Recently, Facebook COO Sheryl Sanberg’s husband Dave Goldberg fell off a treadmill and died after suffering a severe head trauma. While the silicon valleys of the world felt the shockwave of the SurveyMonkey CEO’s death, the world of health and fitness experts debated over the right usage of treadmills for staying fit.
Goldberg’s death is not the first fatal treadmill accident to have been reported. In different quarters of the world, stories of people losing their lives to a heart attack even while running on the treadmill have surfaced.
Such unfortunate and tragic incidents bring focus back on the safety of fitness machines, especially the treadmill. The technologically advanced treadmill machines of today, which have high-end motors and belts, can send an individual off balance leading to uncalled for falls, bruises, fractures and sadly even death!
Are you wondering if you must stop using the treadmill? Of course not! Considered as one of the best fitness machines in the world, experts endorse the use of treadmills as a part of intense cardio workouts. However, what one must be aware of is the notorious effects of treadmills and attempt to overcome the same by applying the right kind of instructions.
Here’s a look at 7 common mistakes people make while using the treadmill. We also tell you how to have an error-free experience.
- You don’t pick the right kind of footwear: For those who start a new fitness routine, it is quintessential to pick the right kind of shoes before stepping foot on a treadmill. The best footwear to pick is the ones with extra padding in the sole so that your knees and ankles are protected from the high impact of your foot strike on the belt.
- You constantly look down: This is the last thing one must do! For the first-timers it’s important to know that looking down while walking on a treadmill can lead to you losing balance. Instead, one must look straight ahead and also keep his or her shoulders at level while walking, jogging or running. Focussing on one spot will ensure that you don’t lose balance.
- Your flat-foot position on the belt: This is one of the most common mistakes people make. While landing on the treadmill belt, most people slap their foot causing strain in your leg muscles. This impact of your feet landing hard on the treadmill will force you to lean backwards thereby increasing the chances of you losing balance. Experts recommend people to use their mid-foot, instead of their heels, while using a treadmills. So friends, get your form right from the word go.
- You vigorously move your arms: You may think this is funny, but trust us it’s not! One must not throw their arms all over the place. Don’t swing it or criss-cross it uncontrollably. Rather, it is advised that you keep your arms by your side so that your overall body movement is under control. For those who indulge in low intensity jogging and high intensity running, keeping your arms parallel to each other and bent at a 90-degree angle is important.
- You take way too long strides: In a bid to cover more ground, do not sacrifice your form and efficiency. Agreed that you may be practicing for a major marathon, but you definitely want to emerge victorious without any kind of injury, right? Experts advise people to take three steps per second and also encourage fitness freaks to avoid leaping too high. So, watch your strides and don’t let competition/obsession overpower wellness.
- You latch on to the treadmill bar: While it is okay for beginners to hold the bars while walking, it is important that once you gain some confidence you must walk or jog like you would do outdoors. Most people argue that they are scared of falling off the treadmill and hence cling on to the handles tightly. However, fitness trainers must guide and encourage enthusiasts to get comfortable with the treadmill the right way!
- You do berserk on the treadmill: Even the biggest of the biggest fitness maniacs of the world will advise you to be careful about the amount of exercise you do. Anything in excess is bound to harm your body. Hence, don’t overdo your cardio routine on the treadmill. If you suffer from any kind of soreness and muscle injury, avoid even walking on the treadmill. Also while carrying out any kind of cardio regime, keep a check on your heart rate to ensure that you’re not stretching it a bit too far. Even if you experience slight ache or pain, especially around your abdomen or chest area, immediately stop the treadmill and relax. Please, do not ignore this.
Don’t put your heart at risk. Carry out high intensity cardio workout only 3-4 times a week. Follow strict safety measures while working out in the gym. After all it’s only for your good.