Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

Fitness Articles  ›  Fitness Equipment How To's

Getting on the Treadmill

5 Tips for Beginners

-- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor
Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

Now that you have the basics, here are a few tips on getting the most from the treadmill.

5 Treadmill Tips
  1. 1. Start slow. Begin walking at a pace of 2 to 2.5 miles per hour for a few minutes. Then increase your speed to 3 to 3.5 miles per hour for a more challenging workout, if that's appropriate for your fitness level. Play around with the speed and incline to find a level that gets your heart pumping but still allows you to carry on a choppy conversation.
     
  2. 2. Don't look down. As you walk or run, keep your shoulders back and your chin up. Don't look down at your feet. And unless you have balance problems, do not hang on to the handrails, especially when running. If you cannot walk or run without holding on, then you need to decrease your speed or the incline. Also try to be light on your feet, not stomp on the treadmill. It's easier on the joints and better for your form if you walk as normally as possible, with a heel-to-toe motion, and to run in proper form by striking the belt with your forefoot first—not your heel.
     
  3. 3. Pay attention. Try to walk in a straight line at the center of the treadmill belt and pay attention to what you're doing. You may be tempted to look up at a television or read a magazine, but don't get distracted until you're very, very comfortable on the machine. Also don't be afraid to turn down the speed or incline if you feel like you're having problems keeping up or feel too rushed. And if you find that you need to stop the treadmill at any time, don't try to hop off it with the belt still moving. Hit the stop button, and the treadmill will come to a slow and safe stop. You are in control, after all!
     
  4. 4. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you belong to a health club or fitness center, don't be afraid to ask someone on staff how to get started on the treadmill. They can tell you how the different programs on the treadmill work and how to operate other features of the treadmill such as the heart rate monitor or the individual viewing screen if your treadmill has one.
     
  5. 5. Consider buying one. Once you know how treadmills work, you may be tempted to add one to your home gym. A treadmill is an incredible piece of equipment to have at your convenience. Once you're ready to buy, make a list of features that are important to you. Do you feel more comfortable on a wide belt? Do you love the heart rate monitor? Does it have to be quiet or compact? Write down the must-have traits and take it to your local sporting goods or fitness-equipment specialty store. Hop on all of the treadmills there that are within your price range and test them against your must-have list. Because buying a treadmill is an expensive and important purchase, don't be swayed by discounts or high-pressure salespeople. Make the right decision for you! And definitely do some research before taking one home. Websites such as Treadmilldoctor.com and subscription-based sites like Consumer Reports have reviews of almost every treadmill available.

See how good of a friend the treadmill can be? Now hop on! After following this guide, it shouldn't be long before other people are asking you for help getting started with the treadmill!

This article has been reviewed and approved by SparkPeople Coaches Jen Mueller and Nicole Nichols, Certified Personal Trainers.
Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
‹ Previous Page   Page 2 of 2   Return to main fitness page »
Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

Related Content


Stay in Touch With SparkPeople

Subscribe to our Newsletters

About The Author

Jennipher Walters Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomeGirls.com, FitBottomedMamas.com and FitBottomedEats.com. A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.

Member Comments

  • TROBERTS73
    Great and pretty much informative article must say. Well to achieve a healthy and fit body buying a few of fitness equipments to set up a gym of your own would surely help you earn a few sounds healthy body system.
    http://www.xtra
    iningequipmen
    t.com/ - 3/13/2014 9:04:26 AM
  • I love the treadmill but I really love outside better. Love to walk smelling the air outside. - 1/3/2014 1:32:24 PM
  • Would love to have my own treadmill - but just do not have the room. But, I do have a club membership - so that is my favorite when there!!
    barb - 10/6/2013 10:22:17 AM
  • I absolutely love my treadmill! I am so glad I bought one for myself! - 7/9/2013 12:47:57 PM
  • When I have music, I walk farther on the treadmill. The only thing I don't like about the treadmill is that it takes up a lot of room, 24-7! - 7/9/2013 4:13:18 AM
  • MEM123
    I joined Sparkpeople a while back but life got in the way and I quit walking on the treadmill and quit writing everything down, etc. Well, tonight I read a few articles and decided that if I let life get in my way again I may not live so long! Beginning tomorrow I'm back on the treadmill, reding articles and recommitting to SPARKPEOPLE because it ROCKS!! - 3/15/2013 8:38:46 PM
  • REDGALE
    The treadmill is great to have where weather extremes make outdoor exercise unreliable. I'm headed for mine right now, as I watch the snow sift down outside. - 3/7/2013 10:40:17 AM
  • I have a treadmill in my basement. I have not used it for manay months, maybe a year. but tonight I WILL walk on if for at leat 15 minutes. will report back after I do it tomight - 2/12/2013 5:43:17 PM
  • I have had a treadmill for a long time. Used to use it all the time but haven't much lately preferring to do cardio DVDs. Guess I need to add some more walking to my routine! - 2/3/2013 4:00:37 PM
  • I need to start using my treadmill again. - 2/2/2013 6:50:59 AM
  • I HAVE A TREADMILL IN MY LIVING ROOM AND HAVE DIABETES AND VERY SELDOM DO I EVER USE IT. IT HAS BEEN LIKE A PIECE OF FURNITURE. MY WORKOUT SHOES ARE LAYING ON IT TOO. OMG. I AM INSPIRED TO GET ON IT. I WANT TO FIGHT DIABETES WITH SERIOUS EXERCISE AND A NUTRITOUS DIET AS I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE TO USE INSULIN AS MY LATE MOTHER DID. I AM A RETIRED 65 YEAR OLD AND I LOVE SPARKPEOPLE. - 9/10/2012 9:14:15 PM
  • Love the Treadmill! - 7/11/2012 12:24:40 PM
  • I love the treadmill. I actually bought an elliptical and dont use it ...I usally wind up going to the gym and using the treadmill.. It's a great way to shed pounds quickly. I go about 3 times a week. I started last year. I went from 270 down to 209... not bad
    -RK - 5/30/2012 1:56:17 PM
  • i didn't know you weren't supposed to hold onto the handrails when walking on the treadmill... i always hold onto them. not sure if i can do it without... guess we'll have to see. i only use the treadmill anyway when it rains or is very cold outside... i prefer going out to the park and walking the 1.5 mile path around the lake. - 4/24/2012 6:30:33 AM
  • This is a very timely article for me since just yesterday I walked around the treadmills at the gym but felt too intimidated to get on. I didn't know how or where to start! Now I do - thanks! - 11/17/2011 12:43:20 PM
Popular Calories Burned Searches: Dancing: Disco, Ballroom, Square  |  Dancing: Fast, ballet, twist  |  Dancing: Slow, Waltz, Foxtrot