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10 Tips for Treadmill Running

10 tips for treadmill running

The treadmill is one of the more popular pieces of equipment in a gym. Its design caters to people of all fitness levels and keeps you out of the harsh and unmotivating outdoor weather conditions. Treadmills are perfect alternatives to use when issues of safety or weather prevent you from running outside.

While a lot of people can operate a treadmill successfully, many don’t actually know how to get the most of their treadmill workout. Check out these ten tips for treadmill running to make your workout more efficient and fun.

Tip 1: Always Warm-Up

Just like outdoor running, running on a treadmill requires a bit of a warm-up before you start. It's tempting to just want to get it on immediately and skip the warm-up, but a warm-up raises your heart rate and sends oxygen to your muscles to increase their efficiency. Run or walk at a slow and calm pace for 5 to 10 minutes to get yourself started.

Tip 2: Do not Set Your Treadmill too Steep

Try to avoid setting your incline more than 7%. An incline that steep places a lot of strain on your back, hips, and ankles and can lead to injury. Set your treadmill incline instead somewhere between 1 percent and 2 percent.

Avoid running at a steep incline for more than a few minutes (5 mins). Mix things up with steep inclines and some flat running. You'll improve a lot faster without risking injury this way.

Tip 3: Do not Lean Forward

While you are on the treadmill, try to keep your body upright. Since the treadmill pulls your feet backward, it’s normal to want to lean forward. To avoid having neck pain and backaches or losing your balance, try not to lean forward too much.

Tip 4: Do not Hold onto the Railing or Console

It’s quite common for people to assume that they need to hang on with hands when they run or walk on treadmills. The ramps on the treadmill are there to help you get on the treadmill safely. While you run on the treadmill, keep your arms at a 90-degree angle to practice as you would if you were running outside.

Tip 5: Do not Look Down

Whether you're on the treadmill or running outside, staring straight ahead is the safest and most appropriate way to run. Do not look down when you run the treadmill; if you keep looking down, your running form will suffer. Also, do not stare at your feet. A hunched running posture can lead to back and neck pain.

Tip 6: Improve Your Stride

To run more efficiently, you need to take more steps per minute. To increase your stride count, concentrate on taking shorter and quicker strides. Keep your feet close to the belt. This exercise is fun and will make you a better runner all-round.

Tip 7: Listen to Music

Jamming to music on the treadmill is a sure-fire way to combat boredom and run longer. Create a playlist of inspiring and motivating songs for your workout. These will help you pass the time and prevent you from continually checking the clock to see how much more you have to go.

Tip 8: Visualize

Another trick to pass the time on a treadmill is to visualize an outdoor route that you frequently drive or run. Picture yourself running along and imagine the buildings and other landmarks you'd pass along the way. Change the incline settings at the time you'd be heading up a hill on your outdoor route.

Tip 9: Hydrate

Since there's little air resistance to help to keep you cool on a treadmill you tend to lose even more water running than you would if you were running outside. Keep a bottle of water within reach. While you are running on the treadmill, drink at least 4 to 6 ounces every 20 minutes.

Tip 10: Remember to Cool Off

If you have ever felt some dizziness after taking that first step off the treadmill, it's most likely you did not cool down at the end of your run. Stopping suddenly while running on a treadmill can cause light-headedness. This is because your heart rate and blood pressure drop rapidly. Slowly winding down allows them to fall gradually.

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