Treadmills are a realistic and effective form of cardiovascular activity.
Exercise is an effective way to increase your caloric burn by increasing your movements. Losing body weight is possible by burning off more calories than you consume. Calories are the fuel that keep your body going, and every movement you make burns calories. If you have excess body fat, you will need to burn approximately 3500 calories in excess of what you take in to lose one pound of fat. A healthy diet is an important factor in any weight loss effort.
Low Intensity: Walking
Your body weight and muscle mass will play a factor in how many calories you burn. The heavier you are, and the more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you will burn. If you weigh 160 pounds you will burn approximately nine calories for each minute you walk. If you walk for the entire 40 minutes, you will burn around 360 calories.
Moderate Intensity: Jogging
Jogging requires a faster pace than walking and thus burns more calories. Again using 160 pounds as your body-weight base, you will use about 12 calories each minute. If you keep the same pace for the 40 minutes your body will consume roughly 480 calories.
High intensity: Running
Running is the most difficult of the three and will burn the most calories. Taking 160 pounds as your body-weight base, roughly 15 calories will be burned for each minute you run. Exercising for 40 minutes boasts a 600 calorie yield, though running can be hard to sustain for long periods of time.
Mixed Intensity: Interval Training
Mixing short bursts of high intensity with periods of lower intensity is interval training. Interval training can improve endurance -- muscular and cardiovascular -- and it provides an alternative to doing one type of intensity on the treadmill. Intervals provide a means for increasing your abilities as well as a way to keep things interesting. Try starting with 20 to 30 seconds of jogging and 90 to 120 seconds of walking.
Tips and Safety
Incline is adjustable on most treadmills. Some models can reach 30%. An uphill incline increases the intensity of the workout and therefore the calories burned. Holding onto or leaning on the treadmill reduces the calories burned.
Before you workout on a treadmill, ask someone to show you all the machine's functions, including emergency shutoffs. Warming up and cooling down is important if you want to minimize your injuries. Stretching is another important factor that reduces risk, but make sure you stretch after you warm up. Stay hydrated while on the treadmill, and if you feel lightheaded or dizzy at any time, turn the machine off and stop exercising.