triloks/Getty Images; Graphic by Margaret Flatley

If you’re just getting into fitness, a treadmill interval workout is a great way to start working on your cardio (especially when the weather isn’t outdoor-run friendly). But just hopping on and hitting “start” isn’t taking advantage of all the treadmill has to offer. By varying speeds and inclines in thoughtful ways, you can be more effective and efficient at improving your endurance and burning calories, as opposed to a flat jog at a constant pace.

By changing up these variables, you can alternate between periods of harder and easier work, which is known as interval training. This may sound intimidating if your mind jumps to Everest-worthy inclines or borderline-falling-off speeds, but interval training doesn’t always mean max effort. There are more relaxed interval routines that are designed to get your body comfortable with working out as you improve your fitness level.

This one, designed for SELF by Shred415 founders Tracy Roemer and Bonnie Micheli, is a great place to start. “This 10-minute interval workout is great if you are new to treadmill routines, and will ease you into interval work,” they explain. “Begin with a fast walk on a flat road, alternating with a slower walk on an incline,” they tell SELF.

Once you get comfortable with this simple routine, you can add different speed and time challenges. “As you build strength and endurance, take the flat-road minute at a jog,” they suggest. “Once you master the 10-minute routine you can push your speed even more, or repeat it for a 20-minute interval challenge.” (You can also move onto one of these other five interval treadmill workouts that Roemer and Micheli created for SELF.)

Try this newbie-friendly treadmill interval workout and watch yourself improve every time you do it–then, up the ante by adding in new challenges.

10-Minute Beginner-Friendly Treadmill Workout

Graphic by Jocelyn Runice

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