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Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers always have difficulty tracking steps when exercising on a treadmill. This is because, for trackers, we walk with our hands and not with our feet. Therefore, when walking or running on a treadmill, the critical point is to remember to move your arms back and forth rhythmically as you walk.
The Xiaomi Band 7 includes an accelerometer that will detect arms movements and extrapolate them into steps. So, in short, the answer is yes! The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 can count steps on a treadmill, but to get reliable and accurate results, it is essential to follow the rules we will detail in this article.
How to Use a Mi Band 7 on A Treadmill?
With 120 built-in workouts, the Mi Band 7, of course, includes a treadmill setting. When selecting the treadmill mode, the fitness tracker will not try to connect to the smartphone GPS, which will preserve the already excellent battery life.
The treadmill workout can be activated in two ways: directly from the fitness tracker or by using your smartphone. Interestingly, many more options are available when starting a treadmill session from the Mi Band 7.
How to start a Treadmill Workout Session on the Xiaomi Mi Band 7?
To help you better understand how to use the Mi Band 7 when walking or running on a treadmill, I made a small video that includes a detailed analysis of the options available.
In a nutshell, tap on the “Treadmill” and wait a bit before taping on “GO.” Instead, tap the options icon underneath the big yellow “GO” icon.
From there, you will have access to 5 menus:
- Workout Goal
- Workout Alerts
- Auto Pause
- Smart Running Partner
The “workout Goal” will allow choosing between distance, Time, and Calories. This menu is handy when using a relatively old treadmill model that will not include a sizeable fancy screen, including numerous statistics. However, even when using a more recent treadmill, it can be more convenient to set the metrics you aim at instead of browsing through the complex menus of the treadmill’s built-in computer.
The “Workout Alerts” menu is very detailed and has nothing to be ashamed of compared to more pricey smartwatches. Through this menu, it is possible to:
- Set a high heart rate alert
- Define the heart rate zones you prefer in case the automated ones are not to your liking
- Switch on the “auto-pause” setting.
- Walk or run with a “Smart Running Partner” with the ability to set the pace or your virtual running partner.
- Recalibrate the device.
I especially like this option as I noticed that when working out a 5K on a treadmill, the Mi Band 7 was off by more than 20%. It is a lot. The Xiaomi fitness tracker will have to learn your pace over time. Using the built-in treadmill computer, an easy way to calibrate the Mi Band 7 is to select the distance you want to run/walk.
In my case, I chose 5,000 meters, and once completed, the Xiaomi automatically asked me to input the distance covered. Just remember that you will need to run/walk for at least 500 meters for the calibration options to show up.
You may wonder why the Mi Band 7 can not automatically compute the distance as it will when running out? The answer is straightforward. When running outside, the Xiaomi Band will rely on the GPS to calculate the distance covered. However, when running a treadmill, the GPS will not be activated. Hence the need for a manual calibration!
Once you are done with the various options, it can be daunting, I know; press the “GO” button and remember to move your arms.
The screen will light up to show the time spent, distance, heart rate, heart zones, pace, average pace, cadence, average cadence, and calories burned.
Once done, swipe to the left and long-press the stop icon for the data to be saved and ultimately synchronized with the Mi Fitness App on your smartphone.
Let me tell you a secret. I usually exercise wearing a Garmin Forerunner watch, but I have to admit that the Mi Band 7 offers more options than a so-called sport-dedicated smartwatch. Of course, the accuracy of the sensors and accelerometers can not be compared between a $70 and a $400+ device. Still, honestly, if you are not training for the next marathon, I wonder what the benefits of a high-end smartwatch are. The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 will be a perfect sports companion for more than 95% of the users.
How to start a Treadmill Workout Session on the Mi Fitness App?
If you think starting a treadmill session on the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 looks complex, it is not; another way is to use the Mi Fitness App directly.
You will have far fewer options to choose from.
On the companion app, go on the “Workout” screen, select treadmill from the top menu, and press “GO.” That’s it! By pressing the options icon on the right of the “GO” button, you will just be offered the possibility to keep the smartphone screen on.
The little flag on the left of the “GO” button will let you select the time you wish to run/walk on the treadmill or your calorie target.
It could not be simpler. Before starting, a menu will advise you where to put your smartphone: in a backpack, a fanny pack, or in your hand. In addition, it is advised not to put the phone directly on the treadmill. I have to admit that I am a bit confused about this menu as I do not understand the reasons for these pieces of advice. Ultimately, the Mi Band 7 accelerometers will be used to track the movements of the hands, so it is unclear why the companion app advises not to let the smartphone on the treadmill.
Once done, the data collected will be presented in the same level of detail as when starting directly on the fitness tracker. Finally, an interesting point is that the Mi Band 7 will start tracking a treadmill workout automatically even when starting it on the companion app.
- Xiaomi is One Step Ahead: #1 Wearable brand in the world. New Mi Band 7 is another big step forward.
- 1.62" AMOLED Display, High Res 192x490 and up to 500 nits brightness. Big improvements upon Mi Band...
- 120 fitness modes vs 30 fitness modes on Mi Band 6! Battery capacity incresed from 125mAh on Mi Band...
- New Blood Oxygen Sensor + 24Hr Heart Rate Monitoring. Track 120 Different Activities.
- Improved sensor technology and Bluetooth 5.2.
Last update on 2023-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
To wrap up
The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 may be small and cheap compared to more premium devices, but it can accurately track a workout session on a treadmill. As long as you remember to balance your arms when walking, the data collected will help you stay fit.
With plenty of options, the treadmill activity can easily be optimized to the metrics and vitals you care about.