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Video:Walking Workout on a Treadmill

with Jonathon E. Stewart

Walking workouts burn fat and calories efficiently, so don't let ugly terrain or inhospitable weather keep you from getting in shape. See how you can walk your way into shape on a treadmill.See Transcript

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Transcript:Walking Workout on a Treadmill

Hey guys - Jonathon Stewart here for About.com. Even when you consider heavy hitters of years passed, like Nordic Tracks, home gyms, stationary bikes, pogo sticks and even the old leg-shaping wonder, the Thighmaster, the number one piece of home exercise equipment today remains, far and away, the treadmill. So bring your walking workout in from the cold, and stay fit from the comfort of your own home or gym. Check it out.

Walking Indoor Vs. Outdoor

It's hard to beat walking outdoors for varied scenery and fresh air, but factors like inclement weather or inhospitable walking terrain can instantly raise the appeal of working out indoors. And a treadmill workout utilizes nearly identical muscles, and burns just as many calories as walking outdoors. Not to mention it can be a good way to catch up on your CNN, your Oprah, Your Always Sunny In Philadelphia or whatever it is that absolutely needs catching up on.

Treadmill Walking Technique

Walking on a treadmill is very similar physically to walking outdoors, although the moving belt does require you to make tiny little hops to propel yourself forward -- on a regular surface, you can you rely on your back foot to do the job. You might also find that your front foot has a greater tendency to slap downward in order to keep up with the belt. But let's not get carried away here. Walking on a treadmill might feel a little awkward at first, but no matter how you slice it, it's still... walking!

Treadmill Walking and Shin Strain

When using a treadmill, there is a slightly greater strain on your shins, so you might want to try the following shin-strengthening exercise at any point throughout your day. From a seated position, raise your foot off the ground and air-trace the alphabet with your toes, one letter at a time. Relax, and repeat with your other foot.

Don't forget to give yourself five or ten minutes to warm up before you get going, too, and know that any workout you can do outside can be replicated inside as well. Minus the trees, flowers, birds, and so on, of course.

Treadmill Workout Speed and Form

Your treadmill walking pace should be just slightly faster than your outdoor speed, as there's likely no wind or other air resistance in your workout room. Set your pace for anywhere between 1 and 3 miles per hour if you're just starting out, and consider raising your incline about 1% to compensate for the resistance difference. Increase your pace or incline as you feel comfortable, but remember to keep your head high, shoulders relaxed, and arms swinging - the same form you'd use when walking outside. Don't let your form slack or use the rails as crutches just to increase your incline or speed.

Also, don't be afraid to try different programs or settings as you get to know your treadmill better. Just be sure to keep your eyes looking toward the horizon and away from the console as much of the time as you can. Tilting your head so you are looking at all of those buttons and counters is bad for your form, and nothing makes a treadmill walk go more slowly than watching the seconds tick by.

Treadmill Entertainment

Lack of scenic variety may be the treadmill's greatest liability, but watching TV or DVDs can be an easy way to pass the time, as can listening to music, catching up on phone calls, or just letting your mind wander. Just don't let it wander off so far that you forget there's a continually moving piece of rubber under your feet, or you might suddenly find yourself swept off of them! And not in the romantic sense.

Happy walking, and thanks for watching! To learn more, visit us on the Web at About.com.
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