Using a treadmill for working out can be a great way to burn fat and calories and get in shape. Many people find running on a treadmill to be much safer than running outdoors, particularly if they live in a dangerous area; in addition, there are no concerns about weather when using a treadmill. There are many different treadmill workouts that can be tried, based on one's individual needs. Each treadmill workout may offer great cardiovascular benefits.
For those just starting out, who have medical conditions, or are particularly overweight, it is best to create simple treadmill workouts that involve brisk walking. It may be a good idea to check with a doctor first to be sure that it is safe to exercise, as well as to learn in what range one's heart rate should be. Many treadmills allow one to create a pre-set workout plan, with a warm-up period with slower walking, followed by an exercise period in which one moves more quickly in order to increase the heart rate for a sustained period of time, followed by a cool-down period which is slower again.
Even if the treadmill does not allow for the creation of a workout plan, it is a good idea to follow this general rule when doing treadmill workouts. Do not simply jump on the treadmill and start at top speed, and then immediately stop; this could cause an injury such as a pulled muscle. After getting off the treadmill, it is a good idea to complete some slow stretches.
Treadmill workouts might include a mix of jogging and walking. These are a good idea for people who are trying to increase their physical fitness, but who may have difficulty running for a sustained period of time. Over time, trying to slowly increase the amount of time spent jogging versus the time spent walking is a great way to improve endurance.
Finally, one of the best treadmill workouts is simply to warm up, jog or run for a set period of time, then cool down. While running on the treadmill, switching the incline to make it feel as if one is running up a hill is a great way to work different muscle groups, and make the exercise more challenging. Again, some treadmills can do this automatically; others force the user to make the changes manually. As with any workout, it is important to regularly vary routines in order to prevent plateaus.