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Stop Dreading the Treadmill

By Donna Kostiew

I have started to actually kind of love the treadmill at my gym. I used to hate it and completely understood why some people would refer to it as the dreadmill. It just didn’t seem to ever hold my interest and I often got bored using it. Plus, it probably didn’t help that the little TVs attached to the ones at my gym were always broken. But that was then, and after spending enough time experimenting with, and using, the treadmills at my gym, I have grown pretty fond of them.

Perks of a Treadmill

Of course, it is always nice to be able to run outside and enjoy what nature has to offer, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. That’s okay though because the treadmill offers several perks that the outdoors just can’t. With a treadmill, you can do the following.

  • Simulate conditions found outdoors (hills, low inclines) when you want them
  • Avoid conditions found outdoors (pollution, weather, bad neighborhoods)
  • Keep an eye on your form if there is a mirror nearby
  • Maintain a consistent speed
  • Keep track of your numbers … mileage, heart rate, and speed

Boost Your Treadmill Workout

If you are spending the time and expense to run on a treadmill, whether at home or in a gym, you may as well maximize your efforts. Follow these tips to get the most from your treadmill workout.

  • Don’t use the handrails
  • Use proper form, whether you are walking, jogging, or running
  • Increase the incline throughout your workout
  • Increase and decrease your speed throughout the workout, or use the interval option
  • Alternate high and low-intensity days

Put Safety First

Even though the treadmill can be used as a low-impact fitness tool, don’t let that fool you. Accidents can still happen, especially when it isn’t used properly or if there are distractions in the room. Stay safe with the following tips.

  • Straddle the belt as the machine is being turned on and settings are chosen
  • Allow the belt to start moving at a slow pace before stepping on
  • Be careful to not be too distracted with TVs and headphones
  • Maintain proper form – shoulders back, head looking forward, even strides
  • Take a break if you need one, especially if you are experiencing lightheadedness or shortness of breath
  • Don’t take on too much too quickly and be realistic with your fitness level

Not only is a treadmill a great way to warm-up and start your workout with, it is also an excellent workout on its own. So give it a chance and hop on one during your next workout because there is no reason to dread the treadmill anymore.

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

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