Being healthy, or staying healthy, is on everyone’s to do list. The challenge, however, is finding the time to do it. Between work, kids, school, hobbies, friends, and various other distractions, exercise can take a back seat. The question: Is walking just on the treadmill 30 minutes a day enough? The answer: yes, it is. In fact, it can drastically improve your health.
Walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes every day is a great way to burn calories and lose weight. Walking just 30 minutes per day can help improve your cardiovascular health and blood pressure, assist in weight loss, and help you build and tone muscle in the long run.
You can easily customize the intensity of your workout to match your own fitness level, and you can track your progress over time by monitoring the number of calories you burn each time you walk on the treadmill. Plus, walking is a low-impact exercise, so it is easy on your joints.
Is Walking on The Treadmill 30 Minutes a Day Enough? 8 Benefits
Walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes a day is enough to help your overall health substantially assuming you do it 5 days per weak. Physicians and researchers alike are in agreement: 30 minutes of moderate activity 3 to 5 times per week is beneficial to your health.
Walking based on time is one option, or alternatively you could base it on distance.
Here are 8 benefits that just 30 minutes of daily exercise can provide:
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Lose weight
- Strengthen your muscles
- Strengthen your heart
- Build confidence
- Improve your mood
- Better sleep
- Relieve stress
1/ Improve Cardiovascular Health
A little bit of walking can help you improve your cardiovascular health. In fact, walking can help reduce your risk of hearth disease, the leading cause of mortality for adults worldwide, by 19%.
According to the CDC, heart disease causes 1 death per 36 seconds in the United States alone. That contributes to 1 in 4 of all deaths in the US. If walking 30 minutes per day can help that, I think it’s time well spent.
2/ Lose Weight
Who doesn’t want to lose weight? But, can just 30 minutes per day of treadmill walking help you lose weight? Yes, it can. Nutrition is very important in weight loss, but walking aids the process by burning calories.
Check out our chart in the next section for more details.
3/ Strengthen Your Muscles
In addition to burning calories, walking helps build muscle in your glutes, calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, core, and erector spinae muscles in your back. It can improve your posture and make it easier to perform daily functions.
Added bonus: more muscle mass means your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) will be higher. In simple terms, that means you will burn more calories doing nothing – while you sleep, watch TV, or read – and throughout the rest of the day.
4/ Strengthen Your Heart
Brisk walking, or anything that gets your heart rate up, helps strengthen your heart and provides more overall cardiovascular benefits. Any exercise where you operate for an extended period of time in Zone 2, 70-80% of your max heart rate, will help build your heart muscle and overall health.
5/ Build Confidence
A byproduct of a good exercise program is confidence. As you stay dedicated and build up stamina to go further and further, you feel good about yourself. That helps motivate and push you to do more. Soon you will start to notice positive changes in your body; weight loss, tightening of certain areas, and increased muscle mass.
This is even more motivating and, therefore, helps encourage you to keep going. The hardest part of an exercise program is the first week or two. Stick with it and pretty soon you will have to stop yourself from working out!
6/ Improve Your Mood
Exercise is intrinsically linked to mood and overall good feelings. In a 2013 study on the Neuroscience of Exercise, researchers state that a positive response to regular exercise, such as improved autonomy and self esteem, are frequently described by people who exercise.
“Exercise is associated with the increased synthesis and release of both neurotransmitters and neurotrophic factors, and these increases may be associated with neurogenesis, angiogenesis and neuroplasticity.”
7/ Better Sleep
Another study in the Journal of Physiotherapy found that people starting an exercise program had moderate improvements in sleep – especially for middle-aged and older adults.
This is no surprise. Those who exercise understand the benefits of tiring yourself out during the day and sleeping like a baby at night. This alone is a great reason to start burning up some calories.
8/ Relieve Stress
Exercise has been shown to release endorphins, the feel good chemicals in our brains, and help relieve stress. You don’t have to run a marathon to take advantage of this either. Simply walking for 30 minutes on a treadmill will get the juices flowing and the good feelings coming.
In fact, after about 30 minutes of exercise endorphins are released and you start to feel better. This is one reason 30 minutes of daily exercise is a good idea. Another option to help relieve stress is to walk barefoot on the treadmill. Many people swear that the connection with your feet to the ground helps relieve stress.
How Long Should I Walk on The Treadmill to Lose Weight?
There are a few options when it comes to walking on a treadmill. The minimum you want to do on a regular basis is 15 minutes of brisk walking. 30 minutes of walking 5 days per week is recommended if possible. However, anything is better than nothing.
This isn’t your grandma’s walking, this is powerwalking. If you’re only going to walk for 15 minutes, it has to be with some intention. The other way to gage it would be by miles. Mileage can be a helpful gage and allow you to speed it up some days if you need to.
Walking for 3 miles, or 30 minutes, or 45 minutes, or whatever is ultimately going to come down to your level of fitness, the amount of time you have to invest in your health, and whatever level of exercise you can stay dedicated to. It does no good to claim you walk for 2 hours per day when you only actually do it once every two weeks.
Figure out what you can consistently do, and do it. Consistently. This is the only way to realize long-term change and all of the benefits we laid out above.
Below is a chart that shows some examples of bodyweight and speed or distance to burn certain amounts of calories. Look at the numbers, figure out your goals, and then decide what is right for you.
[add calorie burn chart based on formula]
How Fast Should You Walk on A Treadmill?
The average walking speed of adults is 3.2mph. At this rate, if you walk for 30 minutes, you will have covered 1.6 miles. Ultimately, the speed you walk on the treadmill is going to depend on your goals, priorities, and time.
If you have less time and more energy, speed it up to cover the same amount of overall distance in less time. Covering the same distance faster or slower doesn’t have a large impact on the health benefits or the calories burned.
If I walk 2 miles in 45 minutes, or run two miles in 25 minutes, I will get a similar net benefit from a health standpoint. The tradeoff? It took more time. Ultimately, you want your exercise to be as efficient as possible, but some days it’s nice to take it easy and enjoy it.
When asking yourself is walking on the treadmill 30 minutes a day enough, remember: there are a ton of health benefits to be had by simply doing something, even if only for 30 minutes. Every day you put in the effort, you can reap all of the 8 benefits we listed above, as well as many, many more.
Walking is one form of exercise, but there are also several others. On this site, our favorite is running. But, as the saying goes, sometimes you need to walk before you can run.