Treadmills are the perfect fitness equipment for aerobic, cardiovascular, and general body exercise. Consistent use of the treadmill is a good way to stay fit without having strained and stressed out joints. It is a simple, yet efficient way to work out and it also comes with a lot of health benefits such as; general body weight loss, increased endurance, stamina, energy levels, and so on. In this post, I have discussed how to use a treadmill safely and effectively for beginners and all ages.
Additional benefit of using a treadmill is how it provides a different option to running outside especially during harsh weather conditions or insecurity issues. Since using a treadmill is very similar to running, it also requires most of the practices runners use when training for a race or when running in a marathon.
Commercial treadmills are powerful enough for high traffic usage in the health clubs, therapy clinics, hotels, law enforcement exercises, and so on. The control panel of these machines is made with high technology for the advanced workout. If you own a gym, fitness club, or someone who wants to use a heavy duty running machine at home, discover a commercial treadmill here that’s right for you.
Before using a treadmill, it is very important to improve your endurance, work on your balance and stamina to prevent vertigo and also issues arising from dehydration or blood pressure. Here is a detailed guide on how to use a treadmill in a useful way.
Check with your doctor before using the treadmill if you have any underlying health challenges.
Use Running Gears That Make You Feel Most Comfortable
Your pair of running shoes should be well cushioned and very roomy for your toes; wear thick, crew socks instead of ankle socks to prevent blisters from forming on your feet. You may choose to use the safety clip to keep you from falling or getting seriously injured if you lose your balance.
Warm Up Before Stepping on the Treadmill
Loosen up your muscles and joints by performing a few dynamic stretches, jog about for a few minutes while raising your knees as high as possible, swing your legs and arms slowly. Apart from loosening your muscles, warm up also increases the rate at which your heart pumps blood and sends oxygen to your muscle joints. You can cool down for a very short time before using the treadmill. Step on the treadmill to start running exercise.
Get Familiar With the Treadmill
- Know the function of the various settings on the treadmill
- Where to increase or decrease the incline settings
- Where to check the speed to know how fast you are going
- Heart-rate monitor, calorie burn calculator, or others
- Pre-set intervals to help vary your runs
- You can also ask the gym instructor/trainer to help you.
Drink Enough Water
Since using the treadmill usually results in burning a lot of energy and sweating a lot, a single session on the treadmill can easily result in dehydration. Always bring a bottle filled with at least a litre of water to the gym so as to stay hydrated. Drink water before, during and after your runs. If you are spending longer minutes on the treadmill, you can drink sports drinks enriched with electrolytes.
Use Incline Slightly
You can create an outdoor uphill running experience by setting the treadmill to incline slightly by 1 or more percent. This provides a better challenge than setting the incline at 0 which is more or less like running downhill. You can also alternate the inclination to vary your experience. It is however important to not make the incline too steep in order to prevent excessive strain on your ankles, back, and hips.
Avoid Holding on to the Handrail
Holding on to the handrails affects your posture and overall running performance. Since you don’t hold on to any “rails” while running outdoor, it is also not effective to hold on to the rails of the treadmill. The rails are only there to help you get on and off the treadmill.
Maintain an Upright Posture on the Treadmill
Avoid leaning forward or looking down. Doing these could result in you losing balance and also suffering back and neck aches. Looking forward is always the safest way to maintain your running speed.
Stride Rate Count
Count down and slowly increase the stride rate for an effective running workout on the treadmill. The average 170, 180, and 182 SPM (steps per minute) are ideal up to 200 SPM.
Step off Slowly and Cool Down
Gradually reduce the pace and the incline of the treadmill before stepping off the machine. Jumping off the machine while it is still at a fast-moving pace can result in serious injuries.
Cool down at the end of your run by walking slowly on the treadmill for a few minutes to avoid feeling light-headed when you get off.
Hope this infographic helps!