The Y’s certified personal trainer, Stephanie Cash, has a decade of experience helping members grow stronger and healthier. She designed this effective, low-impact program for exercisers who need to go gentle on their joints while still challenging their heart.

“You’ll be using the manual settings, which gives you more control as you go,” Stephanie says.

The efficacy of this workout comes from the incline. She advises members to do their best not to hang on to the sides of the treadmill as it gets steeper. Instead, use your balance.

An added bonus of this workout is that you can take it on the road. Staying in a hotel? Visiting friends with an in-home gym? All you need is a standard treadmill. Let’s get moving!

The 30-Minute Workout

Start the treadmill at a 3.0 speed. Adjust from there to find a comfortable walking pace. Beginners may need to start a bit slower.

For every minute, increase the incline by one percent. Most treadmills go up to 15.

Remember, your goal is to not hang on to the sides when it gets steep. This can hurt the joints in your shoulders, hips, and knees. If you aren’t able to reach 15 percent without hanging on, decrease the speed or go as high as you are able.

At 15 percent, you should experience heavy breathing and muscle fatigue. This means you’re working hard. After you arrive at 15 percent, you will decrease the incline by one percent every minute.

Time Incline Notes
0:00-5:00 0-4% Warm up
5:00-15:00 5-14% Increasing incline and heart rate 
15:00-16:00 15% This is your peak intensity
16:00-26:00 14-5% Decreasing incline and heart rate
26:00-30:00 4-1% Cool Down

Stay mindful of your heart rate. If it’s too high, back down on the incline and wait for it to settle. Whatever you do, try to keep moving and stay in tune with your body.

You can add another dimension to this routine by listening to an uplifting podcast, sermon, or music mix while you work out. You’ll grow stronger in spirit, mind, and body. Go get ‘em!