Treadmills that require you to input your weight are fairly accurate.
You might go days on end without thinking about calories, but as soon as you commit to hitting the gym in an effort to lose weight, calories zip to the forefront of your mind. Burning calories is integral to weight loss, but knowing exactly how many calories you burn during your workout helps you track the workout's efficiency and ensure you're on track with your goals. Treadmills help you monitor the calories you burn, and many are more accurate than you might expect.
Trust Your Treadmill
If your treadmill requires you to input your weight before you begin the workout, you've got reason to smile. By factoring in your weight, the treadmill will provide a more accurate calorie reading than a treadmill that doesn't ask your weight, as an individual's calorie burn is closely tied to her weight. If the treadmill doesn't ask your weight, it will calculate your calorie burn based on a weight that might be more or less than your weight -- and the reading will be inaccurate.
Increase the Burn
Inputting your weight into the treadmill before your workout is only half the battle. If you don't walk or run with the proper technique, you'll get an inaccurate reading. According to "Shape" magazine, leaning on the treadmill's hand supports can cut your calorie burn by as much as 40 percent, but the machine won't reveal this difference. As a result, you'll burn far fewer calories than the machine displays at the end of your workout. To ensure a high, accurate calorie burn, avoid using the hand supports and maintain proper walking or running posture.
Estimating Your Calorie Burn
If your gym's treadmill doesn't require you to input your weight, don't avoid the workout -- but take the calorie reading with a grain of salt. To determine a reasonably accurate estimate of the calories you burn during certain workouts, input your weight into an online calorie calculator and select the workout you perform at the gym. For example, if you typically walk on the treadmill at a speed of 3 mph for 60 minutes, determine your calorie burn online and keep this information in your head as you exercise.
Treadmill Workout Benefits
Whether you walk or run on the treadmill, you're taking literal steps toward improving your health. Exercising aerobically is a successful way to burn fat to lose weight, and using a treadmill provides a convenient alternative to traditional road running. The former exercise method is safer, climate controlled and even lets you watch TV or read a magazine while you exercise. Treadmills track the length of your workout, give you the option of increasing the challenge and track your heart rate as you exercise.