Treadmill Safety Tips

June 29, 2012

This is a guest post by Maire Hunter.

Running on the treadmill is an excellent way to get in shape or maintain your target fitness level. However, it’s possible to get hurt while using a treadmill, so you should always practice certain safety precautions. Below are some of the most important things to remember when using a treadmill.

treadmills

  • Protect your children. If any child will ever have access to your treadmill, take precautions to make sure the child won’t sustain an injury. Don’t ever leave your treadmill running when you aren’t in the room, and unplug it when it isn’t in use. When your children are old enough to use the treadmill safely, teach them how to use it so they won’t be tempted to try it out on their own.
  • Choose a safe machine. Before purchasing or using a treadmill, make sure it’s been thoroughly tested for safety. Whenever possible, use a machine with a safety cord for added reassurance.
  • Don’t run alone. Even experienced adults can slip and fall when using the treadmill. Don’t walk or run on your treadmill when no one else is home. If someone else is in the house, he or she will be able to provide assistance in case of emergency.
  • Don’t overexert yourself. Even if you’ll be exercising in an air-conditioned room, it’s still possible to exhaust yourself if your workout is unreasonably long or difficult. If you’re a beginner, or if you haven’t worked out in a long time, start out slow. For example, consider running at a moderate pace for only 10 minutes during your first few workouts, and then gradually increase the intensity. If you’re really out of shape, you may even want to start out walking and progress to a run in later workouts.
  • Avoid dehydration. Whether you’re running outside or on a treadmill, you’ll still sweat. Prevent yourself from dehydrating by keeping water available for the duration of your workout. Make sure you’re able to reach it without leaving the machine.
  • Wear appropriate attire. You don’t have to spring for designer workout clothes, but make sure your garments fit properly and are made of absorbent materials, such as cotton. Ill-fitting garments may get caught in the treadmill’s moving parts, which can cause you to fall. In addition, make sure your shoes are appropriate for running. Shoes that don’t fit properly may increase the likelihood of pain or injury after a workout.
  • Focus on the workout. It’s okay to listen to music or even watch television while working out, as long as the added entertainment doesn’t distract you from what you’re doing. Distractions can cause you to misstep and fall. In addition, if you are too distracted during the workout, you probably won’t be putting forth your best effort.

For the fitness enthusiast, treadmills can be a very useful tool. By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure your workout is as safe and effective as possible.

photo by: kmillard92

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