Got a gym membership, but scared of the gym equipment? Pounding the treadmill, but not sure you're doing it right? Here's how to make the most of the exercise machines
We always have the best intentions when we sign up to the gym, but sometimes the row of treadmills, exercise bikes, cross trainers and rowing machines can be a bit intimidating and we just give up altogether. Here at F&W, we think it’s time we mastered the machines with our exercise upgrade: how to burn more cals on the treadmill.
Top treadmill workout tips
- GET YOUR GAIT RIGHT – For efficient running and less jarring of your joints, land on your heels and go forward onto your toes, rather than putting all the weight on the front of your feet. The right shoes will help. Ideally, visit a running shop, where staff can analyse your gait before recommending the most suitable footwear. For example, lots of people overpronate while running – this means the foot rolls inwards and it can put extra pressure on your knee and hip joints.
- Let go of the handrails – If you’re new to the treadmill, it’s better to start slowly, letting your arms swing, rahter than clinging on because you’re trying to o too fast. If you hold the rails, your body isn’t working as hard as it could be. Walk, building up pace, until you feel confident enough to run.
- Climb the hills – Upping the incline on a treadmill will make your workout more realistic, reflecting outdoor conditions. Use the inbuilt software to tackle a pre-set hills programme.
- Rev it up – Interval training will make your workout more effective and burn more calories. For example, try 20 seconds of sprints, followed by 40 seconds of walking.
- Slow down – Before you finish, take three to five minutes to walk. This will allow your blood pressure and heart rate to return to resting levels, and will help reduce post-exercise muscle pain.
Smart Tip! – Clip the emergency pull cord to your clothing. This will cut the power if you get too close to the back of the treadmill, helping you avoid a tumble (and possibly a comedy appearance on YouTube!).
Your must have…
An iPod – running can be monotonous, so a killer playlist is essential. The iPod Nano (£129) comes with Nike+ running app to help you track your sessions.