Running is one of the best sports. You can do it anywhere, anytime, it works with every muscle group, and you can choose the intensity of your workout. But what can you do if it’s too hot outside, or you prefer working out at home? Then the treadmill is the perfect option for you. In this article, you will learn what to pay attention to when you’re working out on a treadmill, what the difference is between training on a treadmill and running outdoors, and how to use the treadmill properly.
You can read in this article about the following topics:
- The benefits of using a treadmill
- Treadmill for beginners: how to get started?
- Using the treadmill: settings
- What to pay attention to when using a treadmill?
Anyone who regularly runs outdoors says that it’s the best form of exercise. Feeling the air on your face, the sunshine, the birds singing, and running wherever you want. It gives you a lot of freedom. However, as the pandemic has proved, you don’t always have the option to go outside. During times like this, a treadmill is a perfect choice, which is not only a great additional form of exercise, but also has many advantages.
Treadmill or running outside?
In addition to the many advantages of running outdoors, there are also disadvantages. The most significant factor is the weather. No one likes running in heat, extreme cold, or a rainstorm. Also, consider the surface: running on concrete is not healthy for your joints, and when running on natural surfaces, you have to pay attention to stones and branches. Tartan running tracks are the best, but they are hard to find. You don’t have to wear heavy running clothes in winter on a treadmill, and it’s easier to monitor your data. If you put safety first, treadmills will work best for you. You don’t have to run on a busy road or face other dangers. Plus, you can even watch your favourite TV show, learn a language, or listen to music while running. If running is included in your gym workout plan, choose the treadmill.
First, get to know the machine. If it’s your treadmill, read the instructions carefully, or ask for help at the gym. Most modern treadmills have a heart rate monitor, a calorie counter, and a display where you can see the most important data during your workout. You can adjust the speed and incline of the machine, so you can even run or walk uphill, thus creating a diverse workout plan. Some machines have pre-programmed workout plans, what’s more, there are treadmills that display natural scenery or even a race that you can take part in virtually.
Most importantly, you have to warm up before training on a treadmill, the same way when you are running outdoors. Always start slow: walk at first, then slowly increase the distance, and later the speed. You can spend the first few workouts by just walking. Pay attention to your posture and breathing. Many runners have a bad posture that puts a strain on their necks or backs. They lean too far forward, the stride is too long, or they lean on the handrail. Instead, try running with a natural posture, looser upper body. And of course, before setting the treadmill to a higher speed, get used to running on a moving belt.
If you start with walking, as mentioned above, set the treadmill to the appropriate speed. Figure out the speed that increases your heart rate a bit, but you are still able to walk casually. Only use handles and handrail when you get on and get off, or if you lose your balance. It’s best not to hold on to the handles while running, only grab the handle to check your pulse from time to time. If you are an experienced runner, plan your workout and adjust the speed and incline accordingly. Also, try the machine’s pre-programmed workouts.
The displayed calorie data is only approximate, for accurate information, you have to enter your gender, age, and weight. This is especially important if you’re trying to lose weight. Always finish with a cool-down session at an easy pace, and never step off the moving belt! Wait until the treadmill comes to a complete stop before getting off.
It’s not just the settings and specifications you should pay attention to, especially if you’re a beginner. Many people think that the basic rules of outdoors running don’t apply when using a treadmill. However, it’s important to pay attention to the following rules when working out at home or in a gym.
You sweat while running, so you lose fluids, which you need to replace with water or isotonic drinks. Treadmills usually have water bottle holders. After a long run or a high-intensity workout, you can eat a protein bar, which you can keep in the compartments of the machine.
You should have a light meal at least two hours before your workout. Eat something that you like, but that also gives you energy. Some people prefer running on an empty stomach, but you will see what works best for you. Always drink after running, even if you have been hydrating during your workout, and you can eat shortly afterward, too. It is recommended to consume protein-rich foods or smoothies after a run.
As a beginner, two to three times a week for twenty minutes is enough. You can work your way up to one hour gradually, but don’t increase intensity. Once you feel comfortable with this intensity, you can increase the speed. It’s up to you whether you hop on the treadmill more than three times a week. As an experienced runner, be sure to incorporate different intensity and variety workout sessions and combine running with other forms of exercise. Also, don’t skip stretching after running!
Whichever form you choose, you do a lot for your health by running. However, if you’re ill or injured, take a break for a few weeks. Only push yourself when you’re feeling well, and you will be able to enjoy using the treadmill in the long run.