Avoid These 6 Common Treadmill Mistakes
Walking on a treadmill sucks. Believe it or not, there's more to walking on a treadmill than just walking.
You've probably seen the crazy videos of people flying off their treadmill and doing other stunts — but you rarely see instructions on getting the most out of your treadmill experience.
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Safety and efficiency are two things you want when you are walking on a treadmill... but how do we stay safe and efficiently walk?
Here are six common treadmill mistakes to avoid.
Avoid These Treadmill Mistakes
#1 - You Aren't Warming Up
A solid warm-up is important to keep you injury-free and primes your body for a higher-intensity workout.
Before you go for a run or hike outside, chances are you think about warming up. It may be stretching, active mobility, or taking a few strides around your car before you go. But you do it. The same goes for the treadmill — instead of jumping on the treadmill and going full-speed, take five to ten minutes to warm up and slowly increase your speed.
Your muscles and joints will thank you.
#2 - You're Changing Your Stride
I'm guilty of changing my stride on the treadmill so I can walk faster, and my knees and ankles hurt after. Sometimes we walk close to the front with a short gait, and other times we widen our gait to try to walk at a faster pace.
Concentrating on properly walking and using good walking form is important. Your forward foot should land heel first and closer to your body, while your back foot stays on the ground longer to get a better push off.
The back foot is where you get your power and speed, so concentrating on this portion of your stride will help you walk faster and more efficiently.
#3 - You're Sticking to the Same Routine
For most of us, mixing things up and trying new exercises help us avoid mental burnout. Along with freshening up a stale workout, it gives us something new and challenging.
If the treadmill is part of your weekly routine, vary your workouts as much as you can. Try intervals one day, a hill workout the next, and then a speed day the next.
This will challenge your body, improve your strength, and spark interest in a once-hated workout.
#4 - You're Not Utilizing the Treadmill Fully
Many gyms have high-tech treadmills with functions like pre-programmed workouts. These workouts have set interval sessions, may have you walk backward, and can incline to simulate hills.
Using these functions help you mix up the routine, work new muscles, and pushes you to work harder.
#5 - You're Not Keeping Safety in Mind
I'm sure many of us don't think about some of the safety concerns when it comes to a moving conveyor belt under us.
Here are a few tips you should start putting to practice:
Watch getting on and off - Stepping on the treadmill, make sure to stand on the side steps before you start and before you get off. Placing our feet on the side and grabbing the handrails allow us to regain our bearings, turn around, and get off. If you've never walked on a treadmill for a long time, when you get off... it feels weird. Give your body time to adjust before you just hop off.
Watch where you look - Our bodies naturally go the direction we are facing, so when you are staring at that hottie walking by, be prepared to tumble. Keep your head up and forward to avoid tripping. That's why mirrors are there.
Watch talking on the phone - More people than not are unable to walk and talk at the same time. Just like driving, paying attention to walking can be hard when you're on the phone.
Watch your towel - I've fallen victim to having my towel draped on my treadmill, only to find myself on the floor after it fell and tripped me up. Make sure you secure your towel before hopping on.
Wrapping It Up
When you are forced to exercise indoors, avoiding these common pitfalls can make your exercise safer and more effective.
Allowing your body to warm up, walk more efficiently, change the routine up, and maintain a safe environment are all things we have control of.
If your treadmill isn't fancy with a lot of bells and whistles, utilize what features yours has and reach your fitness goals.