A treadmill is great for exercising, especially for people who cannot get outside to walk or run easily. Running on a treadmill is not the same as running on the road, and people can injure themselves if they don’t recognize the differences and make sure they are safe. Here are some ways to avoid injury while using a treadmill.
See Our Video Explanation for How To Avoid Injury When Using A Treadmill
Having good posture is essential for proper muscle conditioning. It is important for the body to be in a natural position and the joints should not be overextended or stressed more than they have to be. A 2% incline helps the treadmill mimic the outside ground and have the same feel as the outdoors. Having the treadmill set on a very flat setting is not good for the feet or legs.
Philip Riches, a Scottish expert on biomechanics, conducted research and discovered that running on a treadmill with no incline causes the exerciser to run with their knees very straight, rather than naturally soft and slightly bent. This motion can cause pain and muscle strain in the knees and feet. The knees cannot absorb shock properly when they are too straight. He recommends using a treadmill with no motor for a more natural running experience.
Leaning forward to hold on to the bar at the front of the treadmill can throw off an exerciser’s balance. This often causes stumbling and falling as the walker or runner picks up speed.
It’s a good idea for exercisers to rotate their pelvis with each stride. Letting your hip be pulled back with your leg allows for rotation of the entire lower body along the vertical axis. The body’s rotation absorbs most of the shock of each foot hitting the belt on the treadmill.
Anyone who runs on a treadmill should make sure that their stride is quick and short. Exercisers should lift their feet to minimize the force of impact transferred to their legs by the treadmill’s moving belt.
Listen To Your Body
People who join a gym or buy a treadmill for sale for their home are often eager to lose weight or get into better shape. This enthusiasm often causes the exerciser to push their body further than they should and can cause strained muscles or shin splints. It is important for everyone who exercises to start slow and increase their speed no more than 15% each week so that their body gradually gets used to working out. Injuries are often caused or exacerbated by increasing speed or incline on the treadmill too quickly and exercisers should stop their routine and rest for a day if their body doesn’t feel right.
Wear Proper Shoes
Good quality running shoes can be expensive, but they are a necessary investment for working out. Important things to remember when buying running shoes are:
*Proper fit – shoes must fit properly to help prevent injury to the feet.
*Absorb Shock – regular tennis shoes are usually not designed for heavy exercise. They should absorb shock so that the muscles and joints of the knees and feet have to absorb less impact.
*Not Worn Out – running shoes wear out quickly and should be replaced after being worn for 300-500 miles.
*Designed for Running – shoes that are designed for running are lighter and more supportive than regular tennis shoes.
Watch the Incline
Walking uphill on a treadmill for long periods of time can cause ankle pain and injuries because the ankle is being repeatedly over flexed. The ankle should be properly supported and additional strength training exercises may be needed if the ankle muscles are weak. All exercisers should talk to their doctor about any injuries they experience while walking or running.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Cold muscles lack flexibility and blood flow, so it is important to warm them up before putting stress on them through exercise. A good warm up may begin by walking slowly for 5-10 minutes and then performing static stretches and range of motion exercises.
Cooling down the muscles is an important part of injury prevention because muscles tighten quickly if activity suddenly stops. To effectively cool down their muscles, exercisers should run or walk at a slower pace for the last 10% to 15% of their time on the treadmill. They should also stretch their hips, legs and lower back.
Treadmill related injuries are often caused by an exerciser that forgets to warm up and cool down their muscles.
Running on a Treadmill
Using a treadmill isn’t the same as running on a track, but it can be a great alternative for people who are concerned about their physical safety or live in a place where the weather is bad. Anyone who starts an exercise program must keep any muscle or other health issues in mind and tailor the workout to fit their body. Even Eric Heiden, a five time Olympic gold medalist believes that treadmills are great for indoor workouts. He says that they offer stride control and are low impact.
It’s important for each person to listen to their body and do a workout that works for them and doesn’t cause pain or injury.