You know exercise is good for you, but how much is enough? If you just set up a treadmill in your basement or joined a club and plan to use one there, you will want to set goals.
How long you walk on your treadmill daily is really a matter of what you hope to achieve. Recommendations exist for good health and weight loss. Your time on the machine also depends on your current fitness level and health status.
For good health, most adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise per week, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That amounts to about 30 minutes per day, five times per week. If you're committed to seven days per week on the belt, aim for at least 21 to 22 minutes at a time.
Read More: 5 Benefits of Power Walking
To lose pounds, you'll have to increase the time you spend on your treadmill. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 250 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise if your goal is to lose weight.
That equals 50 to 60 minutes at five different workouts per week or 36 to 43 minutes per day, Monday through Sunday. The longer duration means you burn more calories and are more likely to create a caloric deficit that helps you drop fat.
If you're coming from the couch to the treadmill or have serious physical limitations, 20 to 60 minutes of walking on the treadmill may seem daunting. Start with just 10 minutes per day and work up to your desired goal.
When you're short on time, consider breaking up your walk stints over the course of the day. You could achieve 10 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes at lunch and finish the last 10 to 20 after dinner. You'll still get the benefits of burned calories and stamina building when you do segments of at least 10 minutes at a time.
10,000 Steps Per Day
A commonly touted goal is to achieve 10,000 steps per day. It's a great option for people who like to quantify their goals with a pedometer or fitness tracker and encourages you to keep moving.
The treadmill can help you achieve that 10,000 steps, but it's not the only way you acquire them. Walk your dog, park far out in the lot, take an extra lap through the mall or walk your yard during gardening.
The 10,000 step goal is a starting point, too, not your limit. If you exceed 10,000 easily, set a higher goal of 15,000 to 20,000. The more you walk, the better for your health.
Read More: Is Walking Good Exercise?