Although some people would try and tell you that doing your exercise outdoors is much better, opting to use a treadmill for your workouts does have its own share of advantages. For one, it is a great alternative when the weather turns sour or when you just want to run or exercise, but feel too lazy to go out (we all have those days).
However, just because your exercise routine is aided by a machine, it doesn’t mean that you have to take it lightly. Just like running or walking outdoors, doing your exercise on a treadmill would be rendered ineffective if you do it incorrectly. As such, there are several tips that you might take into consideration the next time you hop into the exercise machine for your workout.
Tip #1: Gear Up
Just like running outdoors, you need to have the right gear and equipment to ensure that you will have an effective and safe workout. For one, make sure that you have a good-fitting shirt and shorts. If you prefer using jogging pants, no problem; just make sure they’re not too baggy. You must also have a pair of clean running shoes that fit well. Moreover, make sure that you have cold water at hand at all times, preferably in an easy-to-use water bottle. A dry towel would also be useful. Your own music source or a book is optional.
Tip#2: Prepare Yourself
I am talking about physical preparation. It is not advisable to start on the treadmill right away and take the highest speed and incline setting the first chance you get. Do some basic warm ups and some stretching to make sure you won’t strain your muscles needlessly.
Tip #3: Use the programs to your advantage
Treadmills are usually equipped with a variety of programs which are all designed to help you achieve optimum fitness levels. Each of these training configurations targets a specific fitness area; for instance, weight loss programs are aimed to help you reach and maintain your desired weight. Make sure to use these programs for a more challenging workout.
Tip #4: Don’t hold the Handrail
The handrail is built unto the treadmill for only two purposes: help you balance yourself and to help you adjust some settings (some handrails come with some setting adjustment push buttons). Once you have settled yourself with a comfortable pace, let the handrails go. Otherwise, you’re robbing yourself of workout benefits.
Tip #5: Pay Attention to Posture and Stride
Posture is important. Make sure to keep your body upright; do not lean forward. Keep your strides brisk to minimize stress on joints and muscles. Failure to do this correctly my mean you sliding off the treadmill with a few aching muscles.
Tip #6: Use the Incline
Using an incline can help you work on different groups of muscles that are not usually being used with a flat running surface. However, don’t start with the highest incline level at once. Start with a flat terrain then add incline levels as you build up your strength.