The treadmill is a classic workout machine, but it can be rather dangerous if you’re not careful. More than 24,000 people suffered from treadmill injuries in 2014, and 30 people have died away while on them between 2003 and 2012.
Want to make sure you have a safe workout? Below are eight tips to help make ensure your safety on the treadmill.
1. Inspect The Machine
The first thing you need to do before you even think about turning on the treadmill is check out the equipment. Make sure the machine in is good condition, has an emergency switch, is level, and doesn’t wobble or tilt when you step on it.
2. Location, Location, Location
The second thing to look out for is where the actual treadmill is located. Whether in your house or at your local gym, you need to be sure that, in case of an emergency, you have enough space around you to exit safely. Choose a location you’re comfortable with (watch for windows if you don’t want to be stared at, but by all means, choose a window facing treadmill if you like to look outside as you run). If you have an at-home gym, don’t position the machine too close to other equipment or on a high surface where you could easily fall off.
3. Don’t Overdo It
Nobody likes a showoff – especially not the treadmill. Don’t try to start off at a speed that you know you can’t handle. Slowly work your way up! One bad cramp, combined with the speed of your treadmill, could easily do you in and embarrass you, and nobody wants that.
4. Run The Right Way
I’m sure you’ve seen examples of why this isn’t recommended in numerous YouTube videos. Running sideways or backwards keeps you from seeing what’s happening with your machine. Not to mention, it’s distracting to other people at the gym. For your safety and sanity, please run in the proper direction.
5. Listen To Your Body
This tip goes along with not overdoing it. Don’t push your body anymore than is safe and healthy for you. If you know that you still are new to working out, don’t start off at a fast speed. Once you get used to that speed, don’t be afraid to slowly increase your numbers. Just let your body tell you what you need, and you won’t have to worry about any injuries.
6. Ask Questions
Treadmills come in all shapes and sizes, so not every treadmill will operate the same. Don’t be afraid to ask someone at your gym or a personal trainer about how to use it. Attempting to figure out the machine by yourself means you may not discover some of its most helpful features.
7. Plan Ahead
Treadmills tend to come with pre-set workouts for people who aren’t sure about their routine or want to do interval training without having to manually change it. This is great, because most people can’t multitask and wind up hurting themselves trying to do two things at once. The treadmill will automatically adjust the speeds for you so you won’t have to worry about it. We also have several treadmill workouts for you to try if you don’t know where to start.
8. Buckle Up
You know those bright red clips that are wrapped around the machine? They’re intended to keep you safe, so you may want to use them! If you happen to trip or fall, they will stop the machine automatically to prevent injury. You may feel a bit silly wearing the safety clip, but who cares? You’ll be thankful you did if you ever take a tumble.