The treadmill is a popular way to get the benefits of both cardio conditioning and weight bearing exercise. By staying conscious and aware you can avoid being one of the many treadmill injuries that happen every year. Start by practicing getting on and off the treadmill a few times until you feel confident. Always attach the safety clip to your clothing and know how to pull the emergency stop before you begin. Clear the program by hitting and holding the stop button before pressing start, to ensure that the previous program does not take you to running speed. Begin with a slow speed. Stand off the belt on the sides, straddling the treadmill. Once the treadmill starts moving you can step on, using a heel-toe step while keeping your feet underneath the body. Maintain a straight posture while swinging the arms and keeping the head and eyes facing forward. Increase your pace gradually and stay focused on the movement of your body, specific muscle groups, and breathing, instead of multitasking with a phone or other device. (As a bonus, know that focusing on your movement and stride has been shown to help with brain function!) Increase either the speed, or the incline, one at a time. Use the handrails or handles whenever necessary to maintain balance, but if you find that you need to use them continuously, your speed and/or incline is probably set too high. And finally, be sure that the treadmill has come to a complete stop before disembarking. Happy treading!
Balance Health Center is dedicated to keeping our members Active for a Lifetime™. Classes designed for all ages and abilities. All fitness activities are reviewed for results by our award-winning Physical Therapy team.