Ten Tips for Using Your Treadmill

Whether you use a treadmill at home or if you use one at your gym, it’s good to think about the best ways for using your treadmill. I’ve come up with ten tips for using your treadmill.

I like my treadmill and I like using the treadmill at times at the gym. It’s a great way to get some cardio in. I also like to use the treadmill to work on speed over the winter months. Once summer begins to wind down, I begin to think about the treadmill.

I have had a couple injuries due to falling off a treadmill. It sounds funny to think of someone falling off a treadmill and it’s a common gag video on YouTube. Trust me, it’s not funny if it happens to you. I have a significant scar on my leg from my most recent fall.

Ten Tips for Using Your Treadmill

There are some common sense rules that we should all follow to remain safe while using the treadmill.

  1. Stay alert. You want to be aware of what you’re doing on the treadmill.
  2. No Phones! You need to focus on what you’re doing. If you want to listen to music, use headphones or just play the music. You can set your phone to airplane mode so you’re not distracted by the notification pings. You really don’t want to be looking down at that screen. It’s easy to lose your footing.
  3. Be careful with watching TV while on the treadmill. When I fell off the treadmill, I was watching TV and not really paying attention. I put my foot down on the edge of the belt and flew off the back. It took me several minutes to even be able to get myself up and I was bleeding heavily. I felt lucky not to be more severely injured.
  4. Don’t hold on to the rails. This affects your stride and posture. It also makes what you’re doing easier on your body so you burn fewer calories and don’t reap as much benefit from your workout as you should. Use the rails when you’re getting on and off. If you feel off-balance while walking or running, of course you should use the rails at least until you feel balanced again. If you really feel like you need to use the rails, reduce your speed or your incline. That’s better than holding on.
  5. Do NOT leave a treadmill running and get off it, especially at the gym. People don’t realize that the treadmill is running, get on, and can be seriously injured. It’s also dangerous for you to get back on.
  6. Use the rubber strips to straddle the belt on the treadmill. Start your treadmill at a slow speed and then carefully get on. Get your balance and stride before increasing the speed. Be sure to increase the speed gradually.
  7. If you have small children in the house, unplug the treadmill every time that you finish using it. Treadmills are very dangerous for children. The belts, cords, and motor all present dangers to them.
  8. If you’re worried about using the treadmill at a high speed, don’t forget that you can use the incline button to make your workout more challenging.
  9. Just as you increased speed gradually, decrease the speed to its lowest number before getting off of the treadmill. Again, use the rubber strips to straddle the belt and then turn it off.
  10. Be sure to let yourself cool down before getting off the treadmill. If you jump off right away without letting your heart rate slow down, you’re likely to feel dizzy and faint.

Don’t Forget: Pay Attention

The important thing to remember when using your treadmill is to pay attention. You can vary the speed and incline and you can practice long endurance runs. Your treadmill is a versatile tool but it needs to be treated with respect.

I’d love to hear how you incorporate the treadmill into your fitness routine. Can you think of more than my ten tips for using your treadmill? Feel free to comment here or to send me an email at jill@becomingelli.com.

2 thoughts on “Ten Tips for Using Your Treadmill”

  1. Good post Jill. I think most of us who use treadmills have had one incident or another. Always good to be careful. I do like to use treadmills in the winter when the puddles turn to ice and it saves me from going down out on a road, path or trail. Falling off the back of a treadmill is no joke. Glad you’re feeling better!!

    1. No doubt that a treadmill is much easier to use in the winter than running outside. We just have to pay attention. I sometimes find that to be challenging. My mind tends to wander.

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