How to Start Using Your Treadmill

To start using your treadmill, you should start by alternating between walking and jogging. 20 to 25 minutes the first few days is enough. Keep reading to learn more tips!
How to Start Using Your Treadmill

Last update: 22 May, 2021

Have you been thinking about how to start using your treadmill? Running is an excellent cardiovascular exercise. However, getting started isn’t always easy. An interesting way is to start running on a treadmill, as it’s also a fairly affordable way.

The basic recommendation is that you start by alternating between walking and jogging. You walk for about 5 minutes at a good pace to warm up and then alternate between short intervals of running and walking for 1 to 2 minutes. Half an hour for the first few days is enough.

The advantages of using your treadmill

No doubt about it, starting to run on a treadmill has many advantages. The most important are the following.

Reduced impact

One of the great benefits of running on a treadmill is that the impact is reduced compared to running on the street or other outdoor surfaces.

The impact can cause ankle, knee, and back problems because the pavement is hard. In addition, stepping on rocks incorrectly doesn’t help either.

A treadmill has a relatively soft surface and offers some shock absorption. It’s also free of obstacles that can occur outdoors.

Everything under control

The treadmill allows us to have many parameters under control, such as speed, incline, or time spent on it. This allows us to adapt the training to the needs of each person, according to their physical condition.

Safety and privacy

Treadmills are safe in the sense that there won’t be any obstacles along the way, no unexpected changes, slippery areas, or uneven surfaces. Nor will anything or anyone get in your way during your workout.

On the other hand, they offer the privacy of an enclosed space, at home or in the gym, which won’t make you lose concentration or feel bad about your running.

Disadvantages of using your treadmill

Among the various disadvantages of treadmill running are the following.

It doesn’t allow the same type of adaptation

Running outdoors involves stepping on areas with various irregularities, which offers the joints the opportunity to constantly make adjustments to adapt to the terrain. This provides invaluable opportunities to develop balance and coordination.

Fewer muscles are activated

Because the treadmill is motor-driven, the body has to mobilize fewer muscles or do it differently than when running outdoors.

In fact, running outdoors requires more work on the hamstrings to finish the stride and lift the foot towards the buttocks. On the treadmill, you work the quads much more than the hamstrings and glutes.

It can get boring

After a long time training on a treadmill or if you want to train for long periods of time, the treadmill can become more boring than outdoors.

How to start using your treadmill

Starting with alternating intervals of walking and jogging may seem boring, but it’ll help you monitor your progress. You’ll gradually increase the duration of these intervals.

One of the main skills that’ll help you master the treadmill is breathing. So that your breathing doesn’t get out of control, you should ideally start by jogging, so that you can inhale in four beats and exhale in four beats.

Walking on the treadmill not only helps you warm up your muscles but also helps you prepare mentally, as it requires a lot of concentration and coordination, as research shows.

In addition, you must coordinate the movement of the arms, bringing the opposite one forward to the one that gives the step. This is essential for walking and essential for running. But many people overlook it.

The movement of the arms provides balance and power during movement. In addition to promoting the assimilation of this movement, moving your arms while walking is also an excellent way to warm up your upper body.

Learning to walk on the treadmill is also the first step in controlling your breathing, attuning it to the movement. Remember to inhale on four and exhale on four more. Keep in mind that if you walk too slowly this is going to be very difficult.

So select a speed that allows you to breathe at this pace. It’s very important that you acquire a good command of technique and breath control before you start running.

Useful tips for beginners

Here are some useful tips to help you get started with treadmill running.

Alternate jogging and walking

When you’re ready to start running, almost all experts recommend the strategy of alternating short intervals of jogging and walking for 1 to 2 minutes. One of the reasons for this recommendation is that it helps save energy and maintain endurance, as studies show.

Once you’ve warmed up, a good way to start testing yourself is to alternate 1 minute of jogging with 1 or 2 minutes of walking. Jogging means running slowly, at just the right speed to have the flight phase of running, with short strides.

Starting with a slow jog will allow you to adjust your breathing and test the effects of high-impact exercise. Even if you feel you can run faster, it’s better to go slowly.

If you find it too strenuous, reduce the jogging intervals to 30 seconds or less, interspersed with walking periods of 2 minutes or more. On successive days you can reduce the walking time and increase the jogging time.

You can also try the speed little by little. The important thing is that you learn to coordinate your breathing and listen to your body without losing your concentration.

To start using your treadmill, it’s best to forget about music

Music is an excellent ally when it comes to exercise, but it can be counterproductive when you start running and alternate jogging with walking. The reason is very simple: the rhythm isn’t usually the one you have on the treadmill.

In fact, it’s easy to unconsciously let yourself get carried away naturally. This can cause you to lose concentration.

To start running on a treadmill, the only sound you should care about is the sound of your footsteps and your breathing. And if you’re one of those who needs music to exercise, don’t worry. Once you can run for a longer period of time, music will help you.

Why it’s a good idea to start using your treadmill

Numerous studies support the fact that running is an excellent exercise, both for physical and psychological health. Let’s take a closer look.

1. Running is good for your physical health

One of the great benefits of running is that it’s an excellent means of conditioning the cardiovascular system. In this regard, the journal Clinics in Sports Medicine published a review study on the cardiovascular aspects of running.

Moreover, various research has found that running is good for bone health.

2. Running is good for your mental health

One of the main reasons people run is that they feel good doing it. In fact, many studies support this.

For example, research published in 1988 in the journal Percept Mot Skills on the effects of running and other activities on mood found that runners had a significantly more positive mood profile than non-exercisers.

Researchers have also found that participation in physical activities, such as running and jogging, is directly related to improved self-esteem.

Start running by alternating

The best way to start treadmill running is to alternate short intervals of walking and jogging. As you improve your endurance, you can increase the speed of your jogging into running, as well as the duration of these fast intervals.

Don’t be discouraged at the start. There’s a long way to go and the tips we’ve given will help you on your road to a healthier lifestyle!

It might interest you...
HIIT for Beginners: Recommended Exercises and Tips
Step To HealthRead it in Step To Health
HIIT for Beginners: Recommended Exercises and Tips

It takes time to lose weight. If you’re looking for an intense routine that could shorten response times, HIIT for beginners is for you.

  • Lee, D., Pate, R., Lavie, C., Sui, X., Church, T., & Blair, S. (2014). Leisure-Time Running Reduces All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality Risk. Journal Of The American College Of Cardiology, 64(5), 472-481. Disponible en
  • Miller, R., Marriott, D., Trotter, J., Hammond, T., Lyman, D., & Call, T. et al. (2018). Running exercise mitigates the negative consequences of chronic stress on dorsal hippocampal long-term potentiation in male mice. Neurobiology Of Learning And Memory, 149, 28-38. Disponible en:
  • Pedisic Z, Shrestha N, Kovalchik S, et alIs running associated with a lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, and is the more the better? A systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2020;54:898-905.  Disponible en:
  •  Rector, R., Rogers, R., Ruebel, M., Widzer, M., & Hinton, P. (2009). Lean Body Mass and Weight-Bearing Activity in the Prediction of Bone Mineral Density in Physically Active Men. Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research, 23(2), 427-435. doi: 10.1519/jsc.0b013e31819420e1.
  • Cantwell JD. (1985). Cardiovascular aspects of running.
  • Strope, M., Nigh, P., Carter, M., Lin, N., Jiang, J., & Hinton, P. (2014). Physical Activity–Associated Bone Loading During Adolescence and Young Adulthood Is Positively Associated With Adult Bone Mineral Density in Men. American Journal Of Men’s Health, 9(6), 442-450.
  • Lao XQ, Deng H, Liu X, et a (2019). lIncreased leisure-time physical activity associated with lower onset of diabetes in 44 828 adults with impaired fasting glucose: a population-based prospective cohort studyBritish Journal of Sports Medicine.
  • Dyer JB, Crouch JG. (1988) Effects of Running and other Activities on Moods. Perceptual and Motor Skills. Disponible en 
  • Sani, S., Fathirezaie, Z., Brand, S., Pühse, U., Holsboer-Trachsler, E., Gerber, M., & Talepasand, S. (2016). Physical activity and self-esteem: testing direct and indirect relationships associated with psychological and physical mechanisms. Neuropsychiatric Disease And Treatment, Volume 12, 2617-2625.
  • Aberg, M., Pedersen, N., Toren, K., Svartengren, M., Backstrand, B., & Johnsson, T. et al. (2009). Cardiovascular fitness is associated with cognition in young adulthood. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences, 106(49), 20906-20911.
  • Kolb, E., Rezende, E., Holness, L., Radtke, A., Lee, S., Obenaus, A., & Garland, T. (2013). Mice selectively bred for high voluntary wheel running have larger midbrains: support for the mosaic model of brain evolution. Journal Of Experimental Biology, 216(3), 515-523.