I find that people either love or hate the treadmill. A lot of people feel that they only way to get a good workout on the treadmill is to run at a fast speed for a substantial amount of time. While you can certainly do this, long term your body will not be so appreciative. So if your someone like me who is not a runner and who doesn't enjoy it, you probably skip the treadmill, or it is your last line of defense if all your other choices have been taken. Well have no fear, I am going to share a secret about the treadmill and how to effectively incorporate it into your workouts. It will change your outlook and relationship with it forever!
The secret to getting the most bang for your buck with the treadmill is to walk on an incline at a moderately fast pace. When you do this, you are getting a host of benefits. You increase your calorie burning while building on endurance. The great thing is walking on an incline is also more friendly to your body. It has much less of an impact on your joints and knees (a common problem that most runners face). You can also increase and decrease the incline to mimic walking up and down hills which is an excellent form of cardio. It keeps the body guessing and will burn a lot of calories.
So if you are just starting out, I would start slow and work your way up gradually. A good starting place would be 2.5 mph at about an incline of 6.5. If that is too easy, you have three options; you can increase your speed, your incline, or both! This type of workout allows you a lot of flexibility compared to just increasing your speed on a flat surface. Once you have mastered that level, try 3.0 mph at an incline of an 8 and see how you do. Eventually, you will be a boss like me and be doing a 15 at 3.2- 3.5 mph!
So go ahead, give it a try. I think you will like it, and your body will thank you.