How to Use a Treadmill

by Jodee on August 23, 2010

On the face of it, using a treadmill is very easy. It’s just like walking, isn’t it? Well, yes and no. The treadmill is arguably the easiest piece of exercise equipment to use, but you still have to follow a few simple instructions to use it properly and get the maximum benefits, which include preventing coronary artery disease.

Read the Treadmill Manual

After you buy a treadmill the first thing you need to do is to read the manual. A person who has just unpacked their new treadmill will want to get it set up and check it out right away. If they have used one before, they may feel that they know everything they need to about operating the unit and even if using a treadmill is new to them, how complicated can it be?

Each model is going to be slightly different, and taking some time to get familiar with the unit and its features is a good choice. It’s not so much a question of how to use a treadmill as how to use the one in the room. Some of the more pricey models can have up to 100 different programs and to get the right one set up is going to take more effort than simply getting on the machine, pushing a few buttons and hoping for the best.

Start the Machine Slowly

Don’t stand on the belt when you start the treadmill. Place your feet on either side of it when you turn on the machine. Once you see that the belt has started moving at a slow rate of speed, usually between one and two miles per hour, you can step on the belt and start to walk or jog.

Swing Your Arms While Walking

The idea behind using a treadmill is to replicate walking or jogging outside, so once you have a good rhythm going, let go of the handrails. You will get a much more effective workout by swinging your arms, as you would do if you were walking or running outside. People who have trouble keeping their balance can hold onto the handrails lightly to steady themselves as they use the treadmill.

Keep Focused by Looking Straight Ahead

One of the things you will learn as you discover how to use a treadmill is to keep your head up and keep your eyes focused on what is in front of you. Some people try to read while using the treadmill, but this kind of multitasking can be distracting. You are better off looking straight ahead while the machine is in use.

Choose Good Quality Shoes

A sturdy pair of walking or running shoes is a must when using the treadmill; never use one while barefoot.

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