Running burns approximately 600 calories an hour, depending on how much you weigh and how fast you're going. While you need to do it consistently to meet your weight loss goals, treadmill running can quickly turn boring. Changing up your routine now and then will keep your workouts fresh and decrease the chances that you'll skip the cardio.
In addition to causing you to lose interest, constantly running at a predictable pace can lead to a weight loss plateau. Shake things up with intervals when you run. Walk for about five minutes to warm up, then kick up the pace to a sprint for 20 seconds. Slow down to a moderate walk for 10 seconds, then speed back up to the sprint pace for another 20 seconds. Keep alternating through a 30-minute workout. Alternatively, you can do random intervals rather than timing them. Just try to keep your recovery periods shorter than your sprinting intervals. Remember to always follow your 30-minute workout with a five to 10-minute cool-down.
The Weight Loss Shuffle
If running in place while staring straight ahead is too monotonous for you, try this 30-minute treadmill workout recommended by Joe Pepe on Stack.com. It starts out with a three-minute warm up at a steady pace -- about 5 miles per hour if you can handle it. After the warm-up, turn to your left and side shuffle for 30 seconds before completely turning around to the right for another 30 seconds of shuffling. Don't cross your feet over one another; shuffle them. After you've done 30 seconds on each side, face forward again and jog for three minutes before turning sideways for another 30-second shuffle on each side. Jog for three minutes to cool down after you've completed 30 minutes.
You can slip in some strength building while getting your cardio when you use your treadmill to do circuit training. Warm up first for about five to 10 minutes, then run -- either a jog or a sprint depending on your fitness level -- for two minutes. Immediately move from the treadmill to perform a different exercise. This can be something like doing 20 situps or pushups or even spending one minute on a different piece of cardio equipment like the stair stepper or the stationary bike. Hop back on the treadmill to run for two more minutes before getting off again to do another exercise. When you've done the circuit for 30 minutes, it's time for a five to 10-minute cool down.
If you've got a view of the television from your treadmill, you can use it to set a challenging tempo that will get your heart rate up for some calorie burning -- and you'll get some entertainment while you're at it. Warm up about 10 minutes before a favorite program starts. Once the show begins, increase to a sprint and keep it up until the commercial break. Slow down to a jog during commercials and speed back up when your show comes on again. When the final segment of your show ends, do a five-minute cool-down before wrapping up your workout.