Just because the weather is not cooperating, that does not mean you have to ruin your workout routine. Running has amazing benefits and you do not want to miss these because it is too hot, cold, rainy or dark. Running on a treadmill allows you to exercise in the comfort of your own home. There is no need to worry about passing cars or choosing a safe trail. However, there are risks involved when running on a treadmill and they increase significantly if you do not know how to properly run on one.
It is essential to warm up before beginning a fast paced run. 5 to 10 minutes walking or jogging before picking things up will help protect your knees and prevent torn muscles. Too often runners jump on their treadmills and choose their desired speed and incline and get started. Just because you aren’t outside, does not mean you do not need to follow this simple exercise regulation. Similarly, it is absolutely necessary to cool down at the end of your workout. It is common to experience a dizzying sensation when getting off of a treadmill and this is from skipping a short cool down.
It is important to keep your feet under your body when running. It’s common to want to overstride as the belt moves quickly below you, but that is dangerous for your joints and could potentially cause you to fall. Be careful not to let your heel land far in front of you, causing you not to have a strong center of gravity. This motion can cause a breaking force on the belt, which is bad for the machine and for you.
It’s normal to feel nervous when adjusting to treadmill running. It’s important not to let these nerves sway you to hold the handrails. It is dangerous to run holding these side rails and once you have gotten on and started you should avoid holding on. When gripping the rails your body is forced to stoop over, causing long-term neck, back and shoulder pain. When running, inside or out, it’s important to keep a good, strong posture, looking forward while keeping your shoulder level.
Use the incline appropriately. Sometimes a fantastic workout is ruined because the runner keeps the treadmill on a steep incline for the entire run. For the most effective workout using an incline is advised, however, to see the most results varying it throughout the workout is best. Also, it’s important to protect your hips, ankles, and back and it’s possible to do this by avoiding any incline over 7%. For the best results and the highest level of safety, running on an incline should be avoided for the first 5 minutes. Your body needs to warm up and be able to handle the strain it’s about to experience.
Pacing yourself is important and it can be easier to this on a treadmill than outside. That being said when running outside we encounter the wind, traffic, and varying landscapes so our pace tends to change a little. To stay safe and get the best workout it’s important to do your best to imitate this while running on a machine. It’s great to set a pace, but you should not spend the entirety of your time at the same one. As mentioned earlier, it should change for the warm up and cool down and then again challenge yourself and to lower your heart rate.
If you’ve ever run on a treadmill and felt that your neighbors can hear you, then you are probably expending too much energy. It’s important to land as lightly as possible. Sometimes landing on your heels, which should be avoided, causes the noise. Many times runners use shorter strides when on a treadmill because they are nervous or uncomfortable, it’s important to try and land on the balls of your feet. Runners should aim for even comfortable strides.
It’s important to stay aware when running on a treadmill. Just because you are inside, it doesn’t mean that all risks are gone. It’s still vital to pay attention to stride length, foot placement, and elbows. Keeping elbows at a 90% angle with palms facing inward will help conserve energy and protect you from sore achy muscles.
Running on a treadmill can give you the freedom to exercise when you want and if done correctly it doesn’t have to mean comprising results.
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