Walking or running on a treadmill at home is a great option to work out and stay fit during the current Covid pandemic. You don't have to worry about the weather outside or the hefty gym membership fees. Just dedicate some time every day to exercising on your treadmill and get going on the road to good health. However, for beginners, it may seem daunting to operate a treadmill. If the exercisers are not careful, the wrong usage of the machine can cause unexpected injuries as well. Once your treadmill is set up, use the following tips to start your fitness journey.
WHAT YOU SHOULD WEAR
Make sure you wear a pair of good-quality running shoes and workout clothes that are comfortable. Also, keep a water bottle to stay hydrated and a hand towel to wipe your sweat when the treadmill workout gets intense. Another good idea would be to arrange for some music that you can play in the background. This will keep you motivated to continue working out.
HOW TO USE THE SETTINGS
Most good treadmills have a dashboard that displays the time, speed, calories burned, incline, distance, heart rate while you are using it. The two things you have to focus on the most are speed and incline, a combination of which makes for a great treadmill workout. The treadmill belt would move faster at a higher rate, and you will have to walk/jog/run accordingly. You can raise or lower the treadmill's platform by altering the inclining number. A higher incline would be like walking on a hilly surface and shall need more tremendous effort.
You will have to use the treadmill as if you are walking/jogging/running outdoors. Try to keep your back straightened, your shoulders relaxed, but your core engaged. Don't forget to clip the safety cord to your shirt. The cord will ensure that the treadmill would stop if you raise the speed limit beyond your capability. Also, it's a good idea not to keep your hands on the side rails to allow your hands to move naturally, leading to an additional calorie burn.
TREADMILL WORKOUT FOR BEGINNERS
Those who are healthy with no underlying health conditions can easily start with this process. Step onto the treadmill, press the start button, and begin walking slowly and comfortably for about five minutes. This is your warm-up. Followed by:
· Increase the incline by 1 per cent
· Set the speed between 3-4 mph
· Walk for 5 minutes
Assess your body's response and if you aren't too breathless, increase the incline to 2 percent and raise the speed to 5 mph. Continue walking for another 5 minutes and re-evaluate your body's response. Increase the incline and speed by 1 point after every few minutes if your body allows you to do so. Otherwise, stick to the pace you feel comfortable at, build your stamina over the next few weeks, and then elevate the intensity of the workout.
A workout should be able to challenge your body enough to burn calories and build muscles, but at the same time, it should be sustainable on average. Two to four mph is walking speed, four to five mph is a fast walk or light jog, and over five mph is jogging or running.
Reserve the last 5 minutes of a 30-minute workout for a cooldown. In those last five minutes, reduce the incline to 0 and walk at a slow pace of about 2-2.5 mph to cool down your body. It will bring your heart rate down. Switch off the treadmill and do some stretching exercises. Remember to hydrate yourself well and have a protein-rich snack within 30 minutes of your workout to provide maximum energy to the muscles.
Treadmill workouts are great for burning fat, building stamina, and staying off lifestyle diseases. However, as you start the journey on the treadmill, remember to listen to your body and gradually build your strength and endurance.