Walking or Running, Here’s How Long You Should Hit the Treadmill to Actually Lose Weight

Cardio is a key piece of the puzzle when you're trying to lose weight, and you have lots of options to choose from. One classic, popular choice is the treadmill: easy to use and accessible if you have a gym membership or a machine in the basement. But although it's easy to just hop on and run, you want to be strategic if you're looking to drop pounds.

The treadmill "can be an extremely effective tool for building aerobic capacity, burning calories, and developing your fitness level," said Lee Wratislaw, NASM, CPT, a GOLD's AMP trainer for Gold's Gym. So what kinds of treadmill workouts should you do, and just how long do you have to spend on it per session to see results?

How Long Should I Work Out on the Treadmill to Lose Weight?

How long you spend on the treadmill depends on whether you're doing high-intensity interval training or a steady-state workout. Both are effective for weight loss, Lee explained.

"HIIT training sessions, comprised of shorter bursts at higher speeds followed by periods of active recovery or complete rest, are perfect ways to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time," Lee told POPSUGAR. This has to do with EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, a high-metabolism state your body enters after intense exercise, in which the increased amount of oxygen requires increased energy and calorie burn. Though EPOC won't last for hours (and, contrary to popular belief, doesn't burn hundreds of calories), it's still an added benefit of choosing a HIIT workout when you're on the treadmill. For these types of workouts, you'll want to keep it short: Lee recommended 20 minutes.

Steady-state treadmill workouts can last a little longer. Try 30 minutes for a moderate-intensity workout like light jogging, or 40 minutes for low-intensity walking. "Steady-state training is best for building aerobic capacity, or the body's ability to efficiently use oxygen for exercise," Lee said. You'll increase your cardiorespiratory fitness, he explained, which will help you run or walk farther and faster in time, ultimately helping you lose weight.

These recommendations are a good starting place, but you should always base the time and speed of your treadmill workout on your current fitness level. If you're a beginner, Lee rRead More – Source