Treadmills are a popular piece of exercise equipment.

I’m a big advocate of strength training for anyone and everyone — including seniors — but treadmills can also provide an excellent workout.

I don’t use treadmills as much as I probably should, except as a warmup, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with a good treadmill workout.

One way to improve and maximize your time on the treadmill is to do something called intervals.

Here’s what you do:

Start out walking at a comfortable pace for you.

Gradually increase the speed until you’re moving at a pace that is a little challenging but comfortable — maybe somewhere between 2.5 and 3.0 mph.

Stay there for three or four minutes to get warmed up, then increase the speed to by about .5 mph. If you were at 2.5, bump it up to 3.0. If you were at 3.0, bump it up to 3.5.

Try to maintain the faster pace for up to a minute, then back it down to your warm-up speed. You should be slightly out of breath. You should be walking fast enough to get slightly winded. Not so out of breath that you couldn’t still carry on a conversation with someone walking beside you.

Wait another minute or so and then increase your speed again; a little higher if you can handle it safely. You can also raise the incline setting (usually on the left-hand side of the control panel) by a notch or two. Go another minute like this and then back to your warm-up speed.

Continue doing these intervals of faster/slower for 10-12 minutes, then maintain a comfortable speed until you reach 20 minutes total.

There you go.

Intervals on the treadmill.

Try it!

I think you’ll like it.

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