If you hit the gym regularly, it’s all too likely that you’ve used the treadmill a time or two—or more. After all, it’s just like going for a jog, right? Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to using it. On one hand, they’re public property (and likely not as sanitary as you’d like) and can get really boring. On the other, you don’t have to brave rainy or hot and humid weather just to burn off some calories.
But running on the treadmill is more than just setting your legs free on the belt. If you’re wondering why you’re not losing weight or experiencing body pains after a session on the treadmill, you could be using it the wrong way. Keep reading for a few treadmill mistakes you could be making.
1. You’re not doing a proper warmup and/or cool-down.
There are just some days when you want to hop on the mill and get it done—we understand that you have a job and lead a busy life. But without a proper warmup, you can experience pain and injuries. Not only that, you will burn out easily and don’t last as long as you would have with a warm up.
Just do basic exercises, like skipping and wide hip circles, for 5 to 10 minutes. The same goes for cooling down. Just because you’re done with a rigorous routine, it doesn’t mean you can just hop off and drop dead on the floor. Let your body slowly ease into a resting state.
2. You’re not wearing the right shoes.
Some people work on the flawed logic that a workout is an opportunity to show off their latest edition kicks, but this isn’t the time or the place to let your vanity get the best of you. Good quality running shoes sometimes get compromised for shiny new trainers.
Since running is a high-impact exercise for your feet, get shoes that have moderate padding on the soles for cushioning and protection, but not too high that they pose a risk of twisting your ankle.
3. You’re holding onto the bars.
Sometimes you can’t help but cling onto the bars when things start to get too intense. Although it seems like a natural impulse, supporting a part of your weight burns fewer calories and won’t get you the results you want.
4. You’re not using the incline feature.
Remember that your goal is to burn off calories. When the usual running speed and time gets so comfortable that you can’t feel the burn in your legs anymore, and your heart rate doesn’t speed up quite like it used to, it means your body is getting used to the strain and not burning enough fat as it should. Make things a little tougher for yourself by using the incline, but don’t make it so steep that you’ll feel like holding the bars every 20 seconds.
5. You’re doing it excessively.
It’s not hard to tell when you’re overdoing it. Usually the first signs come from regular bursts of pain in your muscles and abnormally elevated heartrate even when you’re resting. This is self-inflicted physical abuse.
It’s life’s grand rule to do everything in moderation, especially high-intensity exercises. The key to a healthy workout is finding the right balance between frequency, duration and intensity.
It’s good that you’ve found a more accessible exercise to achieve a healthier and more fabulous lifestyle. But keep in mind that you’re doing this because you love your body, not because you want to punish it by committing all sorts of mistake. Do it right!