Beginner’s Guide to Treadmill Workouts Treadmills

 

Treadmills have numerous benefits that can help improve the overall health of individuals.

 

Treadmills are one of the most popular exercise machines in the fitness world due to the versatility of workouts, which can include both running and walking even in the midst of inclement weather. Additionally, treadmills can be used by exercisers of all fitness levels. Treadmills are commonly found in most gyms and are very popular for in-home gyms as well. There are many health benefits associated with using a treadmill from rehabilitation to improving cardiovascular health. There are also many types of treadmill workouts, which can be tailored to meet most fitness goals.Everyone knows how to use a treadmill–just get on and begin walking. What everyone does not know is how to plan a treadmill workout to suit a wide range of fitness goals. Regardless of whether you want to use the treadmill for fat loss, endurance gains or some measure of both, there is a treadmill work out for you.

WHAT IS A TREADMILL?

A treadmill is a machine that has a moving belt over a flat surface. The moving belt allows for exercisers to walk or run on a flat surface in an indoor environment. Treadmills can be manual or motorized. A manual treadmill has a belt that rotates over rollers as the body weight provides enough friction to move the belt. These treadmills are typically light-weight and inferior to the motorized treadmill. For the bestworkouts, motorized treadmills are highly recommended. However, they are significantly more expensive and take up more space.

Motorized treadmills have a motor inside to rotate the belt over a deck. The motor can move the belt at various speeds. These treadmills can be raised to increase difficulty and provide additional challenging workouts. Additionally, motorized treadmills have an assortment of features like heart rate monitor, built-in TVs, pre-programmed routines, calorie counter and more.

 

SIMPLIFIED TREADMILL BENEFITS

  • Improve cardiovascular health.
  • Can increase bone density.
  • Increased muscle strength and flexibility.
  • Improved joint mobility.
  • Decreased stress levels.
  • Improved posture.
  • Decreased body fat levels.
  • Lower impact on the joints than running outdoors.
  • The weather is no longer a factor like it is when running outdoors.
  • Adjustable speeds for running or walking.
  • Adjustable incline to increase or decrease intensity.
  • Can be more entertaining if the treadmill has a built-in TV.
  • Can monitor heart rate levels.
  • Can monitor caloric expenditure.
  • Easier to monitor distance ran.
  • Easier to monitor progress.
  • Easier to make changes to workouts.
  • Easy to use.

BEGINNER’S GUIDE

Treadmill is not a difficult piece of equipment to use, however, many exercisers use it incorrectly. Learning how to use the treadmill properly can help you get a safe and effective workout.

    • Get Familiar with the Treadmill’s Control Panel
      Ask for some basic instruction from a trainer at your gym, or read the instructions on the machine console before you turn it on. Most treadmills have the same features, including preset or manual workout selections, start and stop buttons, speed and incline adjustments and body weight input.
    • Know the Safety Features
      Learn where the emergency off switch is and test it. Typically, it is a large red button in the middle of the machine console.
    • Get a Handle on How Fast it Goes
      Before you jump on a treadmill for the first time, stand on the treadmill with your feet on the side rails (not the belt) before you start the machine. Select a manual program and increase the speed of the belt to about 2 to 3 MPH to begin.
    • Start Slowly
      To start walking on the treadmill, it’s often easiest for a beginner to hold on to the handrails and place one foot on the belt and “follow along” with the machine pace. When you are comfortable with the pace, step onto the belt, let go of the handrails, and walk normally.
    • Get to Walking
      Start by walking at a slow comfortable pace, such as 2 MPH. Keep your head up, and stay centered in the middle of the belt (not too far forward or back).
    • Find a Comfortable Pace
      Find a comfortable walking speed for you. Warm up by walking for a few minutes before increasing the pace.
    • Select a Program
      If you choose a preset program, the machine will take you through all the phases of warm up, exercise and cool down. This is a great way for a beginner to get comfortable on the machine.
    • Try Jogging and Running
      Once you are comfortable walking, you can start jogging and then running on the treadmill. This takes some practice. Getting on an off a moving treadmill can make you feel a bit dizzy the first few times, so be careful of this unexpected sensation.
    • Once You’re Comfortable, Don’t Hold On
      The biggest mistake treadmill users make is holding on to the handles while walking or running. Holding onto the treadmill creates a long list of problems for the exerciser, including:
      a) Decreased exercise intensity (burning fewer calories and reducing aerobic conditioning benefits)
      b) Compromised posture and body mechanics
      c) Increased risk of muscle strain
      d) Reduced coordination and balance
    • Use the Incline
      You can increase the incline to increase your exercise effort without increasing your pace. But, again, don’t hold on to the handrails. Holding on while the treadmill is inclined creates and even more compromised body position. When we walk up an incline, we naturally bend at the hips and knees as your body leans slightly forward; holding on to the handrails on an inclined treadmill actually forces your body to lean back.
    • Keep a Check on your stride
      Short and quick steps are effective if you want a good result. More the number of steps you run in a minute, more effective it is. This is a practice that professional runners follow. Make sure that at every stride the entire surface of your heel touches the belt on the treadmill. Making contact with your toes or only the upper part of your feet may cause strain in your legs and knees.
    • Stop the Treadmill
      There are a few ways to stop a moving treadmill:
      a) Decrease the speed (using the control panel) until the belt stops.
      b) Hit the big red stop button, which reduces the speed quickly.
      c) Hold on, step onto the sides, and turn off the machine.

The first two methods are recommended for novice treadmill users; the last method takes some coordination and practice.

 

Tips:

  • Try varying your exercise program (treadmills can get boring).
  • Listen to your favourite music or make a deal with yourself that you can only watch your favourite show (DVD box sets work great here) while you are on your treadmill.
  • Don’t put the treadmill in “that dark back bedroom” that you hate to go into (or–if you must–clean it, paint it and let in some light…and a TV/stereo!
  • To burn even more calories and get some variation in your routine, alter the incline settings every 2 minutes to go up 3%. For example 0:00=1%, 2:00=3% 4:00=6%, etc… Keep going until you get to around 12-15% And hold it until you feel ready to come back down. Then repeat the sequence coming down in percentage. presto! Instant hill.
  • Don’t do it every day. You’ll be sure to lose interest and it won’t make working out a fun thing to do. Do it every other day or 3 times a week.
    a) Decreased exercise intensity (burning fewer calories and reducing aerobic conditioning benefits)
    b) Compromised posture and body mechanics
    c) Increased risk of muscle strain
    d) Reduced coordination and balance 1) Reduced proprioception (the ability to naturally sense and adjust your position in space)