Top 12 Mistakes To Avoid While Using A TreadMill
Ahh, the treadmill. Some people love it, some people hate it. Some people have a love/hate relationship with it.
However you feel about the treadmill, irrespective of whether its the best treadmill money can buy, it just doesn’t matter; cardio is an important part of any fitness enthusiast’s routine. This makes the treadmill an integral part of anybody’s workout. However, there are a few mistakes you can make while using a treadmill. These mistakes could leave you with a workout that just hasn’t challenged you, or worse, one that’s injured you! Using the treadmill properly is key if you want to see some amazing results. To help you out, here are the top mistakes people make while using a treadmill…
p.s at this point the assumption is you already have a treadmill but just in case you could always read our treadmill buying guide.
1. Making Strides Too Long
If you make strides that are too long, you could end up hitting the front frame of the treadmill, causing you to fall or stumble. You’ll burn up more energy too, which will stop you from getting the best from your workout. You could even stand more of a chance of becoming injured. You shouldn’t be lifting your foot off the ground too much as you stride. If you are, you’re expending too much energy. You might look as if you’re jumping, rather than running! Making sure your strides are just right and that you have proper form is key to seeing awesome results.
2. Holding on to the Sides
Holding on to the sides of the treadmill or the bars helps you to support your body weight, but it also means the workout isn’t as good. You won’t burn as many calories or work as hard. If you’re walking on an incline and feel the need to grab onto the treadmill, just slow the treadmill down until you can walk without holding on. You’ll still get a better workout, even though you’re not going as fast. You don’t want to hold on to the sides leaning forwards or backwards, as you’re throwing yourself off balance. There’s almost no point in doing a workout if you’re going to hold on!
3. Wearing Improper Shoes
Wearing improper shoes on the treadmill is a fatal mistake that could leave you injured if you’re not careful. You should definitely go for function over style when selecting your trainers. Choosing a pair with a high sole can be more comfortable, especially if you do hill walking or hill sprints. Just make sure you only wear your shoes for using the treadmill, not for other cardio classes. High soled shoes could cause injury during fast paced classes, like dance classes. It’s a good idea to have a couple of different pairs for the different types of exercise you like to take part in. There are even shoe shops that will assess your individual foot type to find the right training shoe for you.
4. Looking Down
Looking down at your feet can throw your posture all out of whack. You can hunch over, misaligning your body. This can cause longterm damage if you do it too often. Instead, make sure you keep your head up and look straight ahead of you. Aside from affecting your posture in a negative way, you might even throw your balance off and end up falling and hurting yourself. You want to make sure your body is in a fairly straight line from your head to your toes.
5. Overdoing it
It is possible to overdo your workouts on the treadmill. If you’re doing more than 3 high intensity workouts per week, you could end up injuring yourself as you’re not giving the body time to recover. When it comes to moderate intensity workouts, you can do up to 5 per week. However, it’s important you listen to your body. If you have aches, pains, soreness and feel worn out, then you’re likely overdoing it. Give yourself sufficient rest or you’ll run the risk of burning out.
6. Not Warming Up or Cooling Down
You can’t just hop on the treadmill and start running full speed ahead, nor should you get off the treadmill as soon as you’re finished. You need an adequate warm up and cool down to reduce the risk of injury and get a better work out in. Make sure you start off your workouts fairly slow. Then, begin increasing the speed until you’re at a speed you feel comfortable enough with to complete your workout. It can be tempting to get off the treadmill as soon as you’ve finished, but having a few minutes to allow your heart rate to slow is the best thing to do. Otherwise, you might end up feeling dizzy and lightheaded!
7. Focusing on the Numbers on the Screen
Treadmills come with features that can tell you how many calories you’ve burned, and even how much fat you’ve burned. However, if you focus too much on the numbers on the screen, you could be jeopardizing your workout. These numbers are only an estimate anyway, so you shouldn’t focus on them. If it helps, you could cover the screen up with a towel and instead focus on challenging yourself. You’ll always get better results this way, than relying on the numbers on your treadmill screen!
8. Failing to Save Your Workout History
If your treadmill can save your workout history, then you should do it! No matter how unfit you think you are at the start, saving your workout history will allow you to look back and see how far you’ve come. This can help to keep you motivated, even if you feel like your progress might be slowing down.
9. Doing the Same Routine Day in, Day Out
Doing the same routine on the treadmill day in, day out will eventually lead to your body hitting a plateau. You won’t make the results you made in the beginning. You won’t even burn the same amount of calories that you burned at the start, as your body becomes more efficient at this particular workout. Every 4 weeks you should consider changing your workout, or even using a different piece of elliptical equipment.
10. Your Arms are Everywhere
Your arms should be fairly loose, rather than tight or tense. However, you shouldn’t swing them about all over the place as you’ll burn up too much energy. Keep your arms down by your sides while you walk, up until you get to a jog. Once you’re at a jog, you can bend your arms to a 90 degree angle to help rotation of the torso.
11. Going Over Your Optimal Heart Rate
You can work out your optimal heart rate by taking your age away from 220. When working out on a treadmill, experts recommend that you only work up to 85% of your optimal heart rate. If maths is not your thing, you could buy top fitness trackers that provide heart rate readings. Anymore than that and you’ll exhaust yourself, putting your heart under strain. You won’t burn more calories, so you should keep your heart rate at a reasonable level. You might even get sore feet and other injuries if you push yourself more than you should.
12. Not Taking the Right Equipment With You
There’s nothing worse than getting on the treadmill for a good workout, only to realise you don’t have a bottle of water or a towel to wipe your face. It’s important to stay hydrated, especially if you’re sweating on the treadmill. Getting off to get a drink won’t do you any good! Sweating all over the treadmill isn’t nice either, so making sure you have your own towel is a good idea. Make sure you give the treadmill a wipedown once you’re finished too – it’s common courtesy!
Avoid making these mistakes on the treadmill, and you will always get the best from your workouts!