Any amount of exercise is generally better than none, but 10 minutes on the treadmill won't help much on its own. Ten minutes on a treadmill is not enough to improve your overall fitness level, help maintain your weight, or burn enough calories to make a dent in a weight-loss plan unless it's part of an overall exercise program.
The minimum recommended amount of exercise is 30 minutes of moderate activity five days per week or at least 20 minutes of vigorous activity three days per week. A moderate treadmill workout is a walk that is brisk enough to increase your heart rate. A vigorous treadmill workout is at least a jog that significantly increases your heart rate even further as it quickens your breathing. A moderate pace might be 3 mph and a jog could be about 5 mph, depending on your fitness level.
Your 10-minute treadmill session won't burn that many calories on its own. If you weigh 160 lbs., for example, 10 minutes of treadmill walking at 2 mph won't burn more than 30 calories, while walking at 3.5 mph can burn about 46. Jogging at 5 mph for 10 minutes can burn 97 calories and running at 8 mph for the same duration can burn 164. If you increase your walking workout to 30 minutes, a 3.5 mph pace can burn 138 calories. Increase your jogging and running workout to 20 minutes, and you can burn 194 and 328 calories, respectively.
Making 10 Minutes Work
Don't stash your treadmill in the garage just yet. You can make 10 minutes on a treadmill count if it's one of the exercise sessions you perform on the days you exercise. You can still reap exercise benefits if you divide your 30 minutes of moderate exercise into three, 10-minute session or your 20 minutes of vigorous exercise into two 10-minute sessions, according to the American Heart Association.
If boredom is the reason behind your short treadmill sessions, make your treadmill workout more interesting with interval training. Interval training involves increasing the treadmill speed, incline, or both for short bursts then resuming your usual pace. If you usually walk at a pace of 3.5 mph at a zero incline, for example, increase the speed to 4.5 mph and the incline to 1 for one minute, then go back to 3.5 mph at a zero incline. If lack of time is the reason behind your short treadmill sessions, you can sneak a workout on the treadmill or even around the block during your lunch or work breaks. Alternatively, try waking up 30 minutes earlier so you have time for exercise first thing in the morning. Incorporate your workout into your evening routine by walking or jogging on the treadmill while you're watching TV.
- American Heart Association; American Heart Association Guidelines; January 2011
- American Council on Exercise; Are Your Clients Performing the Right Kind of Exercise at the Right Time?; Lance Dalleck
- American Council on Exercise; How Do I Fight Boredom with my Current Cardio Workout?; Jessica Matthews; December 2010