How Long Should You Run On A Treadmill?

So, you’ve decided that it’s time to hit the gym. A couple of years of self-isolation and quarantine are a little too much for anyone, and they’ve taken their toll on all of us.

So, it’s time to start thinking of ways and strategies of getting back into shape. Sure, you could exercise in your own home, or exercise outside in the area you live.

how long should you run on a treadmill

But that depends on either your home being big enough for your ideal exercises and the area around you being exercise and runner-friendly.

So, hitting up a gym is a pretty good way of guaranteeing a safe space to train your body, as well as to start socializing again.

One of the things that people often gravitate towards in the gym is a good old-fashioned treadmill machine.

While treadmills aren’t exactly what they were when we first started using them, they’re still one of the best tools we have at our disposal when it comes to working out.

And with all the benefits of running (or walking) indoors, this is something that many, many people will gravitate towards.

And why wouldn’t they? It’s great for building up stamina, for building muscles in your legs and lower back, and it is a great way of practicing breathing exercises whilst doing strenuous tasks.

But one thing that people typically wonder, when considering the treadmill as part of their regular exercise routine, is if it can help them with weight loss.

And how long they should be running if they want to maximize the exercise that they are doing on a treadmill.

Well, that’s what this article is here to discuss.

We’re going to cover the weight loss benefits of exercising of running on a treadmill, how long you should run to keep those benefits up, as well as a few tips and tricks you should keep in mind whilst on the equipment.

Running As An Exercise For Weight Loss 

One of the first things that people wonder when it comes to running, is if it is even any good at helping out a weight loss.

It is such a simple and easy exercise to do, so there has to be a catch with it, right? It must be a pretty tame option for people in the gym when compared to other exercises, surely?

But funnily enough, running is probably one best overall exercise you can do to raise your fitness level as well as tackle unwanted fat in your body.

In fact, according to recent research from the University of Essex, running is better than swimming, cycling and even rowing at burning calories.

And it’s not just about burning calories by running. There are also some important health benefits associated with running that make it worth investing your time into.

One of which is that running improves blood pressure levels. This means that if your blood pressure tends to be higher than average, then running can be a very healthy exercise for you.

If you’re looking to lose weight, then running is the best workout to consider.

Exercising On A Treadmill For Weight Loss

So, if running has all these health benefits for the human body, then Treadmill running is going to be an excellent way to help cut down on your body fat and weight.

When outdoor running isn’t a viable option for you, or you want to stay in a controlled environment, then treadmill running is a great alternative.

Not only that, but running on a treadmill, thanks to its controllable speed and features, is great for people with joint issues.

So in this respect, treadmill running might be better for some people than normal or cross-country running.

When it comes to weight loss through running, it’s not necessarily about simply running fast; it’s about running consistently over an extended period.

So, if you’ve got a treadmill, then it should come as no surprise to find that you’ll get more benefit from your workouts if you use it for longer periods.

This is because the cardiovascular system needs to work harder to maintain its normal function. The heart has to pump extra blood around the body, as well as increase oxygen flow.

Therefore, if you have been sitting idle on a treadmill, then you may struggle to burn as many calories as you would otherwise.

However, if you spend 20 minutes on a treadmill every day, then you will see results.

How Long Should You Run On A Treadmill For The Most Effective?

So, now that we have covered if treadmill running is a good option for weight loss, we should ask: ‘How long is best for you to be running on a treadmill?’

How Long Should You Run On A Treadmill For The Most Effective?

Well, that will depend on your general health condition beforehand.

If you have been keeping up a light fitness routine before starting to run on a treadmill, then you are likely going to be able to run for longer and faster than someone who is starting completely fresh.

As a general benchmark, you can start with a run-walk interval routine that lasts for about 30 minutes.

If you are new to exercising like this, the goal will not be to see how fast you can run, but slowly build up your speed with a slightly increasing top speed over several weeks.

The same goes for those using treadmills – don’t expect to reach any kind of record during the first few runs. Instead, focus on consistency and ease.

Starting at a 3-4 mile an hour walking/running speed is a great place to start, especially if you are doing this regularly in your weekly routine, which would be at least 4 to 5 times a week.

Once you are comfortably able to maintain a decent walking speed for your 30-minute interval, you can start to intersperse it with periods of light jogging and running.

As your base fitness improves, you can gradually ramp up the amount of time spent on the treadmill by increasing the intensity level.

You will need to consult with a doctor before beginning any exercise routines, so they can check that there are no underlying health concerns that could put you off running at a higher pace.

For example, you might initially be advised to limit yourself to 1 hour on the treadmill, depending upon your current physical condition. This could later be increased to 2 hours or even three if you feel comfortable.

It might seem obvious, but make sure you wear appropriate footwear when working out on a treadmill. It’s also important to remember that a strong core is required for safe treadmill running.

Tips For Using A Treadmill

  • It might seem obvious, but make sure you wear appropriate footwear when working out on a treadmill. General running shoes are a sensible choice to make. Avoid footwear that is either uncomfortable or has a point that would be taking a lot of weight on a single point whilst running. Common sense will dictate what is and isn’t a sensible choice of shoe wear.
  • Know what all the features of your treadmill can do for you. Many will have features such as heart rate monitors and calorie burning calculators as standard with them, so make sure that you make full use of them, as they are great ways of tracking your overall progress!
  • Make sure that you stay hydrated whilst on a treadmill. Your body requires water to prevent dehydration from occurring. Drinking enough water while on a treadmill can help to keep you feeling refreshed and calm throughout your workout.


So there we have it! There are several methods you can use to get fit and healthy, but it just depends upon what works best for each person. In some cases, you will find that one method will suit you better than another, so try as many techniques as you can until you find something that works for you.

The most important thing is to enjoy the process and continue to motivate yourself regularly. It’ll be a lot easier to stay motivated if you are enjoying your treadmill running!

Megan Rinzel
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