Big tummy, love handles, and beer bellies beware! Today we’re taking a look at how effective running machines are at reducing your waistline and helping get back into those jeans.
Stick with us while we look at what you need to know about belly fat to help you get rid of it and how to use your treadmill to do it. We’ve got all the expert tips to make the most of running to lose that belly!
Quick Answer: Is a Treadmill Good for Losing Belly Fat?
Spending time on a treadmill is good for losing belly fat. Although it’s no magic bullet; You’ll also need to work on your diet and not ‘put in’ more energy than you’re burning off. You can maximize the benefit of running not only with healthy eating habits but with other types of exercise too, such as weightlifting or simple body-weight activities.
How does running on a treadmill help shrink your belly?
When you run on a treadmill, you’re performing an aerobic exercise that burns calories in a controlled environment. Treadmills have other benefits to running outside too, including suspension systems that are better for your joints than running outside on different hard surfaces.
Running on a treadmill burns calories, but it also eliminates visceral fat. Visceral fat lives deeper inside the body, under the muscles of the abdomen.
Looking for a new treadmill?
We’ve written a good number of treadmill reviews over the years here on Home Gym Experts. If you’d like to jump to one of the better ones, head over to our JTX Sprint 7 Review. This machine strikes a good balance between price, size and is a seriously good machine for home use.
Check out these guides:
- Best Budget Treadmills
- Top Treadmills for around £500
- Recommended Running Machines for a £1000 budget
What Is Belly Fat?
Belly fat is different from fat found in other parts of the body. The majority of the fat stored in our bodies is known as subcutaneous fat. This kind of fat lies just under the skin.
Visceral fat, or intra-abdominal fat, is found around the organs of the abdomen, beneath the muscles. Visceral fat leads to more serious health issues than fat located around the body. Abdominal obesity is something that affects 28% of people living in the UK.
Does Running Reduce Belly Fat?
Running does reduce belly fat. You may not see the fat loss show up on the scale, but if you measure your waistline, you’ll likely see a difference in the size of your waist. Studies like this one found that even walking could help reduce abdominal fat.
What happens is the calories burned start eating away at the visceral fat inside the body. At the same time, your muscle mass increases. That results in a smaller waist but not necessarily a lower number on the scale.
Is It True – Running Won’t Reduce Belly Fat without Diet?
This is not true. Running does help reduce belly fat without changing your diet. Running is one of the best exercises for losing weight and getting rid of belly fat.
You reduce fat by burning more calories than you take in throughout the day. Running burns more calories than most other types of exercise.
That being said, if you combine running with a better diet, you’ll reduce belly fat even quicker.
Related Guides For Runners
- Best Treadmills for Around £500 in 2023
- How Much Should I Run on a Treadmill To Lose Weight?
- How To Not Get Bored Running on a Treadmill
- Running on a Treadmill vs Cycling
- Will Keto Help You Lose Fat AND Gain Muscle?
How to Use a Treadmill to Lose Belly Fat
There are several kinds of running you can do on a treadmill (or outdoors for that matter). Some burn more calories than others, while some reduce fat faster than others.
Here’s a look at different types of running you can do.
- Base and long runs – Base runs are everyday runs you do around the neighbourhood. You keep a natural, steady pace for a set distance or a specific time. Long runs are just the same but, you guessed it, you cover a greater distance.
- HIIT or interval runs – HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. Interval runs consist of several all-out sprints with short breaks between them. This kind of exercise will burn more calories faster than steady runs. (Hill repeats are interval runs on a hill.)
- Recovery runs – Slower, steady-paced runs after intense runs.
- Progression runs – Start running slowly. Keep a steady pace for most of the run. Then, finish at a fast pace. You can increase your calorie burn and your endurance by doing progression runs.
Which kind should you do to reduce your tummy?
If you’re new to running and your new treadmill just arrived, all shiny and new, the key is to take things slowly. Don’t burst out the HIIT workouts on youtube; your body will need time to adjust so start with a light, 5-minute jog.
Your age will also play a part in the kind of running you can do to slim down. But, as we mentioned in our guide, you’re never too old to start running.
You can use your treadmill to perform any of these runs. Many treadmills allow you to choose the pace you want, the incline you want, or even the specific type of run you want to do.
Three quick, easy ways to lose fat on a treadmill
- Just use the built-in programs (if your treadmill has them!) If you’ve got a decent treadmill, it should have a set of various programs. One of the best ways to get started is to go for one of the built-in workout programs, setting it to a short time and increasing as you get more experience.
- If you’ve got a really fancy treadmill, try iFit – Machines like the NordicTrack treadmills have online classes and pre-recorded programs that are good for burning calories and losing belly fat. Definitely explore those if you’ve not already. (You don’t have to finish the full class… no-one will know).
- Do it over a long period of time – Serious about losing that belly fat? The fact is that it could take many weeks, or even months to really make a difference. But you’ll likely see positive benefits way before then! just get in the mindset that you’re in it for the long haul and check out some of our methods for staying motivated on your treadmill.
How Long Will You Need to Run?
There’s no magic number of minutes to run for losing belly fat. We do have some guidelines to give you, though.
If brisk walking or running is all you’ll be doing as exercise, try to do it for about 30 minutes per day.
Anyone used to exercise
Those who do other types of exercise, as well, should try for about 75 to 150 minutes of running throughout the week. Combine that with two weight or body-weight workout days.
Aim for at least 5km / 3 miles per week
This study found that an average distance of 5km per week, combined with positive diet changes was effective at reducing midsection fat over a period of time.
What Other Benefits Come From Running on a Treadmill?
Running on a treadmill helps you lose belly fat. Some other health benefits come from treadmill runs, too.
Running helps to lower blood sugar. It helps your muscles use insulin more effectively.
You lower your risk of heart disease by running, even if only for 10 minutes a day. You can run for a short time at a slow pace daily and make your heart healthier.
Running with the proper gear such as shoes and socks helps to strengthen the tissue in your knees. Stronger knee tissue and leg muscles reduce the risk of falls and help to eliminate knee pain.
Combining your treadmill with weights to lose more belly fat
Here’s a quick secret to shedding more pounds with your exercise time – having a higher percentage of muscle will use up more calories every day, without you actually doing anything (well, once you’ve increased your muscle mass).
As well as running, grab some plain rubber dumbbells, or a decent adjustable set of weights and start working on your muscles too. Not only will you look good and have extra strength, you’ll also end up losing more calories each day.
Running on a treadmill is not only good for you but will help you lose belly fat. It’s one of the best exercises there is for getting rid of the visceral fat that lives in our abdomens. It also burns more calories than most other types of exercise.
References & Further Reading
- Study: Effectiveness of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIT) and Continuous Endurance Training
- NHS have a great guide on running for beginners
- NCBI – A 1% treadmill grade most accurately reflects the energetic cost of outdoor running
- What’s better – a treadmill or elliptical?
- How fast should I run on my treadmill?
- Study: High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss