Treadmills are an effective way to burn calories and lose weight, yet for beginners these running machines can seem intimidating. If fear of doing it wrong is keeping you from getting started, overcome your concerns with these beginner treadmill tips.
Beginner Treadmill Tips
Setting Up the Treadmill
While treadmill models differ slightly, they all have the same basic functions. Treadmills have a start/stop (or on/off) button; often, these are color-coded green and red. You’ll need to stop the machine if you want to get off for a quick sip of water to to take a phone call.
Treadmills also have speed and incline settings you can adjust either via numeric keypad or by up and down arrows. Just getting on the treadmill and running or walking will help you burn calories. To build strength, get a glutes workout, and up your calories burned, add incline.
More advanced treadmills offer a range of pre-programmed workouts. These can be good for beginners, as a pre-programmed workout can put you through a hill routine without requiring you to stop running to adjust the incline.
When you’re just getting started with the treadmill, the manual option can give you more control and freedom to play around with the speed and the incline on your own. Feel free to experiment, but do keep basic safety in mind. Always keep the treadmill at a speed you can comfortably run at; increasing the belt speed beyond your comfort level could be dangerous if you slip. If you need a break, hit the stop button and continue to move. The belt will slow to a stop automatically, for your safety.
To maximize your workout, move your arms naturally instead of holding on to the arm rails the whole time.
People often like to watch TV or read a magazine while on the treadmill, as it helps pass time. Do either if you like, so long as you remember that the primary focus is your workout, not the latest in daytime talk shows.
Beginner Treadmill Workouts
A treadmill workout contains the same components as any other cardio workout: Warmup, workout, and cool down. Get started by walking on the treadmill at a brisk pace for 5 minutes to warm up your muscles and prevent injury.
After time is up, you’re free to get power walking or jogging. To get the most health benefits, mix up simple endurance runs (or power walks) with interval training routines that vary the speed and intensity of your workout. A basic interval routine puts you through moderate, fast, and ultra fast pacing to get your heart rate up to the calorie-burning zone and keep it there.
When you’ve met your workout goal, remember to cool down for 3-5 minutes. This gets your heart rate back to normal. And before you quit the gym, remember to wipe down the hand rails, machine interface, and anything else you’ve touched.
We hope these beginner treadmill tips will get you started running or walking your way to improved fitness. Any time you have a question or want help with an exercise, remember that you can always come to helpful gym staff with your questions, comments, or to get a quick demo of any exercise machine.