Weight loss: Why walking on a treadmill is great for losing belly fat

Walking to lose weight, especially on treadmills, has been found to specifically reduce belly fat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're looking to reduce belly fat in 2021, you might have found all sorts of HIIT workouts and weight loss techniques. However, it's the simplest methods that are often the best – for example, walking on a treadmill has been proven to have an enormous weight loss benefit. 

If you can't access the gym right now, our Best Treadmill guide has all the information you need to pick up a space-saving lockdown workout solution. 

A study published in the Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation found surprisingly good results from something as simple as walking. The study put 28 overweight and obese women through a 12-week exercise programme of supervised treadmill walking, and found "significant improvements in abdominal obesity and VO2max".

The specification of abdominal fat is very interesting – if you've been searching for answers on how to get a slim waist, you'll know it's extremely difficult to reduce fat in specific areas of the body. As it turns out, something as simple as walking can slim down your mid-section.


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Of course, you can pick up the same benefits walking outdoors, especially in nature. Spending time in parks and natural environments is known to reduce production of the "stress hormone" cortisol, which encourages our body to cling to fat when it's produced. However, the treadmill has one very significant advantage over a "real" walk: the ability to tailor and log your workout.

Can you walk for 10 minutes at gradient 3? Next time, you can set a timer for 12 minutes at gradient 4, before resetting the treadmill down to flat ground for the next 10 minutes, before activating the gradient again. The ability to tweak the difficulty of your workout can offer achievable goals to aim for and a continually adjusting difficulty.

Walking to lose weight is a popular way for people to get started on their fitness journey. If you're coming in to 2021 determined to stick to your new year's resolution, you'd better start lacing up those trainers and hitting the treadmill – or the great outdoors – this year.

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Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.