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Steer Clear of These Treadmill Habits

By Rachel Carver

The idea of a walk on the treadmill sounds easy enough. You get on, set your speed and incline, and zone out to your favorite music.

However, there is more to a treadmill workout than just walking. Certain habits can diminish the effectiveness and safety of your treadmill workout.

Read on to learn about these habits and how to avoid them.

Skipping the Warm-Up

Just like other workouts, walking requires a warm-up. You need to prepare your body for the more intense part of the exercise and to prevent injury. Begin your treadmill walk with a 5-10 minute warm-up before cranking up the speed. Slowly increasing your speed will properly loosen your muscles.

Constantly Examining the Monitor

It can be nice to have your speed, distance, and other key metrics in front of your eyes on a pretty screen. However, you don't want to constantly walk with your head down. Frequent monitor-staring promotes bad posture and makes you more likely to hold onto the handrails.

Relaxing your arms at your sides while walking allows them to swing freely. In addition to disrupting the natural arm swing, looking down can cause problems in your shoulders, lower back, and neck. Looking straight ahead during your time on the treadmill will help you burn more calories and avoid aches and pains. If you are experiencing any lingering workout soreness, head to The Joint Chiropractic clinic near you for some relief.

Changing Your Stride

It is easy to change your stride while on the treadmill. Some people will walk too close to the front of the treadmill and shrink their stride. Others will overstride with an excessive heel strike to walk faster.

Combat this bad habit by focusing on proper walking form. Touch the treadmill with your forward foot, placing your heel close to your body. Keep your back foot on the ground longer to get a strong push off when rolling onto the ball of the foot.

Hanging Onto the Handrails

It can be tempting to hang onto the handrails for safety or even to walk faster. However, walking with your arms will help you burn more calories and balance your stride.

Rely on your arms, legs, and core instead of the handrails to do the work. You'll especially want to do this if you are focused on incline-walking to get the full benefits of the workout.

Find more information about proper workout form at your local Joint Chiropractic clinic. The Joint's affordable pricing and walk-in visits make care accessible to everyone.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Englewood, Colo.

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