One hour on the treadmill – is it worth it?

Many people associate time on the treadmill with a sweat fest full of hard running, laboured breathing, sore feet, and strong legs. And they aren’t wrong, but that isn’t ALL there is to spend an hour on the treadmill.

is one hour on a treadmill worth it?

Just one hour a day on the treadmill can be worth it if you use that hour to improve your health and fitness levels. US Health Services recommend a minimum of 30 minutes a day to maintain your weight and 300 minutes for the whole week to see weight loss results, however, this of course depends on your level of activity and whether you’re in a caloric deficit!

Treadmills offer various options when you press start, but if you don’t use them properly, you could be causing more harm than good or wasting your time.

Consider HOW you spend your hour before stepping on the belt and hitting GO.

Disclaimer: The information provided on is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. The content, including text, images, graphics, and other materials, is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Benefits of a One-Hour Treadmill Session

Many people associate time on the treadmill with a sweat fest full of hard running, laboured breathing, sore feet, and strong legs. And they aren’t wrong, but that isn’t ALL there is to spend an hour on the treadmill.

The benefits of using a treadmill go beyond just losing weight with a hard and fast run. Check these out.

Heart Health

Yes, heart health is related to a healthy weight and diet, but you don’t need to run full tilt to have a strong heart. Walking for 1 hour on the treadmill keeps your blood circulating throughout your body, your joints lubricated, and your mind on point.

All of these things result can result in a healthy heart and increased longevity. Plus, you don’t need to run. You can walk at a leisurely pace if your primary goal is maintaining your body’s system functions.

Stronger Muscles

The more you walk or run on a treadmill, the stronger your lower body muscles get. Stronger leg muscles (calves, quads, hamstrings) also mean hip and glute muscles and joints get stronger and increase mobility and flexibility. As you age, joints and bones become brittle and may deteriorate if not kept strong and healthy.

Remember, the stronger your body, the more muscle over fat you have, and the more calories you can burn…if that is your goal.

Improved Mental Health

Any activity that increases your heart rate causes your body to release the natural chemicals called endorphins. This release is what we call a “high,” and it leads to feelings of happiness and accomplishment.

It is a great way to relieve stress and depression, reduce anxiety, and lower blood pressure. Walking is amazing for your mental health. If you are having a bad day, run it out or put on headphones and walk until you feel better.

Double the Minimum

Walking or moving for 30 minutes daily is the minimum to keep your body healthy. We need to move and groove and get our heart rate up, so by sticking to it for an hour, you are doubling every beneficial aspect of walking in the first place. PLUS, instead of burning only a couple of hundred calories, you double that too and burn 500 or more. What is more beneficial than getting a double?

Best Ways to Spend One Treadmill Hour

You can spend 1 hour a day or 1 hour a week hitting the belt, but if you don’t get your heart rate up over your resting heart rate, you aren’t making the most of your time. That doesn’t mean the entire 60 minutes must be done while pushing yourself as hard as possible.

Start with a Warm-up

You have to start by warming up your body. Walk at a steady, average speed, like 2-3 mph, for a few minutes. Then increase it a little to maybe 3.5 mph. After 5 minutes, you’ve been moving for a consistent enough time that your heart rate will be up. Now, you can either keep this pace for the next 5 minutes or 55 minutes. OR…

Kick it up a Notch

Now you only have 50 or so of those 60 minutes left. As long as you can do so safely, increase your speed to a brisk walk or even a light jog for a while. This could be as long as the rest of your hour or 10-20 minutes. When you feel fatigued, which goes beyond normal breathing, slow down again and catch your breath.

If you don’t want to increase your speed, use the incline button and change the resistance. You will still increase your heart rate well above normal and increase the muscle in your lower body.

Yet another option is to grab a light pair of weights and add resistance AND an upper body workout.

A Quick Sprint, Anyone?

Typically, there are 2 types of runners: sprinters and long-distance runners. If you are a sprinter, you are now at a full-tilt run for the next 30 minutes. If you are type number 2, you are more likely to set a pace at 5-6 mph and zone out for the peak of your one hour on the treadmill.

Just don’t forget the most essential part…

The Cooldown

Here you also have 2 options.

  1. Sprint or run through the 60-minute mark and cool down AFTER, going a few minutes over one hour.
  2. Turn down your belt speed to a 3 or less to catch your breath for the last 2-5 minutes of your session.

Either way, you want to safely bring your heart rate back down to normal before hitting the shower. Don’t risk passing out or falling over because you are still going at full speed inside after you slow your feet.

Know the Risks

Spending an hour on the treadmill isn’t all good. You have to know what your body can handle and what level of healthy activity you are at first. Don’t overexert yourself; gradually work up to an hour if you need. Beginners can work in smaller sessions, whereas trained athletes are conditioned for harder and longer sessions.

If you are new to walking for an hour, break it up into sections and walk twice daily for 30 minutes. Nowhere does it say an hour has to be a consecutive 60 minutes.

Your muscles and joints aren’t yet conditioned to handle that kind of stress for an hour at a time, and your lung capacity certainly isn’t up to par if you aren’t already walking or running every day.


I’m Chloe – a body confidence writer here at House of Peach! I help women to feel fabulous in the body they’re in and feel amazing in gym wear – regardless of their body shape and type. Unleash Your Peach.

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