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8 Benefits Of Treadmill Exercising Explained

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy (21 years of Oly Lifting experience)

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In this article, we’re talking extensively about the main treadmill benefits. Ever since their invention, treadmills have become a cornerstone of modern fitness. Despite new cardio machines popping out every so often – promising bigger, better, and faster results – treadmills have stood the test of time and remain a favorite in the best gyms and workout regimens.

But what does a treadmill do to your body and how does walking and running improve your physical and mental health? The fascinating details are coming in a second, but first, a brief answer.

Treadmill exercising benefits

Using a treadmill benefits you physically and mentally. Improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, and mood regulation are just some of the benefits of treadmill running and walking. Treadmills can provide a safe, controlled, and low-impact workout from your home.

Using a treadmill benefits you physically and mentally. Improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, and mood regulation are just some of the benefits of treadmill running and walking. Treadmills can provide a safe, controlled, and low-impact workout from your home.

athlete treadmill workout

8 Benefits Of Exercising On A Treadmill

So, what is a treadmill good for exactly? We can refer to various studies and personal experiences to find out. Treadmills have been around for a long time now and, as they say, the results are in. Here’s what they say:

✅ Cardiovascular Benefits

Treadmills utilize walking and running to conduct your exercise. As such, one of the most significant benefits of using the treadmill is the ability to regulate various aspects of your cardiovascular health.

For example, regular walking on its own has been shown to increase our aerobic capacity (our body’s ability to intake and use oxygen) and lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. This alone lowers the chance of contracting common cardiovascular illnesses, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancers, etc.

Running carries these benefits as well, while also lowering your resting heart rate and increasing lung capacity. Other studies observed a decrease in cholesterol levels and the chance of hypertension, among other benefits.

✅ Weight Management and Fat Loss

Many people ask, is treadmill cardio exercise good enough for weight loss or do they need a more intense machine. Walking and running are popular and effective methods of losing weight and staying in shape. If there was any doubt about that, studies have observed these effects extensively.

According to research, the two best ways to burn calories using a treadmill are moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) training. In other words, if you plan on losing weight, use your treadmill for fast walking and running variations for the best effect.

treadmill running

That said, before you jump on your treadmill and start vigorously running for hours on end, it’s important to understand how weight loss actually works. To actually lose weight, it’s not enough to just exercise, you must enter what’s known as a calorie deficit. What this means is you need to spend more calories than you consume through food and drink, ideally on a daily basis.

✅ Joint-Friendly Exercise

Among the many advantages of treadmill machines is the relatively low-impact and joint-friendly exercise they provide. Of the popular cardio machines, the only one with noticeably lower impact is the elliptical. This makes the treadmill highly accessible bar extreme cases.

People without outstanding lower-body issues can safely train on them with full confidence that they’re not hurting themselves by doing so. Meanwhile, people with chronic pain such as inflamed joints or active injury can use treadmills to get in their daily cardio pain-free. For this reason, treadmills are highly recommended by physical therapists.

Walking on a treadmill is especially good for seniors, since our musculoskeletal system tends to deteriorate as we age, making exercising harder on our body as we grow older. Not only does it provide them with much-needed daily cardio, but walking on treadmills just 7.5 miles per week (1 mile per day) is shown to increase bone density and slow down bone loss.

Moreover, cardio machine manufacturers understand the importance of exercise comfort, which is why modern treadmills have their decks and belts equipped with advanced cushioning systems. This makes exercising on a treadmill noticeably more comfortable than walking or running outside on hard surfaces like pavement.

Exercising on a gym treadmill

✅ Convenience and Accessibility

On top of being easy on the joints, treadmills are a very user-friendly cardio machine. Since they utilize basic daily life movements in walking and running, the barrier to entry is low and there’s no learning curve associated with them. In other words, you don’t have to be a fitness aficionado or dedicate time to learn how to use them – most people can use them straight out of the box.

Having a treadmill at your disposal can prove an invaluable way to get your much-needed daily workout in. Our natural daily exercise has already drastically fallen compared to previous generations thanks to our sedentary lifestyle and jobs, and this is even more true now when more and more jobs are moving into our homes, providing even less incentive to move in our spare time.

Not being exposed to outside factors – such as weather conditions, time of day, and general safety, as well as access to suitable terrain – are just some of the advantages of treadmill exercising over walking or running outside.

Moreover, studies have found no major difference between an outdoor VS treadmill run, noting that key components like muscle and joint activity and body kinetics and kinematics were nearly identical. One of the very few treadmill disadvantages compared to working out outside is the lack of natural wind resistance. However, this can be compensated for by simply adding a 1% incline.

✅ Customizable Workouts + Workout Variety and Versatility

Most motorized treadmills come with adjustable speed and incline settings. These two options by themselves already make the treadmill highly versatile among cardio machines. Simply put, with one machine you can engage in walking, jogging, running, and everything in between. Moreover, you get to choose the terrain steepness, which can make the exercise more intense and mix up the targeted muscles.

Treadmill training

Motorized treadmills are equipped with control consoles from which you set your exercise. Many of them come with pre-programmed workouts for goals such as cardio development and weight loss. These programs automatically adjust the treadmill for you, allowing for a hands-free experience. Some treadmills even allow you to create custom workouts.

In recent years, we’ve also seen the introduction of smart device functions into treadmills. Some treadmill consoles are equipped with or can be paired with a dedicated fitness app. These apps can do everything from tracking your progress to fully controlling your workout.

Moreover, they use AI learning to process the information they gather and create workout suggestions and custom workouts to help you train more efficiently and achieve your goals faster.

✅ Safety and Control

One of the important safety benefits of using the treadmill is it allows the user to fully control their workout conditions. Between the speed and incline settings, the choice of workout intensity is all up to you. Moreover, most treadmill models have easily accessible handrails you can use for balance and support and non-slip side covers which you can step onto for a quick rest or stop.

In the event of an emergency, most treadmills Motorized treadmills have a large and noticeable (red) emergency stop button placed in a visible and convenient location. Most models also have a safety clip or key which you attach via string to yourself. In the event that you drift too far back or fall off, the string will pull the clip/key and immediately stop the machine.

Female treadmill running

✅ Monitoring and Tracking Progress

Treadmills come equipped with a control console where you can track your progress and adjust your workout. The type of console you get usually varies by price and between brands. Even the basic LCD monitors on cheaper treadmills display essential information like time, speed, distance, and calorie consumption, which are enough to get accurate data on your progress.

Moreover, newer treadmills are often compatible with a smart app either found on the machine’s advanced touchscreen displays or paired with your smart device via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. These apps can serve a variety of purposes, including more advanced result tracking, interactive features like leaderboards or achievements, daily/weekly/monthly challenges, and more.

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✅ Mental Health Benefits

Regular exercise comes with a plethora of mental health benefits, sparking a much-needed debate over using it as an alternative to medication.

Feeling tired throughout the day? It may not be because you’re physically exhausted, but rather because our sedentary lifestyle is forcing our bodies to work in “idle” mode, lowering our energy. A simple walk can stimulate your blood flow, increase oxygen intake, and release hormones that will restore your energy level and increase your awareness.

Feeling down? A simple run may be all you need. Research has shown that running can have significant mood improvements, lowering symptoms of depression and anxiety and improving self-perception, with recorded long-term benefits for active runners.

Having trouble sleeping? Even mild treadmill exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce symptoms of insomnia.

Man running on a treadmill

How to Choose the Best Treadmill?

So, are treadmills worth it and how do you choose the best one? We’ve already discussed how a treadmill can benefit you both physically and mentally.

If you plan on getting one, some of the factors you should consider include intended use, comfort features, console features, and build quality and warranty. Furthermore, whether or not you should get a treadmill may depend on your budget and available space.

Refer to a treadmill’s dimensions to see if it fits and remember you need to leave some space behind it and, if possible, to your side for safe mounting and dismounting. The manufacturer-set user capacity is reliable, but note the number should be respected, else the machine can break and the warranty can be void.

Luckily, there are high-quality yet affordable home treadmills, such as the one we recommend:

Treadmill We Recommend

PRO-FORM CARBON TLX

PRO-FORM CARBON TLX
  • Type: Treadmill
  • Best for: Running, walking
  • Dimensions: 74.3’’D x 35.1’’W x 59.1’’H
  • Item weight: 249 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Speed: 0-12 mph
  • Workout surface: 20’’x60’’
  • Warranty: 10-Year Frame, 1-Year Parts, 1-Year Labor Warranty
  • Main features: 7’’ display, 3.0 CHP motor, ProShox cushioning, iFit

The Carbon TLX is an affordable and foldable treadmill for home use. Using innovative ProShox™ cushioning, it minimizes joint impact and enhances overall comfort. Thanks to its precisely balanced non-flex rollers the belt operates seamlessly and silently.

PRO-FORM CARBON TLX Instagram
Photo by @proform

The control console boasts an easy-to-use interface and an LCD monitor to track your workout and is compatible with the iFit app via Bluetooth. This treadmill can be folded horizontally when not in use, allowing for efficient storage or transportation when not used. Other important specs include:

FAQ

Is Treadmill Good for Losing Belly Fat?

Yes, studies have shown that exercising on a treadmill can reduce waist circumference AKA cut down belly fat. Moreover, the same study suggests higher intensity exercise like treadmill running benefits this to a greater effect.

Is 30 Minutes of Treadmill a Day Enough Exercise?

Whether or not 30 minutes of treadmill exercise per day is enough can depend on factors like age, health, and fitness goals. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 150-300 minutes of moderate or 75-150 minutes of vigorous exercise per week for adults.

Treadmills can be used for both training methods. For moderate exercise, try fast walking or using a medium incline (3-7%). For the best vigorous training methods, utilize interval training (mixing between running and walking) or uphill runs.

Is It Ok to Use a Treadmill Every Day?

Whether or not it’s good to use the treadmill every day will depend on other factors such as your fitness level and lifestyle as well as the type of exercise you plan on doing. If you’re in at least moderately good health, walking on a treadmill is a low-impact, low-risk exercise that won’t push any limits.

However, repeatedly doing high-intensity exercises like incline runs can lead to exercise fatigue and an increased risk of injury.

Conclusion

This concludes our article on treadmill benefits and uses. As you’ve seen, simply walking and running shouldn’t be underestimated as a means of physical activity. It carries valuable health and fitness benefits such as cardiovascular improvements, weight loss, and mood regulation, on top of being convenient and accessible.

With that in mind, one of the main advantages of treadmill machines is their ability to simulate both walking and running in a controlled manner. If that motivates you to get one for your home, we highly recommend the ProForm Carbon TLX.

We’d like to hear from you as well. Which information you learned today you found most useful? Have the advantages of treadmill machines motivated you to try them for yourself?

Leave a comment letting us know and remember to follow our social media pages for more valuable fitness content.

Also read:

References:

  1. The effect of walking on risk factors for cardiovascular disease: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised control trials // Sciencedirect: https://shorturl.at/uEGH6
  2. Aerobic Capacity // Sciencedirect: https://www.sciencedirect.com /topics/nursing-and-health-professions/aerobic-capacity
  3. What is blood pressure and how is it measured? // NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ books/NBK279251/
  4. Cardiovascular aspects of running // NCBI: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov /3902253/
  5. Resting heart rate // Healthdirect: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au /resting-heart-rate
  6. Walking Versus Running for Hypertension, Cholesterol, and Diabetes Mellitus Risk Reduction // Ahajournals: https://www.ahajournals.org/ doi/full/10.1161/ ATVBAHA.112.300878
  7. Greater Weight Loss from Running than Walking during 6.2-yr Prospective Follow-up // NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pmc/articles/ PMC4067491/
  8. Effectiveness of high-intensity interval training for weight loss in adults with obesity: a randomised controlled non-inferiority trial // BMJ: https://bmjopensem.bmj.com/ content/7/3/e001021
  9. Caloric Deficit: What to Know // Webmd: https://www.webmd.com/ diet/calorie-deficit
  10. Bones, muscles and joints // Healthdirect: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/ bones-muscles-and-joints
  11. Walking is related to bone density and rates of bone loss // NCBI: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8304358/
  12. Opportunities to improve cardiovascular health in the new American workplace // NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pmc/articles/ PMC8315405/
  13. Is Motorized Treadmill Running Biomechanically Comparable to Overground Running? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cross-Over Studies // NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pmc/articles/ PMC7069922/
  14. A 1% treadmill grade most accurately reflects the energetic cost of outdoor running // NCBI: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ 8887211/
  15. The Positive Effects of Running on Mental Health // NCBI: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ 32970641/
  16. Exercise to Improve Sleep in Insomnia: Exploration of the Bidirectional Effects // JCSM: https://jcsm.aasm.org/ doi/10.5664/ jcsm.2930
  17. Effect of aerobic exercise on waist circumference in adults with overweight or obesity: A systematic review and meta‐analysis // NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pmc/articles/PMC9540641/
  18. Physical activity // WHO: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity
  19. Photos are made by Torokhtiy Media Team

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Ihor Shymechko

Author: Ihor Shymechko
Pro Olympic Weightlifter, Coach

Experience: 26 years
Best Results: Snatch – 208 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Ihor has been a professional weightlifter since 1996, boasting over two decades of competition experience. His notable achievements include clinching the European Championship in 2009 and securing a silver medal in the 105kg division at the Senior World Championships in 2011. Ihor represented his country in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. After retiring from competitive weightlifting, he transitioned to coaching, leveraging his vast experience to guide athletes who now compete on both national and international stages.

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Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy
Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Experience: 21 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 200 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Oleksiy Torokhtiy is a professional athlete boasting 20 years of experience in Olympic weightlifting. With multiple European and World titles under his belt, he has showcased his prowess in two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008 and London 2012). Upon concluding his illustrious career, Oleksiy dedicated himself to coaching. By 2022, he had conducted over 200 weightlifting seminars worldwide. He is the visionary behind an international sportswear and accessories brand known for its motto, “Warm Body Cold Mind.” Additionally, he is an esteemed author and the creator of a series of training programs and eBooks.

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