Have you ever considered adding a treadmill workout to your fitness routine? Not only is it a convenient way to exercise indoors, but it also offers a variety of health benefits that may surprise you.
Treadmill workouts have been a popular form of exercise for decades, with millions of people using them as a go-to option for cardiovascular health. However, did you know that there are more benefits to treadmill workouts than just increasing your heart rate?
In this article, we’ll explore 6 health benefits of treadmill workouts that you may or may not already know. From strengthening your muscles to boosting your mood, you’ll discover why incorporating a treadmill workout into your fitness routine is a smart choice for your overall health and well-being.
What is a Treadmill?
A treadmill is a piece of fitness equipment designed for indoor use that simulates walking, jogging, or running. It usually consists of a conveyor belt attached to a frame with handles for support and control. Treadmills come in various types, such as manual or motorised, foldable or non-foldable, and with different incline settings, speeds, and cushioning systems.
Benefits of Treadmill Workouts
In this section, we’ll explore the impressive benefits of treadmill workouts, from cardiovascular health to muscle building and weight loss.
1. Improves Cardiovascular Health
Maintaining good cardiovascular health is essential for overall wellness and longevity. It refers to the health of the heart, blood vessels, and the body’s ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to every organ and tissue. One effective way to improve cardiovascular health is through regular treadmill exercise.
Regular treadmill exercise helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Treadmill workouts have been proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which are significant contributors to cardiovascular issues. By decreasing these risk factors, you can potentially prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other heart-related problems.
Treadmill walking is an effective form of cardiovascular exercise that can improve fitness levels and enable the heart to pump blood throughout the body more efficiently. By consistently walking on the treadmill, you can improve cardiovascular fitness and endurance, which results in better overall health. Walking on a treadmill also increases blood circulation and the supply of oxygenated blood around the body.
Incorporating regular treadmill workouts into your fitness program is an affordable and convenient way to improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart-related complications. A sound cardiovascular system is essential to a long and healthy life, and the treadmill is a perfect tool to help you achieve this goal.
2. Boost Metabolism
Treadmill workouts are not only effective for improving cardiovascular health, but they can also be incredibly beneficial for boosting metabolism.
When the body undergoes physical activity, it requires energy which leads to a temporary increase in the metabolic rate. Treadmill workouts, in particular, have been shown to significantly boost metabolism and burn calories.
Here are some tips on how to optimise these benefits:
a. Vary your workout intensity and duration: Alternate between high-intensity intervals and longer steady-state runs to keep your body guessing and increase the metabolic boost.
b. Incorporate different types of treadmill exercises: Try incline walking, running, or walking lunges to target different muscle groups and maximise calorie burn.
c. Challenge yourself: Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts to continuously push your body and improve metabolic function.
Another important concept related to metabolism and treadmill workouts is post-workout metabolism, also known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This refers to the body’s elevated calorie burn following a workout as it works to restore oxygen levels and repair muscle tissue.
By prioritising treadmill workouts and focusing on intensity and variety, you can optimise both immediate and long-term metabolic benefits and see improvements in calorie burn throughout the day.
3. Encourage Weight Loss
A treadmill workout can be an effective way to promote weight loss and improve overall fitness. To achieve maximum results, it is essential to use the treadmill correctly.
We recommend incorporating a mix of different cardio exercises such as walking, jogging, and running on the treadmill, with varying intensity levels and durations.
Incorporating high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with a treadmill is another way to promote weight loss. HIIT treadmill workout combines short bursts of intense activity with periods of rest or lower activity. You might try a routine of 45 seconds of high-intensity running or 30 seconds of incline walking, followed by 15-30 seconds of rest. This can be repeated for a total of 20-30 minutes.
It is important to note that while regular treadmill workouts can aid in weight loss, it is necessary to maintain a balanced diet alongside exercise to achieve sustained weight loss goals.
4. Improves Joints and Bones Health
Treadmill workouts provide a unique benefit to joint and bone health. The frequent impact of walking on a treadmill causes microscopic damage to bone tissue. Over time, the body’s repair mechanisms lead to stronger bone tissue. This helps to prevent osteoporosis, a condition that affects millions of people each year.
Walking on a treadmill is low-impact and safe for people with joint problems or weak bones, making it an effective means of strengthening the skeletal system with a very low risk of injury.
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, ‘one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50 will experience bone fractures due to osteoporosis’. Regular treadmill workouts can help avoid the onset of this condition, as well as reduce the risk of fractures due to improved balance and mobility.
Walking also protects joints by strengthening muscles and lubricating joints, leading to increased bone density.
In fact, research published in Arthritis and Rheumatology found that walking can help reduce knee pain for seniors over 50 years old diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis. You can strengthen your muscles and bones, reducing your risk of joint-related injuries and diseases by regularly walking on a treadmill.
5. Improves Sleep Quality
Regular treadmill workouts don’t just benefit your physical health – they can also improve your sleep quality. One factor that contributes to this is the release of melatonin during aerobic exercise (International Journal of Sports and Exercise Medicine 2020).
Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, and studies have shown that cardio exercise can increase its release, leading to better sleep.
According to the same study by the International Journal of Sports and Exercise Medicine, moderate aerobic exercise can have a positive impact on sleep quality. This suggests that regular treadmill workouts can help alleviate chronic sleep problems.
Walking on a treadmill is a convenient and low-impact way to incorporate exercise into your day, and it can have a positive impact on sleep quality too.
6. Improves Brain Function & Mood
Treadmill workouts offer a host of benefits, particularly for the brain. Regular exercise on a treadmill releases endorphins, which induce feelings of pleasure and well-being, and has been shown to boost cognitive function and improve mood.
Research suggests that individuals who exercise have larger prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex volume, which are the areas of the brain that control thinking and memory, compared to those who do not exercise (Harvard Health Publishing 2014).
A study published in Scientific Reports in 2021 found that just a short 10-minute moderate-pace run on the treadmill is enough to stimulate the prefrontal cortex, which positively impacts cognitive control functions such as attention, planning and impulse control. The prefrontal cortex also controls the mood function.
Walking on a treadmill can also have significant mental health benefits. According to Mayo Clinic (2017), walking for just 30 minutes a day can reduce symptoms of depression while alleviating feelings of anxiety. The calming effect on mood is attributed to the regular release of endorphins, which provides a natural mood boost. Moreover, walking can improve memory and attention, which may particularly benefit older adults and those with conditions that affect cognition and memory, such as dementia (Dementia Australia).
Treadmill workouts offer a convenient and safe way to stay active. They have numerous physical and mental health benefits, including improved bone density, decreased risk of joint-related injuries and diseases, better sleep quality, increased cognitive function and improved mood. So why not add them to your fitness routine today?