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Burning Fat and Logging Fitness Minutes Made Easy

Adding a walking pad to your at-home exercise gear can do more than help you get in extra steps each day. 

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model Jaime walking on walking pad
Photographs by Bee Trofort-Wilson (Wardrobe Stylist: Bailey Harrs; Hair Stylist: Rachel Reid; Make Up Stylist: Danielle Mitchell)
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Walking is my jam. I’m always eager to share with anyone who will listen that it’s one of the most underrated forms of exercise. Walking can improve your heart health, endurance, circulation, and posture and it can reduce your risk for cancer and chronic disease – all while also improving your mood.

With walking pads and under-desk treadmills you can get all these benefits from walking workouts without leaving your home.

If you think getting in your steps on a walking pad is a waste of time, think again.

“Any type of movement is going to be effective,” says Crystal Evans, an Atlanta-based fitness coach. As long as you’re getting your heart rate up, you’re burning fat and calories, she says.

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is not the only way to lose weight. Meet LISS training – low-intensity steady state training. Instead of going as hard and as fast as you can for short bursts as you would with HIIT workouts, with LISS cardio you’d work out at around 50-65% of your maximum heart rate for a longer, continuous period. A brisk walk is a perfect example of LISS cardio.

Plus using your walking pad or under-desk treadmill can prepare you for more intense workouts in the future, Evans says.

Health coach Beverly Johnson says when shopping for a walking pad or under-desk treadmill be sure to the machine is easy to assemble, use, and store.

While you may opt for a machine with a handrail as a safety precaution, if you feel comfortable using a machine without one, Evans says go for it.

“I actually like the walking pads more because you don't have anything to hold on to,” she says. “A lot of times when people are in the gym, they hold on to the rails and that's actually taking away from your cardiovascular exercise. But when you're solely using your legs and your arm movement, you're going to get more out of the cardio workout.”

Johnson says it’s important to be patient with yourself.

“Start slow,” she says. “Start with 15 to 20 minutes to become acclimated to the walking pad.”

If you’re retired or if you work from home, try walking for brief periods of time throughout your day, adding a few minutes each time. “The mini-sessions will break up the monotony of sitting, Johnson says.”

Here are some machines to consider:

Model Jaime running on the walking pad
Photography: Bee Trofort Photography; Make Up: Danielle Mitchell; Hair: Rachel Reid; Wardrobe: Bailey Harrs

Space Saving Motorised Treadmill Walking Machine with LCD Display

$300, (Sale Price: $170)

My husband bought this Space Saving Motorised Treadmill Walking Machine for our home a little over a year ago. It retails at $300 but when on sale can be snagged for $170. Even though it’s a bargain buy, it gets the job done. Once I got used to walking on a belt much smaller (40.2 in x 15.4 in) than that of the treadmills at my gym, I could crank up the speed to 6.2 mph and work up a sweat. The console displays speed, time, distance, and calories burned. The weight capacity for this machine – which we can easily store beneath our bed -- tops out at 242 pounds.

Egofit Walker Pro

$459, (Sale Price:$400)

Measuring 38 inches long and 22 inches wide, the Egofit Walker Pro Under Desk Electric Walking Treadmill is one of the most compact walking pads on the market. If you can get used to the small walking area, which is only 34.25 inches long x 16.54 inches wide, this would be perfect for anyone looking to exercise in a small space. The speed on this device only goes up to 3.1 mph, but you can still get in a good workout thanks to the pad’s 5 percent incline. The max user weight for this device is 220 pounds.

WalkingPad R2

$999, (Sale Price: $739)

The WalkingPad R2 is pricier than many other walking pads but it gives you plenty of bang for your buck. With a walking/running area of 47 inches long x 17.3 inches wide, it gives you more space to move than other walking pads. But it literally folds in half so you can easily store it. When the pad’s handrail is lifted the device goes into running mode and you can go as fast as 12km/h (roughly 7.5 miles per hour). The user weight capacity is 240 pounds. The display console tracks time, speed, distance, calories, and also steps.

LifeSpan TR1200-GlowUp

$1,799, (Sale Price: $1,399)

The Lifespan TR1200-GlowUp is the most expensive option on this list, but if you need a sturdier machine this is for you. The LifespanTR1200 has a larger belt (20” W x 50" L) than many other under-desk treadmills. That extra space is sure to help you feel a bit more secure. The machine has a safety guard feature so that it only operates when you’re walking. It also boasts a max user weight of 350 pounds. Top speed is 4 miles per hour and reviewers say the machine is quiet. 

Follow Article Topics: Health