4 Things to Avoid Doing on the Treadmill

The treadmill has always been one of the most popular pieces of exercise equipment and it’s completely understandable why – it’s usually a more convenient way of jogging, favorite physical activity for many people. Although fitness experts claim running outdoors is better, the treadmill has an advantage of being easier on your joints than hard pavement. Also, running indoors is possible regardless of the weather and you can also control the difficulty level by increasing the incline and setting up the speed. However, just as it is with any exercise equipment, treadmill needs to be used properly – to avoid injuries and make sure you’re getting the most of your workout session.

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Not Preparing Properly
Running on the treadmill is considered light cardio exercise and that’s why many people skip warming up before starting the session. However, if you want real results, start at the slowest pace – from walking and then gradually increase the speed to jogging in the first ten minutes. This is not only safer for your body but you will also be able to do it longer this way and get a proper workout. Besides, some stretching before getting on the treadmill is also a must – hip circles, toe touches, and similar moves will be more than enough. Finally, wearing the right shoes is another essential step. Look for shoes with extra padding to protect your heels and feet bones from impacts.

Letting Your Eyes Wander
When it comes to your eyes, running on the treadmill should be the same as running outdoors meaning that you should only look straight forward. Looking up to see the TV or down at your feet might make you dizzy as well as strain your neck and back and cause your whole body to misalign, so try to stay focused. That’s why treadmill manufacturers designed them to have a monitor at a neutral position. Keep your shoulder level and chest open so that your whole body can stay in a natural position and help you avoid injuries.
Not using your arms efficiently
Although you mostly use your legs while running, the position of your arms is also important if you want to stay as efficient as possible. Letting them go all over the place will burn up your energy and shorten your workout sessions while keeping them tight or tense will obstruct the natural rotation of your torso. So, keep them loose and bent parallel to each other at 90-degrees. It’s not good to hold on to the bars either because that’s how you sabotage your own workout. It will reduce your calorie burn and mess up your posture, so find another way to keep up – slow down or reduce the incline.

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Starting Without a Plan
Simply getting up on the treadmill, pushing start, and running until your timer goes out or your body gets exhausted isn’t much of a strategy. You could achieve so much more by having a plan and coming up with your own routine. Also, following the same routine each week isn’t really efficient, especially if you want to lose weight or challenge your body in many different ways. Mix things up by combining steady-state runs, progression runs, long runs, hill sprint runs, etc. Don’t forget to combine them with proper nutrition for the best results. Eating some easily digestible carbs and including quality pre-workout supplements before a speed workout is a must. Mixing routines and having a good meal plan will not only help your weight loss, but also protect you from injuries, so make sure you have a plan before stepping on the treadmill.
Striding Too Heavily  
Overstriding while working out on a treadmill can result in high leaps with each stride which can lead to burning up a lot of energy and increasing the possibility of injury. Fitness experts suggest running three steps per second so you barely lift your feet off the ground. It’s always better to move your legs faster i.e. to increase your cadence than to lengthen your stride and put a lot of weight and pressure on your hips and knees. Also, make sure you don’t force cadence changes that don’t feel natural to you – keep your stride natural so you can keep your running session efficient and pain-free.
Now you’re ready to get back on the treadmill and make the most out of your workout sessions. Prepare properly, keep it diverse, and, most importantly – listen to your body. That’s the only way to stay safe and get the desired results fast.


Featured photo by Pixababy