Beginner HIIT Treadmill Workouts

HIIT treadmill workouts for beginners

Because self-care is such a necessary component of battling caregiver burnout as a therapist, a beginner HIIT treadmill workouts can add the physical exercise piece that is often missing from self-care. Here, you’ll find HIIT beginner workouts for the treadmill. These are simple ways to get started with HIIT workouts and adding the much-needed self-care piece of occupational balance.

Beginner HIIT treadmill workout tips

Self care activities play a role in addressing burnout that many occupational therapists experience. As occupational therapists, we often educate clients on

Here, we’ll cover easy strategies to get started with HIIT on a treadmill workout.

Physical Self Care- Having a simple physical exercise strategy in place helps when caregiver stress and burnout and overwhelm make you want to skip the physical exercise.

Implement an easy treadmill exercise program that doesn’t require a lot of thought or planning. Treadmill routines can address different needs including endurance, muscle building, weight loss, etc.

Beginner HIIT treadmill workouts

Adding physical activity that impacts physical wellbeing is the HIIT workout, or high intensity interval training. We talked about the use of a treadmill to assist with wellbeing in a previous post.

HIIT workouts are beneficial for many because they provide the physical health benefits in a shorter amount of time.

Those periods of high intensity running along with slower periods are very effective. There’s a reason why studies show that HIIT exercise impacts health and fitness. For busy therapists, quick and impactful exercises that helps with weight loss, and physical wellbeing.

And, in fact, one study determined that HIIT exercise and MIT (moderate intensity training) decreased anxiety, stress, and depression as well as increased resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic confinements to home. The study also determined that the HIIT intervention seemed to be more beneficial to reduce depression than the MIT intervention. These are great findings when it comes to addressing factors that impact burnout in therapists and overall self-care.

Put it on your schedule- When a physical exercise plan is written down, it becomes a part of your day visually. It’s easier to commit to an exercise plan that is on your daily schedule. And, having a fast routine a part of your day can create a daily habit that becomes part of the routine.

A self-care workout plan includes time for you, Warm up, quick sprints, recovery intervals, and a cool down. During the high or moderate intensity period of the exercise session, your heart rate should rise at a perceived level of exertion.

For beginners, getting started with a treadmill program can gain the benefits of a HIIT program but can start with a short activity plan.

Setting up a treadmill plan can begin with just 10 minutes of activity at first, and then can gradually build up to 20-30 minutes and then longer.

HIIT and MIT in treadmill intervals

An essential part of physical exercise includes a warm-up, whether that be stretching, walking, or deep breathing. Adding relaxing music or pump-up music that fits with your interests makes getting started fun. This can then be incorporated into a cool-down at the end of your treadmill workout. The warm-up and cool-down periods reduce risk of injury as well.

Use these clues as guides to determine if your treadmill intervals workout is high intensity interval training or moderate intensity:

Moderate intensity exercise

MIT, or moderate intensity training feels difficult, but at medium of the road level. Some signs of a somewhat difficult level include a quicker breathing rate, but you’re not out of breath. You should be able to easily carry on a conversation during your exercise. And, you should note perspiration during your exercise.

High intensity exercise

High intensity training is a more challenging level of exercise, where breathing rate is more vigorous. You need to pause during conversation to breathe, and perspiration occurs sooner in the exercise period. It is possible to quickly move from moderate level to a high level of intensity throughout exercising.

Interval training routinely switches between these levels of intensity.

Interval training sessions can switch between periods of higher rate of perceived exertion and lower rates of perceived exertion. It doesn’t take much to get started with HIIT. You can start with 30 seconds of high intensity running followed by 90 seconds of a recovery stage at a lower intensity.

Another option for interval training can include treadmill speed, or incline.

Still another HIIT workout can utilize the treadmill programs within the treadmill.

With the Horizon Fitness treadmills and fitness equipment, there are a number of programing options, including quick, 20 minute programs, and other streaming fitness opportunities. The print-intensity workout is pre-programmed and some of the treadmills have a button to select the intervals.

Check out the Horizon fitness deals, including free shipping that you can access now on the Horizon site.

Affiliate links are included in this post, but I only recommend products that I own, and love!

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to