Weight control or weight loss is an ongoing struggle for many millions of people in developed countries. The twin major causes of overweight and obesity are consuming too many calories and not getting enough physical activity. Making it a habit to walk regularly on a treadmill can make weight loss a bit easier by expending many more calories per week and month than you do now.
The Health Risks of Being Overweight or Obese
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) being overweight (BMI of 25 or higher) or obese (BMI of 30 or higher) increases the risks for the following conditions:
- Coronary heart disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Some cancers (breast, colon and endometrial)
- High cholesterol and/or triglycerides
- Liver disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
- Gynecological problems
Clearly there should be some motivation to achieve and maintain a healthy weight to avoid all these extra health risks.
The Health Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
The Mayo Clinic cites the following as important health benefits of aerobic exercise:
- Helps you lose weight and keep it off (combined with a healthy diet)
- Increases your stamina
- Reduces susceptibility to colds and flu
- Reduces the risk of many health conditions including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and certain types of cancer
- Helps manage chronic medical conditions including high blood pressure and blood sugar issues
- Strengthens your heart, improving blood flow to all parts of your body
- Helps keep your arteries clear
- Enhances your mood
- Prolongs independent activity as you age
- Helps you live longer
The benefits of aerobic exercise on fitness alone are worth the effort, but note that aerobic conditioning can also help you achieve your permanent weight loss goals.
Walking on a Treadmill for Weight Loss
Three key steps will help you lose weight by walking on a treadmill:
- Set weight loss goals to guide and motivate your efforts.
- Create a realistic weight loss action plan capable of achieving your weight loss goals.
- Reduce the number of calories you consume each day using a sensible and healthy diet program like the Mayo Clinic Diet or an acknowledged successful paid program like Weight Watchers.
See the Related Articles section below for detailed guidelines on setting goals and developing action plans for weight loss. And be sure to get your doctor’s approval before beginning any diet or exercise program.
Federal government guidelines for physical activity recommend gradually working up to 60 to 90 minutes of daily moderate-intensity aerobic activity like brisk walking if you need to lose weight. While 30-minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity five days a week is sufficient for many health benefits it is not sufficient when weight loss is a primary goal. Serious weight loss requires double or triple that amount of daily aerobic activity for real success.
One of the keys to learn about aerobic exercise on a treadmill is the pace required for moderate intensity. A moderate-intensity aerobic pace elevates the heart and respiration rates so that you feel slightly breathless, but still allows you to talk while exercising at that pace. For most people a walking speed of from 3.0 to 4.0 MPH is a moderate-intensity aerobic pace, but those who are already fit may need to walk at a pace of 4.5 or 5.0 MPH to get aerobic. The key feature of aerobic exercise is its efficiency in burning fat calories.
Aerobic Walking on a Treadmill Helps You Lose Weight
If you can make it an ingrained habit to walk on a treadmill for at least one hour a day then you’ll be well on your way to both aerobic fitness and permanent weight loss. Work on setting your goals, developing a good action plan, and building your motivation and you’ll get off to a great start.
Related Articles and References
You might benefit from several other articles pertaining to weight loss if you are getting ready to commit to a program:
- How to Get Aerobically Fit Using a Treadmill
- Setting Goals for Weight Loss
- Walk Every Day to Lose Weight
- The Mayo Clinic Diet for Healthy Weight Loss
- Building Motivation for Permanent Weight Loss
- Developing Action Plans for Weight Loss