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Help, I'm Afraid of the Treadmill

Help, I'm Afraid of the Treadmill

FitSugar reader ccath posted this question in our RunningSugar community group.

I'm planning on joining my college gym really soon. I've been doing lots of push-ups — sometimes I do 500 in a day, not exaggerating — but I still feel fat. I feel like my abs should be toned, but besides my arms I don't notice any difference. I feel fatter.

Anyway, as I was saying I'm going to join the gym, and I'm planning on running on the treadmill, but I'm afraid of it. I know it sounds stupid but I'm afraid I might fall and make a complete fool of myself in front of everyone. I'm worried that what happens in this video will happen to me.

Can you offer me any tips?

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meliwe meliwe 7 years
Don't be afraid! I promise you - they are nothing to be afraid of. When you get to know them, you will also know pretty soon how they will change your life (or at least your body). And every fitness centre has coaches who can help you if they look to advanced! Let me know how it goes :)
michirururu michirururu 7 years
I completely agree with focusing on diet first than moving and shaking in the gym when trying to lose weight. Even though running is so straightforward, it takes time for your whole body to get used to moving and shaking (aka running) at a higher heart rate than when you're at rest, thus I think that accounts to what Mamasita mentioned when she said you have to try all different sorts of machines and movements, because the goal is for your body to be more flexible and for your whole body parts (not only your arms :p) to circulate blood more effectively as you go up at a higher heart rate :) When you succeed later on on losing some weight and get to love running in the future, my suggestion is to run outdoors more often! trust me, the treadmill has injured me and worsen my posture and movements :( Anyways, the main focus here is to listen to your body. Don't go way beyond what your body doesn't feel good in doing. All runners, from sprinters to marathoners, always begin their run with walks :) Good luck!
Ayu Ayu 7 years
Thanks for elaborate explanation, but I think treadmill still wouldn't be my cup of tea, hehe.
elle-dub elle-dub 7 years
Also, most treadmills have a lanyard you can attach to your clothing so if you start to fall, the machine will immediately turn off. Just start slow and you'll be fine.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
the video is lesson for the way NOT to work the treadmill. lol. but it did make me chuckle. anyways, i was terrified of the treadmill before too. i still don't like it, but i've gotten used to it. like other posters said, don't be afraid to ask instructors for help. that's what they're there for. also, maybe have a knowledgeable friend show you. if you do it on your own, just step on when it's not moving and then press the buttons accordingly. i still have the fear of falling off the treadmill. have come close to doing so several times at the gym and once at my house (then again, i trip over my feet just walking down the street)but i don't let it stop me from jogging or running on the machine. i also agree that other forms of cardio will be great too. Test out the machines and classes and see what suits you best. When I attended the gym at college i also did classes like water aerobics, belly dancing, pilates, and a weight lifting class.
fauxcat fauxcat 7 years
Ayu, yep, you step on it and then turn it on; they always start verrrrry slowly (slower than even a walking pace), and then you push the buttons to increase and decrease speed/incline, etc. It's pretty intuitive once you've done it once. CCath, I definitely agree with everyone else - adding any sort of cardio is the way to go (although your push-up ability is awesome...I can't even do 10!), and watching what you eat. When I lost my extra college weight, I focused mostly on cutting calories (never lower than 1200/day, though, and you'll need more if you're active). I also exercised, which made me more toned and much healthier-feeling, but it didn't have as big an impact on my weight as changing my diet did. I also tend to overeat, so I ask myself "Am I actually hungry?" before eating or taking another helping. If you're hungry, eat. If not, don't. It sounds really basic, but I think that a lot of people forget to listen to what their bodies want or don't want, especially when the brain is confused by stress/lack of sleep/etc (like in college). :)
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
Just start out walking and then gradually increase the speed. Other than that, all I can say is don't close your eyes and keep your face forward. Once I was looking around and not really paying attention and went flying off backwards. Yeah, it was embarrassing, but I just laughed at myself and got back up.
Ayu Ayu 7 years
I fear treadmills, too. I have no clue how you even start, do you step on a still one and then turn it on? I'm scared I'd start moving at the wrong moment and fall off. I've considered joining a gym in the winter months when running outside isn't as pleasant, but for now I think I'll just keep running outside unless it's pouring hard. That and jump rope in front of my home TV - and it's a lot cheaper. Not only would I have to pay the gym fees, but also buy new shoes because my trail running shoes wouldn't be very good for the treadmill.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Mamasita's idea is spot on. Don't be afraid to ask the staff for help/ suggestions. Per the treadmill: start off slowly so you get used to walking on a moving belt. start out with a very low incline too. Once you get comfortable, start working your way up -- both in speed and incline. good luck !
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
You do need cardio, and there are PLENTY of machines to try.... treadmill, elliptical, rowing machine, bikes, PLENTY. I really got into going-to-the-gym-type fitness in college (I had been a dancer for many years before) and asked a staff member to show me all the machines. I went at a slow time to make sure they had some free time to show me and it was really beneficial
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I agree with everything Vanonymous said. Be sure to keep track of calories. And, like her, I was going to suggest starting at a slower pace on the treadmill and gradually moving up when you're sure you can handle it. Even if you wind up not liking the treadmill, be sure to do some kind of cardio. Strength training alone will never make you lose weight.
ccath ccath 7 years
Thank you both :) Vanonymous I think I'll try to be more careful about the calories, since sometimes I'm so tired I eat more (I guess I think those push ups will be enough to loose what I eat). I don't have a sweet tooth but I tend to overeat, even if it's only fruit or other healthy stuff.
Vanonymous Vanonymous 7 years
If you're trying to lose weight, I would focus more on consuming less calories than anything else. The treadmill is great though, so maybe you could start at a walk until you get used to it and gradually speed up. By the way, if you've already cut calories and increased exercises and you still feel like you're "getting fatter", maybe you could see your doctor who could recommend something more specific or check for a thyroid problem.
lauren lauren 7 years
That video is hilarious! That poor kid! I think as long as you don't try to hop on a treadmill already in use, you will be okay! :)
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