Walk the Walk: How to set up a treadmill workout plan

When is walking not walking? When you spice up your treadmill workout program with some creative twists that add a whole new aspect to an old standby in many workout rooms.
Any physical activity you do is beneficial to some degree, but if you are looking to get more out of your treadmill workouts I will offer some advanced tips for treadmill walking this week.
Today, here are some ways to setup a treadmill workout plan for beginners. Follow this program for cardio walks on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays:
* To begin (weeks 1 to 3):
Warm up for 5 minutes by walking at 1.5 to 2 mph, then get off the treadmill and stretch.
Get back on the treadmill, walk for 20 minutes at 2 mph and then stretch afterwards. Total workout time is 30 minutes.
* Now we’re moving (weeks 4 to 7):
Follow the same warmup and stretching, but then walk for 30 minutes before stretching afterwards for a total workout of 40 minutes.
* Stepping it up (weeks 8-12):
Follow the same warmup and stretching, but then walk for 40 minutes before stretching afterwards for a total workout of 50 minutes.
* Add interval training:
If you want to add more to your walking program, then also walk on Tuesdays, Thursdays, leaving Fridays and Sundays for rest days.
Once you’re comfortable with the walking, consider doing speed intervals on Tuesdays and Thursdays and perhaps adding incline intervals on Saturdays to build more endurance and strength.
That is, for speed intervals walk at a faster pace for 1 or 2 minutes at say 3 to 3.5 mph then return to your normal comfortable speed. For inclines, put the treadmill at an incline of 1 to start and when you’re comfortable you can take it to a higher level.
Gradually increase your effort level with the speed and incline intervals but if you stick with it should make a noticeable difference in your fitness level.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

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