How to Use a Treadmill Correctly

Treadmills, being a staple piece of equipment in gyms worldwide, are used regularly by some fitness enthusiasts. Available in both manual and motorized models, treadmills feature a belt that continuously moves on a straight path, which serves as a running or walking surface. Generally, treadmills are straightforward cardio machines that help you work up a sweat and elevate your heart rate. However, crazy treadmill-related YouTube videos are enough to indicate that people do not always use treadmills properly. Still, in your everyday exercise routine, you may be using the treadmill incorrectly as well. In the interest of safety, here are some great tips on how to correctly use a treadmill.

Have the Right Footwear

Sure, proper running or walking shoes may not be the first thing on your mind when you are getting ready to use the treadmill. However, it’s essential to wear appropriate shoes when using a treadmill. The right shoes will provide adequate cushioning to aid in injury prevention and offer grip support for the treadmill’s smooth surface.

Ease into your Workout

You should never start at breakneck speeds on a treadmill to avoid an embarrassing and hazardous tumble.

  • Start by standing on the treadmill with one foot on each side of the belt, as if you’re straddling it. Then, adjust the speed to a slow, safe level before gently stepping onto the moving belt. As a safety precaution, always check the speed of the treadmill prior to stepping on, and make the adjustment accordingly.
  • Use the handrail as support to get a feel of the movement and balance, and when you are comfortable, release your grip and get ready to build momentum.
  • Begin pumping your arms and let your legs follow that movement at a moderately slow pace and increase the speed gradually as your body warms up.

Stay Focused Straight Ahead

Given that a gym is a place filled with numerous distractions, it’s important to maintain your focus by keeping your gaze straight ahead. This is because your feet tend to follow the direction of your gaze. A quick glance to the side could mean disaster. So, ignore calls when the phone rings, avoid fitness buffs trying to show off, or simply ignore anything that could interfere with your focus and increase the risk of stumbling.

Keep Safety in Mind at All Times

  • Always run or walk in the forward direction, matching the movement of the treadmill’s belt, which is designed to move forward.
  • Reduce the speed in the event that you lose your balance; brace the handrail and gently step off the belt when the treadmill stops moving.
  • Increase speed gradually to prevent a tumble or serious injury.
  • Never attempt to step off while the treadmill is still moving. Always wait for it to come to a complete stop before you dismount.

There is a correct way to use a treadmill, and you should keep these tips in mind for your safety.