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Want to lose weight? Hop on the treadmill

Go to the gym and the first thing you’ll probably see is the treadmill. With all the pollution, not to mention the lack of running space the device is a godsend for people who need to walk, jog or run. Also the device is excellent for specific training thanks to controls which allow elevations and also varying speeds which can help you with interval training.

How to use

Each treadmill has a set of controls and it might be a good idea to ask a trainer or spotter to show you how it works if you’re using it the first time. There are controls to increase the speed and inclination and they have indicators which show calories burnt, heart rate, speed, time, inclination and the emergency stop button. Many treadmills come with preset programs. Here are some of the common ones:

Cardiovascular: It’s a program designed to keep your heart rate between 50-85% of your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR= 220 – age for men, 226 – age for women)

Interval training: In this program, you can set two speeds – for your rest phase and high intensity phase – which will help you train better. For example, you can set your rest phase at 6km/h and high intensity at 10km/h with each interval at 60 seconds. This will really help you burn some serious calories. (Go HIIT the gym)

Fat burning zone: This preset program keeps your heart rate range between 80-85% of your maximum heart rate so that you burn more calories.

5k Run: This is excellent for training for long distance runs and you can vary the speed depending on your ability.

Some tips to keep in mind:

Warm up and cool down: Don’t just start running at breakneck speed, which is a sure-shot way to get injured, or even flung off the treadmill. Start at a moderate pace and warm up till you’ve worked up a light sweat. This will also help you loosen up your muscles for a more high intensity run. Also, don’t just jump off the treadmill once you’re done; spend some time walking at a moderate pace to cool down.

Wear proper clothes: Make sure you’re wearing proper running gear and loose clothes. In case, you’ve a knee problem or ankle problem, wear ankle braces or a knee brace to absorb the shock.

Don’t hold the bars: Holding the bars and running is a bad idea because it indicates that you’re trying to go faster than you should. Also it burns fewer calories.

Focus on form and posture: The perfect way to run is land on your midsole or the balls of your feet. Landing on your toes puts too much pressure on the calves and can lead to shin pain as well, while landing on your heel means you’re putting unnecessary stress on your knees. Also make sure your toes are pointed straight while running and they’re not pointed inwards or outwards.

Protect your joints: One of the issues with running on a treadmill is that it can affect your joints. That’s why you should work on your strength and flexibility. One great way to check this is to do the wall squat.

  • Stand facing a wall, with your feet just wider than hip-width and your hands on your temples.
  • Try to squat down so your thighs are parallel to the floor, without your knees or any other part of your body touching the wall on the way up or down.
  • Aim to complete five squats standing just an inch away from the wall. 

Also here are some stretching exercises that will help. 

Also read:

  • The kettlebell way to get fit and build functional muscles
  • Know your equipment: EZ Bar
  • Know your gym equipment: Medicine ball
  • Know your fitness equipment: Elliptical trainer

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