Whether you want to get in some exercise time or to shed some pounds, you can always rely on a treadmill to help you out. There are some great benefits associated with running and using a treadmill. In fact, treadmill running can be the safest way to lose weight and workout.
As safe and secure as it may be, there are a couple of things you need to take care of when running on a treadmill. Make sure to always warm yourself up before you go on the treadmill. Trying to stay off the rails of the machine is also important to remain safe and secure.
If you are just a beginner, it’s better not to set up the treadmill to an extremely steep incline. Setting it up as per your requirements before getting on it is very important.
Quick List of Best Treadmill Running Tips
- Prepare and Warm-Up
- Set up the Treadmill
- Don’t Use a Too Steep Incline
- Don’t Grab and Hold onto the Treadmill’s Handrail or Console
- Maintain a Correct Posture and Look Forward
- Pay Attention to Your Tempo and Steps
- If the Treadmill is Still Moving, Don’t Step Up and Down
- Listen to Music (if You Like It)
- Hydrate Properly
- Cool Down After Your Workout
Prepare and Warm-Up
There aren’t many differences in outdoor and treadmill running, and it is important to prepare your body for both types of exercises. You need to allow the body some time to warm up and be prepared before you jump on the machine.
A good warm-up usually takes a couple of minutes only and helps bring your heart rate up gradually. When you start running on a treadmill instantly, you tend to damage your body more than you do well. A warm-up also tends to send more oxygen to all your muscles so that they are prepared for strenuous exercises.
Your body temperature will also increase post a 5-minute workout. This elevated temperature helps add lubrication to your joints so that they can run faster and longer. You can simply start with a light jog for 5 minutes, either on the ground or your treadmill before you start the actual exercise.
Set up the Treadmill
Most people tend to work out in the gyms rather than in their homes, and there are huge benefits involved in that. Before hopping on the machine, you can ask your trainer or your guardian for help. They can also walk you through all the functions of a treadmill, so you know what you are doing.
A lot of units come with a heart rate monitor that will measure the intensity of your exercise. The rating on the screen is an indication of how fast you are mobbing. These tend to be slightly less accurate than wrist devices. There is also a calorie-burner-calculator that indicates how much calories you have burned in a specific amount of time. This is not always very accurate, but it still gives you a rough idea or an estimate.
There is also an indicator of speed. It shows how fast you are going every minute. It is either shown in miles per hour or kilometer per hour. Most treadmills also give you the option to change this setting. The pre-set interval option can also be used to ensure you always finish your time.
Don’t Use a Too Steep Incline
There are a couple of harms associated with running at a very steep angle. The harms are even more for people just starting on the machine or not being used to strenuous exercises. You can set up the incline between one and two percent. This is important because the absence of wind resistance provides you with stimulating outdoor running experience.
For those who are beginners and worried about this sudden incline, you can start with a zero incline. Once your body is used to running, increase the steepness gradually to a manageable point. Moreover, once you are comfortable, it is important not to slack off.
You should also feel challenged at least some time in the whole workout. If you are too comfortable with your routine, the chances are that you aren’t working hard enough. Make sure you have to push your body a bit to reach your goals. You can also do HIIT, or commonly known as high-intensity interval training once or twice every week.
Don’t Grab and Hold onto the Treadmill’s Handrail or Console
There is a common misconception surrounding treadmills. People think that it is essential to hold onto the rail or the console of the unit to maintain balance. This is far from true because the only people who need to do it are the beginners or old people who struggle with balance. These handrails are only added to ensure people get off from the machine easily.
The main problems associated with holding on to the rail are that it compels you to hunch or scoot over and hence indulge in the inaccurate running. Among other things, this also leads to back and shoulder pain. You need to keep your shoulders and your body straight and erect for the best results.
You can do this by keeping your arms at a 90-degree angle so that you feel like you are running outdoors. Moreover, holding on to the rails also creates an inaccurate perception that you are working harder. You are simply putting extra pressure on your body without getting any positive results out of it.
Maintain a Correct Posture and Look Forward
You might have had a lot of people telling you that a good posture is a key to getting fit. You need to maintain a correct alignment throughout the routine to ensure you get your desired results. It is also not recommended that you lean forward and pull your feet backward. This will build an unnecessary strain on the lower part of your body.
Doing this may also disrupt your balance, and in extreme circumstances, you can even fall off the machine. To ensure proper posture, be attentive, and set your shoulders straight-up, aligned with your hips. You can do this before you get on the treadmill.
Pay Attention to Your Tempo and Steps
Running on a treadmill should be the same as running outdoors, or it should at least be very similar to the original procedure. You need to run with your natural gait and avoid taking any short or choppy strides.
Moreover, it is important to be comfortable in your pace and positioning. If at any time during the workout, you feel that you are dizzy or feeling at the edge, you can always slow down and give your body some time to recover. Once you feel okay, you can gradually increase the pace of your running.
Many people indulge in over-striding, which is one of the most common mistakes that one can make during running. Your foot may land ahead of your body hence causing an uneven stride. Pay attention to your body movements to avoid this.
If the Treadmill is Still Moving, Don’t Step Up and Down
This one is pretty obvious, but quite surprisingly, a lot of people don’t pay attention to it. Doing this can be dangerous and lead to a lot of injuries; some very serious ones too. Moving or stepping down from a moving treadmill can be quite scary when you have been running fast.
The machine should be given proper time to slow down and stop before you get off. Moreover, your body also needs to recover from that fast pace before it can stabilize itself. Similarly, you need to be careful when stepping on the machine.
Listen to Music (if You Like It)
Exercising using a treadmill can get pretty boring and exhausting if you don’t have headphones plugged in. Most people like to listen to songs while they run. Listening to music while running outdoors might not be safe, but when you are inside the gym or home, it’s actually really great.
The kind of songs you listen to also makes a difference. You should avoid listening to slow and sentimental songs that will decrease your motivation. Instead, you can create a playlist for yourself, containing only motivational and fast songs. These are more likely to boost up your confidence and compel you to reach your goals.
This is probably the most important guideline in this article. You must keep your body hydrated at all times. Since you sweat a lot during running, you will lose a lot of water, too, and unlike outdoors, there is less wind to keep you cool.
You should hence keep a bottle of water with you at all times. It is also important not to take big gulps and instead only drink in small sips whenever you feel exhausted or dehydrated. Moreover, the temperature of the water is also important. You shouldn’t drink cold water while running as it tends to lower down the overall temperature of your body.
Cool Down After Your Workout
After a good run, you will want to sit or lie down immediately, but you should always hold on to that thought and cool down first. Your heartbeat tends to increase a great deal while you indulge in sweaty exercise, and you need to bring your body to a manageable temperature.
Even if you want to shift from a run to a walk, you will have to cool down first. If you don’t, you will feel a bit dizzy or agitated when you shift to a brisk or a light walk. Stopping suddenly also causes other issues like a surge of head and back pain. Your blood pressure and your heartbeat also decrease rapidly, causing your body to tire down easily.
After a run of 20-30 minutes, decrease the alignment of the treadmill, and walk for a couple of minutes so that your body gets time to cool down.
Running outdoors is beneficial, but people usually go out for recreational purposes. If you have some serious goals and need to maintain a consistent pace throughout your exercise, you will need to use a treadmill.
There are many different variations of units available in the market. You will have to learn about the different features each unit has to offer. These include the speed, calories burned, and incline options. Good knowledge of these will help you get started.