Treadmills are one of the best ways to exercise. There are countless stories about joggers tripping over kerbstones, overheating in summer, or being bitten by dogs when they train outside. If it rains, even the most sedate walker can slip or fall.
Why would anyone want to put themselves through that when it’s quick, easy, and inexpensive to hire a treadmill to use at home. Also, popping over to the gym for a mini-treadmill workout is better than vegging out at home. Treadmills are a health benefit when used correctly, and anyone who wants to stay fit should consider making the best use of one. Here’s how to do it.
The Health Benefits of Treadmill Use
Many of you out there may be put off by the “running” side of treadmills. But did you know that this useful piece of equipment can also be used for speed walking and physiotherapeutic walking? The settings allow you to choose the pace at which you feel the most comfortable, so if you don’t have the coordination for a full-on run, you can just set the speed to a slow walk.
When it’s raining outside, treadmills are the ideal way to stay active and safe. They are clearly the best exercise equipment for people of all ages and fitness levels because they have convenient hold bars to grab onto if you are a beginner. What a lot of fitness instructors are quick to point out is that treadmills don’t take up much space and provide significant health benefits.
Walking and running is what our bodies were designed to do – and for considerable distances. To a society that has become comfortable with sitting for long periods, we have forgotten how much mileage humans would cover on an average day only a century ago. Forward momentum is the perfect exercise for strength building, weight loss, and stamina. No other workout comes close to replicating it’s health benefits.
The type of treadmill training pattern you choose will determine how your body develops. You can select calorie burn, cardio, cross-training, or simple workout. All that matters is that you are off the sofa and on your feet.
Why is it Better to Train on a Treadmill?
Besides not running the risk of being side-swiped by passing traffic, a treadmill is a useful addition to any training program. Besides providing the ultimate instant warm-up for muscles, treadmills can help train for a marathon on both flat and incline distances. The control mechanism allows you to select the right balance of level and gradient surfaces.
When the snow-chilled winds sweep up and down the country, it’s really for the best that you stay out of the extreme temperatures. Fluctuations in the median heat of orifices can lead to infection.
How Do I Run on a Treadmill if I’ve Never Done it Before?
Although walking or jogging on a treadmill can look difficult at first, you should take inspiration from Ok Go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTAAsCNK7RA .
The four of them were complete treadmill amateurs before they made their groundbreaking video, and yet they completed the choreography in record time (two while wearing heels).
The key is to stretch first. A few forward lunges or a brief run on the spot should be enough. Remember that it’s completely normal to feel off-balance or a bit wobbly at first. Hesitation is good because it gives your brain and coordination time to adjust.
Stand upright on the treadmill and begin your normal forward motion walking stride. If it feels strange to be moving in one spot, you can hold onto the bars for support and confidence until you get used to the sensation. Begin walking faster and then break into a jog-trot when you sense that your body has gotten used to moving on the belt.
Be sure to move as you would if it was any other surface. Lift your feet at the same level and keep an eye on the way your heel strikes the belt. When you are confident your pace and foot action are natural, you can increase the incline to 5 degrees as it allows your stride to stay regular. As you get into the swing of things, you can change from a jogging step to a run and let go of the bars.
Remember, when you are first learning how to use a treadmill, it’s not a good time to catch up on your television watching or have a podcast blasting in your ears.
A Beginner’s Guide to Treadmill Running should look something like this.
· A few minutes of walking
· 5 minutes of jog-trot
· 5 minutes of full-on jogging or running
· A few minutes of slowing down the pace and going back to walking to cool down
The Next Level of Running on the Treadmill, once you are confident and do your entire beginner session without grabbing hold of the bars, should more closely resemble an outside run.
· 5 – 10 minutes of warm-up walking
· 10 – 20 minutes of jogging and full-on running
· 5 minutes of slowing into a walking pace for cooldown
The key to dedicated treadmill time is to stick to a schedule and put the equipment into a space where you will have easy access to it. It should also be in a well ventilated area and, of course, always have a bottle of water handy. If watching something is how you get through your treadmill session, make sure that the screen is set at a level which makes it comfortable and safe to view.
To Incline or Not to Incline
Running at an incline, no matter how slight, burns more calories than a flat surface. It also develops your muscle strength at a faster rate. The downside is the danger. If the incline is too steep in the beginning, the feet will find it difficult to adapt its stride. This is because your muscle memory needs to change and learn a new rhythm.
Beginners should only consider using a maximum incline of five degrees, and only when they have gained confidence. Higher inclines are for treadmill experts. It adds an interesting dimension to the workout and builds better stamina and strength.
The drawbacks to running on an incline before optimum levels of endurance have been gained is the possibility of injuries to the ankles, knees, hips, and back. This is because incline treadmill running is stressful to muscles that have not been gradually introduced to it. Don’t be too eager to change up your treadmill levels before you are ready for it. Why run the risk of upsetting all your training with a bad strain?
Should I Get Special Clothes for Treadmill Running?
Whatever makes you feel comfortable and doesn’t chafe is a good guideline for what to wear when using a treadmill. You can start off wearing layers and discard them as you heat up. Keep in mind that your ears sweat as well, so headphones that are placed outside the ear are better than earbuds.
Treadmill running shoes are slightly different than outside use trainers. They must have flat laces as there’s nothing more irritating than stopping midway to tie up a shoelace. Trainers for the treadmill must provide the runner with support and stability, so this means they must have a little weight to them.
Most importantly, treadmill trainers must have grip. Unlike running on the open road, you can’t just stop when you feel like it (unless you jump off). When it’s time to finish your session, you first slow down and then bring everything to an eventual stop. This is why your shoes need to grip.
Treadmills are fun and fitness focussed. As long as you stick to a pace where you are comfortable and don’t run barefoot, you will spend many happy hours getting into shape.