Fitness

Don’t “Pull a Penny” and Other Treadmill Safety Tips

By June 17, 2016 No Comments

Doing a face-plant and getting intimate with a treadmill when it abruptly cuts off mid-stride- that’s what I call “pulling a Penny.” The term honors my fit friend whose sweatshirt dropped off the handrails and got caught in the belt of the treadmill one morning when she was killing her run. No one wants to “pull a Penny” and have the gym staff rush to their rescue when a fast flat goes splat. These simple treadmill safety tips will help you avoid that embarrassing face-to-face contact with the bottom of the treadmill.

Whether you’re a beginner exerciser or an athlete, treadmills can help anyone looking to improve cardiovascular endurance and performance. On today’s treadmill you can choose a pre-programmed workout or create your own challenge. With control over incline and pace at your fingertips, you can smoke a beach-like run when you live in The Smokies or climb Pikes Peak after a day’s work in Racine. What’s more, treadmills are easier on the joints than the impact of hard outdoor surfaces.

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Clearly, treadmills rock. Here are some treadmill safety tips to make your workout even better:

For the love of all things not covered in fungus, wear shoes.

Minimalist huarachas, motion control sneakers – pick a shoe, any shoe! Yes, barefoot running is all the rage. It’s popularity is spreading as fast as a case of Athlete’s Foot. But here’s the thing: shoes provide a barrier against germs on shared equipment. In addition, treadmill belts heat up and the friction can tear skin.

Newsflash! You are not Justin Timberlake.

Leave the fancy dance moves for Hip Hop class. Or if you really feel like dancing while walking, go outside and Prancercise. Treadmills are tried and true because they are straightforward as long as are straight forward. It’s pretty simple: face front, toes forward! Look ahead of you, not to the hottie on your left or the guy eating raisins on your right.

The rails are designed for temporary stability, not for unending support throughout your workout.

They are neither bra, nor jock-strap (nor are they meant as a clothes rack for your bra, jock-strap, towel or t-shirt lest you suffer the fate of Dear Penny). The rails are there to hold when the belt starts and stops, or to aid balance when you change the incline. Dig deep and use your muscles to support good posture like your momma taught you. In fact, think of the rails as your mother. She’s there to help when you’re unsteady but you’ll breathe more freely if you let go. Good posture will open your chest and allow your lungs to expand. Releasing the death grip on the rails will allow blood to flow to all body parts, instead of pooling in overly tense arms.

On a final note, attach the emergency stop clip to your clothing if one is provided. Straddle the belt when turning the machine on and off. Follow these treadmill safety tips and tame that dreadmill into the purring treadmill it’s built to be!

 

Evan Parker

Author Evan Parker

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