Working out on a treadmill offers some really great benefits. You’ll burn calories, improve your cardiovascular health and stay fit. However, as much as a long run can feel fantastic, it’s important to make sure it doesn’t cause you harm. Prevent an injury by implementing these common safety tips.
1) Say yes to the stretch. Loosening up your muscles is an important safety practice no matter what physical activity you are about to begin. Having said that, consider dynamic stretching – controlled leg movements such as walking lunges and leg lifts will loosen up muscles, increase heart rate, and promote blood flow. Static stretching (holding a position for 30 seconds or more) before a workout can actually weaken your muscles.
2) Be a control freak. If you feel faint, cramp up or just need to get off the machine, immediately stop what you’re doing. Also, be sure to understand all of the controls on the dashboard, paying special attention to the pause or emergency stop button.
3) Use proper stance. Before turning on the machine, start by straddling the belt with one foot placed on either side. Or, try to begin a run by walking, slowly increasing the rate of your mileage.
Don’t be shy! Ask a trainer at your gym or check out your treadmill manual if you still have questions. Now lace up and work up a sweat!