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Intermediate Treadmill Walking Workout

Boost your indoor walks with this treadmill workout from Healthworks personal trainer Anna Sidorenko. It's designed to get your heart rate into the optimal calorie-burning zone so you'll lose weight and tone up faster.

By Angela Law

Alternate between the Speed Workout and Incline Workout, two to five times a week. Switching exercises keeps muscles engaged so you'll burn more fat and calories. When this workout starts feeling too comfortable, move on to the advanced level. Need a refresher on finding your Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)? Go to the next page in the story for our easy-to-use chart.

Speed Workout

Adjust the treadmill speed to increase and decrease your RPE. Repeat this workout for 45 minutes to an hour.

Incline Workout

Adjust the treadmill speed and incline to increase and decrease your RPE. Repeat this workout for 45 minutes to an hour.


Your Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale measures how difficult an exercise is for you and will help you determine whether your heart rate is in the right zone. Everybody's RPE scale is different. But the beauty is, you don't need fancy equipment to figure it out—you just need to listen to your body. Hop on the treadmill and see how certain speeds affect you. Take a break, then hop on again—this time, try out different inclines. What speed or incline renders you unable to talk? That would be your RPE of 10. At what speed or incline are you barely exerting any energy? That would be your RPE of 0. Use these first two workouts to map your range:


I feel like…

My Speed (how fast can I go and still feel this way?)

My Incline (how steep can I go and still feel this way?)


I'm barely moving.



Very Light

I'm just strolling. Breathing is easy. No noticeable increase in heart rate.




Breathing is getting a little harder. But still, no sweat! Well, maybe a little sweat. Talking is easy.




I can feel my heart working now. I'm sweating a little bit more but can talk with relative ease.




My heart is at its max rate. I'm sweating but I can talk…though I don't really want to.



Very Hard

My heart is racing and speaking is difficult. It's taking all my concentration to keep up with the treadmill.




Originally published on FamilyCircle.com in May 2010.

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