What should I know before I start using a treadmill?

Since treadmills are machines used for indoor running and walking there is always the risk for injury when using them. However, remembering a few simple keys will help you to stay safe and enjoy your workout without incident.

1- Make sure you are familiar with the different functions of the treadmill before starting your run or walk. Read the safety guidelines listed on the treadmill.

2- Straddle the belt of the treadmill before turning it on. This helps minimize the wear and tear of the motor and helps you to see beforehand how fast the belt is actually moving.

3- Use the handrail if you need it to help stabilize you.

4- Be sure to exercise at a reasonable speed and/or incline to insure not being too far forward or back on the revolving belt.

5- Be careful while watching T.V that you to do stray too far to the left or right and cause injury.

6- If you need to stop and get off the treadmill for any reason, turn the machine off or hit the pause button! Do not leave it running! Many people forget that it is still running when they come back and carelessly step onto a moving belt... not a pretty scene to witness.

Enjoy your workout!

Before you start using a treadmill it’s a good idea to set some fitness goals. You’re more likely to enjoy your time and on the treadmill and see results if you’re working towards a goal. Set goals that are SMART. These are Specicfic, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time sensitive. By doing so, your workouts will retain their purpose, and you will never second guess yourself as to why you’re doing something!

Ask one of the trainers standing around to get you started-every treadmill is a bit different and I have gotten on a few that were more complicated than they needed to be, so don't be shy. Safety comes first. I see people using the treadmill wrong daily. First stand up straight- 75% of the people I see slouch. Now that I have brought it to your attention you will notice as well. The entire time remember that string pulling from the top of your head elongating your spine and keep your stomach taut. This is a great time to wear the belt I mentioned in # 16. Now float your feet on the belt. I should barely hear you stepping. This forces you to use your muscles not your joints. Keeping your arms at right and use them to help propel you forward. Now variety is key. Each time you get on try something new or one of the treadmill class at your local gym or check out YouTube it has some very creative ideas.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.