New to the treadmill? Make sure you're doing it right with these tips.
- Warm up: Stepping on the treadmill and going at full speed may lead to injury, or at the very least can make your run feel that much harder as you overwork cold muscles. Spend five minutes jogging at an easy pace (or walking at a brisk pace) before ramping up the speed.
- Watch your form: The good news — your treadmill has a TV to help distract you from your long jog. The bad news — that engrossing reality show is making you forget about your form. Remind yourself to do a form check every few minutes to make sure you're not straining your neck or crowding the front of the machine. Read our tips for proper treadmill form here.
- Add intervals: Want to become a better runner and burn more calories? Make sure at least some of your treadmill sessions incorporate high-intensity intervals; these will help you get in a better workout in a shorter amount of time. This effective 45-minute pyramid interval workout helps you hit speed, endurance, and calorie-burning goals in less than an hour.
- Cool down: After your workout, instead of abruptly stopping, it's important to slowly bring the heart rate back down. If you're using a preprogrammed workout, your machine will include a cooldown, but if you've been inputting speeds manually, make sure you gradually decrease the speed over three to five minutes at the end of your workout until you've slowed down. And don't forget to stretch for a few minutes afterward to help strengthen muscles and prevent soreness.
- Practice good etiquette: If you're using a treadmill at your gym, make sure to practice proper etiquette. If you notice there's a line of people waiting to use the machine, don't stay on past the gym's time limit and always use wipe down the machine after you're done with your run. You should also make sure that you aren't distracting others by talking loudly to your workout buddy or using your cell phone.
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