Treadmills are one of the most popular types of home workout equipment. Whether you’re walking for fitness on your treadmill or running, it’s easy and convenient. Treadmills are also useful for weight loss, training, and a simple way to keep your body moving. And while there are many things you can do while you’re on a treadmill, there are many things you shouldn’t do too.
1) No Wheels, Please
You’d be surprised how many people think it is okay to put wheels on a treadmill. We’re talking about bicycles, roller skates, skate boards, and even unicycles. It’s just a bad idea folks. Treadmills are meant to be controlled by your feet. In fact, some manual treadmills are designed to be moved by your feet. You control the forward motion.
Bikes, roller skates and other devices with wheels are meant to be controlled through balance, momentum and your feet. Key words here are balance and momentum. You’re putting yourself in serious danger if you try to ride anything on your treadmill. Don’t believe it? Check out the hundreds of hilarious videos of people trying this exact thing. If you want to get on your bike indoors, consider getting rollers or a bike trainer. They’re designed for this purpose.
2) No Jumping
Another common mistake is to jump on your treadmill. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean jumping jacks or actual jumping. Some people have quite a bounce to their running stride. The danger is two-fold; you can injure yourself when you jump on a treadmill. The treadmill platform can be quite stiff. When you jump it may not give your joints the cushion they need. Each impact adds up. The result can be joint pain and injury.
Additionally, it’s easy to twist an ankle or fall when you jump onto a moving treadmill. The track continues while you’re in the air. When you come down it can be incredibly difficult to maintain balance. And no dancing either! Too many people get into the groove when they’re running on a treadmill and forget to pay attention to their feet. You can fall and injure yourself.
3) Race Training
Finally, and this may be a bit controversial, but you probably shouldn’t train for a race on a treadmill. Running on a track or on the pavement is much different than running on a treadmill. Your running form is different. The impact is different. Your foot strike is probably different too. If you only train on a treadmill, you may injure yourself on race day. If a treadmill is an important part of your training program, consider running outside at least once a week. That way you can maximize your time on the treadmill and make sure your body is prepared for race day.
Also remember to keep your pets off the treadmill and to limit treadmill use to one person at a time. Treadmills are popular for a reason. They’re convenient. They’re inexpensive. And they’re a great way to get a good workout in less time. That being said, make sure you use your treadmill correctly and stay injury free.