With growing consciousness about fitness and good health, everybody wants to be fit. One of the most commonly preferred ways to start and sustain the benefits of the journey towards good health leads to the gym where the person can seek guidance. The basic machine one would see in every gym is a treadmill. A newcomer may be fearful of getting on the treadmill for the first time, here’s a quick treadmill guide for beginners.
A Complete Treadmill Guide For Beginners:
What is a Treadmill and its Features?
A treadmill is a machine or an exercise equipment generally used for walking, running, or climbing an ascent while staying in the same place. The user walks or runs on the machine on a belt that moves underneath the feet in a continuous loop powered by a motor.
Features of a Treadmill:
- A treadmill comprises of the treadmill deck which is the body of the treadmill.
- Treadmill console which is the operational part of the machine which will display your speed and have the necessary buttons for different commands.
- The treadmill motor which will give the necessary horsepower to the machine, 18×50 inches treadmill belt on which you walk, and rollers on which the belt turns on at both the ends.
How to Use Treadmill ?
First try the three-minute test : Walk for one minute, jog for one minute, and run for one minute. If you are still comfortable and breathing easy, increase your speed by a few mph.
Increase movement slowly, increase the speed on the panel gradually, eventually start to jog to get the maximum benefits of treadmill. The primary numbers on the treadmill panel for beginners to pay attention to are speed (miles per hr), incline, distance, and time.
What is an incline?
The incline denotes the slope of the treadmill. The treadmill can be inclined upwards to mimic the feeling of walking up a hill. For a beginner treadmill workout, do not push beyond five minutes of incline at one time. First, walk on a treadmill for a while without an incline.
Increasing the incline significantly increases the intensity of the treadmill workout, it puts pressure on posterior chain muscles (hamstrings, glutes, and calves) which benefit the body.
Benefits of Treadmill:
- Keeps bones and muscles strong
- Burns calories, so run faster and longer
- Keeps body weight in check, helps people lose weight
- Keeps good cardiovascular health (heart and blood vessels)
- Boosts the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone that gives us a sound sleep; reduces stress, improves mood
- Helps the heart to pump blood more efficiently, strengthen heart muscles
- Good warmup exercise before doing strength training exercises
- Used as a diagnostic test by doctors to check blocked arteries and your cardiovascular health
- It is light on the knees and joints than outdoor running
- Strengthens your muscles, including glutes (muscles in the buttocks), thighs, and calves (muscles at the back of the lower leg)
- Increases insulin sensitivity
Treadmill Workouts and Helpful Guide For Beginners:
- 5 minutes brisk walking
- 15-25 minutes at a steady jogging pace
- 5 minutes brisk walking
- If you get confused with pressing the right button, put your hands on the sidebars and then hop off, don’t jump off in a frenzy.
- Ask the gym trainer for any button on the console panel for an emergency landing.
- When on the treadmill for the first time on your own, be confident and comfortable.
- Some treadmills have pre-programmed console panel, talk to trainer.
- Music is a great way to spend more time on the treadmill.
- Do not hold onto the handrails while you run.
- Every treadmill is a little different.
- Be in the middle of the treadmill.
- Less layers of clothes.
Treadmill Safety Tips :
- When entering and exiting the treadmill, the walker should always pause or stop the machine/motor.
- Keep the speed appropriate according to your capacity and not according to what the person on the treadmill adjacent to you is running at.
- Constantly be aware of where your feet are on the deck, avoid visual distractions.
- While running, the person may drift to the back of the belt. Stepping off from the rear part of the deck could cause serious injury.
- Always step off the side of the belt, not from the back.
- Too much turning and moving of arms can cause imbalance.
- Hands should be near the handrail, not on it always. While performing any immediate task like drinking, wiping with a towel, keep one hand on the rail for balance.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is it beneficial to use treadmill every day?
Every day use might cause muscle strain and knee injuries over a prolonged period of time due to overuse of the same muscles and joints. So, the best way to get benefits of treadmill is to alternate it with other forms of exercise like yoga, weight training, pilates. If you are young (in your 20s), you have strong bone density and muscles. If you have a healthy body weight, it means less strain on the joints. In thes two cases, running everyday on treadmill will have no bad effect.
Can running on treadmill benefit in losing weight?
Use of treadmill should be complemented with diet control, if your aim is to lose weight by running on the treadmill. Intake of calories has to be commensurate to the calories burnt. Also, while on the treadmill alternate between high intensity and rest intervals which is another way of losing belly fat. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a good way to burn fat in shorter period of time. If your heart is not pumping fast, your fat’s not burning.
Better still is the 12-3-30 workout which means setting the treadmill to a 12% incline and walking at 3 miles per hour for 30 minutes.
Is treadmill harmful for the knees?
Orthopaedics say running on the treadmill does not harm the knees, running on hard surfaces like metaled roads or concrete surface is harmful. GRF (Ground Reaction Force) should be less, treadmill and muddy surface offer less GRF which does not do any harm to the knees.