises you should do every day, while others you should only do a few times per week. When it comes to walking on the treadmill, which is it?
Once you are used to it, it is okay and often recommended that you walk every day on the treadmill for 15 to 60 minutes. There is no required time needed for letting muscles repair and build, which is needed for exercises that call for doing them only a few times per week.
There’s much more to know about walking on a treadmill to get the most out of your time exercising. In this article, we’ll break down the ins and outs of walking on a treadmill, including how you can walk on the treadmill to lose weight and if you should stretch before you walk.
Is It Okay to Walk on the Treadmill Every Day?
Walking on the treadmill daily is perfectly fine, provided you are using the correct form and don’t overdo it. Many health experts actually advise people to get 15-60 minutes of walking in every day.
The reason why walking is okay to do every day comes down to your muscles. Walking is not considered a muscle-building activity; it’s a cardio activity. Muscle building activities shouldn’t be done every day, at least not ones that target the same muscle. These breaks are required for the muscle to repair and rebuild itself. It will grow back stronger, which is how muscles are enhanced.
Walking, on the other hand, works out your cardiovascular system. There is minimal breaking down since the cardiovascular system is doing most of the work. Your cardiovascular system doesn’t follow the same “break down/rebuild” cycle as muscle-building activities. Instead, it’s a constant increase in functionality, and no breaks are needed.
It’s worth mentioning that you should start your treadmill walking routine with a small amount of time and build up from there. You might start with 15 minutes per day, then add five minutes every week. With time, you’ll be up to 60 minutes every day.
How Can I Safely Walk on a Treadmill Every Day?
Using a treadmill every day, whether walking or running, does open you up to injury. While injuries are more common with running, walking on a treadmill every day can still cause some health complications. These injuries come about when you’re walking using improper form.
- You can protect yourself from injury by practicing landing with the middle of your foot with each step. This region spreads out the impact throughout your foot and leg muscles, preventing damage to one region.
- Another way to safely walk on the treadmill every day is to pay attention to your posture. A hunched back or tense shoulders can add up to intense soreness after a few days of regular walking. Relax your shoulders and keep your spine as upright as you can without tensing.
- Stretching should be done before you step on the treadmill, even if you’re just going for a walk. You don’t have to do an entire yoga class first but do some basic track and field stretches to warm up your body. Doing so will prevent injury and keep your body limber while you’re working out.
What Is the Best Time of Day to Walk on a Treadmill?
The best time of day to workout is the time of day that can fit into your schedule reliably. If the only time that works for you is right before bed, then do that. Consistently engaging in exercise is much more important than working out at the perfect time of day.
All that being said, some studies have shown that working out in the morning is the best time of day to workout, including walking on a treadmill. Research is still ongoing into exactly why, but participants in these studies showed the most reduction in blood pressure and better sleep benefits than those who worked out before bed.
So, if you’re just now planning your workout schedule and you have a flexible daily routine, aim for walking on the treadmill in the morning. Again, if you can’t squeeze it into your morning routine, another time of day is still acceptable.
What Is the Max Amount of Time I Should Walk on a Treadmill?
You should limit your treadmill walking sessions to 120 minutes. Pushing beyond this threshold can result in overdoing it and lead to injury. Treadmills are designed to minimize the impact on your joints, but they can only do so much. Walking more than two hours per day can result in injuries that will derail your entire walking routine.
You should also know that there are diminishing returns when it comes to any exercise. You reach a certain point where working out more doesn’t give you a proportional amount of benefit. In fact, in most cases, pushing it too much will result in injury.
If you feel the need to work out more than 120 minutes every day, consider doing any non-cardio focused type of exercise, such as weight training. You’ll be working out a different part of your body, so it’s less likely to injure you. Even so, you should proceed with caution.
How Long Should I Walk on the Treadmill to Lose Weight?
Treadmill walking is a great way to burn calories, which is the key to losing weight. You should aim to lose between 300 and 600 calories per day with exercise to lose weight consistently. To put this into timeframes, shoot for about 60 minutes of walking per day. You don’t have to start at 60 minutes per day; you’ll still reap plenty of benefits walking at 15 to 30 minutes per day as well.
You can maximize your results by changing the speed and incline level of your treadmill. You can still walk, but a faster walk will help burn more calories.
Most treadmills have a calorie counter on the front panel. Take these numbers with a grain of salt. Unless you’re using a heart rate monitor and input all of your vital statistics, this number is more of a guess than an accurate reading.
Walking on a Treadmill vs. Walking Outside Every Day
I have already broken down all the differences between running on a treadmill and running outside in this article. For now, let’s quickly jump into what’s better to do everyday.
Treadmills are designed to give you the same level of comfort and impact with every step. When you walk outside, no two steps will be the same. You’ll have different inclines at different points in your walk, and the ground might be a dirt road and then a concrete track. So, are these differences better or worse? It depends on the person.
- Someone with really sensitive joints would benefit from using a treadmill every day instead of walking outside. Treadmills are designed to soften the impact of walking on your joints and provide a safer walking or running experience.
- At the same time, someone with sturdier joints might benefit more from getting outside each day. You still need to practice proper form when walking, but having various steps engages different muscle groups with each step.
For the average person, an excellent general rule of thumb is to walk outside when the weather permits and save the treadmill for when the weather is rough outside.
If you’re debating walking on the treadmill every day, talk to your doctor. As long as they give you the go-ahead, then it’s safe to do so. Walking on the treadmill every day will do wonders for your health, both physically and mentally. Just make sure to stretch before you hop on, and don’t overdo it.