Written by: Shannon Polk, Kudos Team Contributor
As the weather gets colder, you may find treadmill running more appealing than running outdoors. But how do you stay engaged in the workout? And how do you do it safely? We’ve provided some helpful tips below to get you through your next treadmill session:
1) Choose a dynamic workout. If you run at the same pace and incline for the duration, you’re likely to get bored. That is, unless you’re watching something exciting on TV. But if your attention is on the TV, are you really getting as much out of your run as you could? If you want to challenge yourself on the treadmill, select a treadmill workout that requires you to change speed and/or the incline at various intervals.
2) Take time to get ready before hitting START. Clip the red safety key to the bottom of your shirt so if you trip and fall, the treadmill belt will automatically stop. I wish I had done so during my last treadmill experience, where I had a hard fall with the belt still rolling. This is extremely dangerous and I was lucky to walk away with minor scrapes and burns. Also, if you run with headphones, make sure the cord isn’t hanging too low or susceptible to getting caught on something. Finally, straddle the deck (rather than having your feet on the belt) before hitting START.
3) Start with a warm-up and end with a cool-down. Give yourself 5-10 minutes to warm up and cool down your legs at an easy pace on the treadmill. This will help to prevent leg cramping, shin splints and muscle soreness.
4) Stay focused and safe during the workout. Look straight ahead (rather than at your feet or a TV) to keep your balance and limit your distractions. If you need to stop mid-workout, use the STOP or PAUSE button.
5) Avoid going all-out on the treadmill. You can run fast safely on a treadmill, but we don’t recommend a full sprint. When sprinting on a treadmill, you have less control and it will be harder to do things like hit the STOP or PAUSE button should you need to. At high speeds, you’re also at a greater risk for injury should you stumble and fall.
6) Stay positive! Although treadmill running is not my favorite thing, I tend to have a better workout with a positive attitude. Just think, you could’ve used the excuse to not work out at all because it feels like zero degrees outside. But here you are on the treadmill, so make the most of it and kudos to you!