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Don't Feel Like Running? Try This 30-Minute Treadmill Walking Workout Instead

feet on treadmills
Your time on the treadmill doesn't have to be boring! Try this 30-minute treadmill walking workout during your next gym visit.
by Catherine Santino

You don't have to be a runner—or even like running—to get in some good exercise at the gym. A treadmill walking workout can be just as effective!

According to NBC News, walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise, and can provide many health benefits. Ann Green, M.S., tells the source that walking "improves fitness, cardiac health, alleviates depression and fatigue, improves mood, creates less stress on joints and reduces pain, can prevent weight gain, reduce risk for cancer and chronic disease, improve endurance, circulation, and posture." Because walking is a low-impact exercise, it's a great option for those with back, knee, or ankle issues.

So, don't write off walking as running's less impressive relative! Instead, try this 30-minute treadmill walking workout; it's perfect for days when you don't want to push yourself to the max, but still want to get in a good cardio session.

30-Minute Treadmill Walking Workout

Ready to get started? The following workout plan is organized down to the minute, so grab some water, lace up a good pair of walking sneakers, put on your favorite playlist, and find yourself an open treadmill!

Warm Up (0:00–5:00)

To begin, you can start walking with no incline at a slow speed. Take it easy, spending the first five minutes of your treadmill walking workout getting your body warmed up and used to the machine.

The First Incline (5:00–10:00)

Now that you're feeling loose and limber, it's time to increase your incline a bit! Experiment with the machine to find a comfortable setting that's just a couple notches higher. Keep your speed the same. At this point, you should start to feel your heart rate rise a bit.

Speed It Up (10:00–13:00)

OK, you're a third of the way there! It's time to step things up by raising your incline a little more and modestly increasing your speed for the next three minutes. Breathe deeply and don't push yourself too hard — take a moment to drink some water if you need to.

Taking It Even Higher (13:00–16:00)

Are you starting to feel the burn? Awesome. Increase your incline another couple notches and try to maintain your speed for another three minutes.

The Peak (16:00–18:00)

You've reached the peak! Try increasing your incline to the highest setting you can handle while keeping your speed pegged at a challenging (but manageable) speed. This is the hardest you'll go, so stay strong and focused for the next two minutes.

The Decline (18:00–21:00)

Alright, it's all downhill from here. Well, not really — but you won't be climbing anymore! Begin to slowly reduce your incline, taking it down a couple notches over the course of these three minutes. Maintain your speed and keep breathing deeply.

Dialing It Even Lower (21:00–24:00)

Less than 10 minutes to go! Lower your incline by another couple notches and slightly reduce your speed for another three minutes. At this point, you should feel your heart rate start to relax a bit.

Cool Down (24:00–30:00)

Nice, you're almost there. Maintain your speed and decrease your incline so it's nearly flat for five minutes. Then, for the last minute, move the incline setting all the way down, so you're walking on a completely level surface again.

That's it; you did it! Step off the machine, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back and cool down with a few stretches. You can turn to this treadmill walking workout whenever you need a low-impact cardio boost. Once you get more comfortable with the routine you can work on increasing your inclines or adding on to the length of each session.

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.