Tips for Avoiding Treadmill Accidents
A treadmill provides great cardio sessions for indoor workouts. It offers a wide array of running and walking programs. It helps you to achieve robust cardiovascular fitness and develops your stamina for running marathons.
While treadmill workouts are a great addition to your fitness regimen, these machines also come with some risks.
Treadmill accidents can be very dangerous and may leave you seriously injured. Thus, it would help if you took all the safety precautions while doing treadmill workouts.
No matter how advanced treadmills you use for your training workouts, you can’t afford to be careless. Even a momentary lapse of concentration can result in injuries due to falling from the machine.
Ensure that your kids and pets are not around when you are using a treadmill. Also, never forget to take out the key from the treadmill and store it safely when you are not using it.
Safety Tips for Avoiding the Risks of Treadmill Injuries
Always Look in Front
Whenever you are running or walking on a treadmill, keep your face in front and look forward. If you are a newcomer, you would be excited to look at your feet during workouts. However, this may disturb your balance and make you fall.
Avoid looking down or sideways as your feet follow the movements of your eyes. Therefore looking sideways may cause your feet to move one side and result in injury due to the moving belt.
Being a new treadmill user, you may feel dizziness or the sensation that the floor is moving; while training on a treadmill.
It’s normal to feel disoriented in the beginning after stepping off the treadmill. Always hold on to the handrails or any other hard object in such conditions.
You must pay attention to your clothing before beginning exercises on your treadmill.
Ensure to wear proper attire that should include supportive athletic shoes and a tracksuit. Avoid wearing loose clothing that may get stuck somewhere in the machine and cause an accident.
Ensure that your footwear is comfortable and provides a firm grip on the moving belt during level running, walking or uphill incline workouts.
Avoid Using Handrails
If you are new to treadmill workouts, you can use the handrails to maintain balance and get support initially. Once you get used to the machine’s movements, walking on a treadmill or running, you can do it without using the handrails.
Using the handrails for long periods may cause undue strain on your shoulders and elbows. Also, it may throw off the user’s balance and make him susceptible to foot and leg injuries.
When you hold on to the handrails, you are not simulating the natural posture of walking and running. It interferes with your natural body balance and also causes you to burn fewer calories.
Remember to Tie Your Shoelaces Firmly
When you run on a road, you can easily adjust your pace to avoid falling. However, on a treadmill, the pace adjustment takes place slowly. Thus, if you are running with untied shoelaces, you are likely to get tripped and injured.
Ensure to double-check your shoe-laces before you get on the moving belt.
Straddle the Deck Before Beginning the Workout
Most of the treadmill machines start slowly and gradually build up the pace. However, some machines may get malfunctioned, and these may start at a faster pace from the moment being turned on. This can throw you off the belt and lead to serious accidents.
Thus, you must straddle the deck initially and avoid starting the machine with your feet on the belt. Ensure to build up the machine’s pace slowly, even if you are planning to run at a faster speed.
Always Wear the Safety Clip
Treadmill machines come with a safety clip designed for shutting down the machine in the event of a magnetic strip losing its contact with the console.
Ensure that you are wearing this safety clip before starting your workouts on a treadmill. If you don’t wear it and happen to fall, the belt keeps rotating and may cause serious friction injuries on any exposed skin surfaces.
Use Proper Settings of Pace and Incline
It isn’t easy to run on a steep incline at a fast speed. Therefore you must choose the balanced settings of pace and incline. If you want to adjust your incline, you must slowly adjust the incline’s height and slowly increase your speed.
If you try to make abrupt adjustments to the pace or incline, you may slip and fall from the treadmill.
Do a warm-up routine before training and a cool-down routine after training
Before you begin your cardio workouts on a treadmill, ensure that you do proper warm-up for at least 5 minutes. This may include jogging for a few minutes or doing some stretching exercises.
Doing a warm-up routine, warm your muscles, make them flexible, and prepare them for a rigorous workout. It prevents the tightening of the muscles or minimizes the chances of accidental muscle rip or twist.
Also, ensure that you do a bit of stretching and deep breathing exercises after the workout for bringing your heart rate down to the normal state.
Avoid Walking or Running on the Treadmill Barefoot
The moving belt on a treadmill creates friction and heat as it constantly rotates during the workouts. Thus, walking or running on a treadmill barefoot may cause burns, blisters, or scrapes.
Thus, you should wear proper athletic footwear that provides great shock absorption, cushion, and a firm grip on the moving belt.
A pair of properly fitting gym shoes takes the stress off the joints. It minimizes the incidents of injuries on the moving belt.
Moreover, wearing shoes while doing workouts also helps in preventing the spread of fungus and other germs.
Keep Children and Pets Away
It is very important to keep your children and pets away while you are doing treadmill workouts. Every year, cases of treadmill accidents resulting in injuries to the children are reported.
Children are curious by nature, and they try to touch the moving belt and put their hands on it. This may cause injuries to their hands and arms. Ensure that you only do treadmill workouts when an adult family member attends your kids.
A treadmill machine has a moving part, and it poses serious risks for small kids. It should be stored in a safe area when not in use. You must always keep it locked and store the key in a safe place.
Ensure that children stay away from the treadmill. Please don’t allow them to play near the treadmill. Make sure that the kids are not alone when they are near the machine.
Avoid Stepping off a Moving Treadmill
Whether you are a new treadmill user or an expert at treadmill workouts, never try to step off a moving treadmill. You may be tempted to leave your treadmill in motion while attending a phone call or to answer the door. However, it is very dangerous to do so.
Ensure to shut off the treadmill completely before stepping off the machine.
Also, be aware of the emergency shut button’s whereabouts for stopping the machine quickly if you get injured or your cloth gets stuck in the machine.
Use Proper Training Technique
To maintain the effectiveness of your treadmill workouts, ensure to follow the proper technique. An improper technique of running or walking on a treadmill increases the risks of injury.
Ensure that your shoulders are balanced, chest protruding outwards, and eyes fixated in front. Strike the treadmill’s belt with the middle of your foot and keep your arms moving in the natural flow.
Educate yourself about the various media controls before you start working out not to look downwards for a long time for operating the user’s controls.
Place Your Treadmill in a Spacious Location
Even experienced treadmill users may end up with injuries. Thus, you should maintain the proper balance and follow all the safety and treadmill maintenance guide while using the machine.
Keep your treadmill at a spacious location and ensure that there are not any objects behind the treadmill. This is to minimize the chances of serious head injuries if a user accidentally falls off the machine.
Make Gradual Progress
Don’t try to go for high-intensity workouts from the first day if you are new to the treadmill machine. Make slow and steady progress towards your fitness goals. Be aware of your limitations and avoid pushing yourself too hard.
It’s a better idea to keep track of your heart rate and breathing during your workouts. Don’t attempt to exceed 80% of your target heart rate. This may lead to heart-related health issues.
Treadmills are great exercise equipment for cardio-workouts that enable you to stay in shape while staying indoors. However, it would help if you exercise great care while using a treadmill as it poses certain risks for the users, kids, and pets moving around.
Every treadmill comes with a set of operational guidelines. If you are a beginner treadmill user, you should begin slowly and gradually make adjustments in the speed and incline. Take your time to get comfortable with the working of the machine.
At any moment, if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable on your treadmill, immediately stop using it and call the customer care of the machine’s manufacturer for troubleshooting.
With proper care and caution, you can easily prevent the common injuries associated with treadmill usage.