How to Avoid an Injury When Running on a Treadmill
Treadmills are one of the most icons cardio machines in existence. It's so famous, in fact, that this might seem like a slightly ridiculous article due to how popular the treadmill really is. According to metro, they can actually be one of the most dangerous too if you don't know your stuff! That's why it's so important to learn about common treadmill injuries, and what you can do to keep yourself safe.
Before we get into it, let's take a step back.
You’re not even leaving the comfort of your own home or gym most of the time, so what should you have to worry about? In reality, not a lot. Treadmills are of course equipped with non-moving platforms at either side of the moving centre to step onto if needed and have handles so you can hold on and run in a comfortable position.
You also choose your own speed and even your own incline, and overall, this ensures you are safe and in control. Don't panic just yet.
So, how are people getting injured just from running on a treadmill? These are some of the most common issues.
Falling is probably the most common issue with running, especially if you're looking at the short term. Most newer treadmills have a clip feature meaning that if you do end up falling or injuring yourself, you will stop the machine by pulling it. It's attached to your clothing, so shuts off the machine instantly preventing any real issues. Despite all of that, it still happens! Keep on your toes!
Even getting on and off the treadmill can pose a risk of injury. It's really important that you don't play around on them or put yourself in danger. They have strong motors after all!
Like any workout, it's vital that you warm up before you work out. stretching is a great way to do it, as well as walking or gradually speeding up on your treadmill. They're all viable options.
The problem is that as we get so used to treadmills, it gets easier to neglect the warming up or even cooling off. Warming up is one of the most important ways to protect yourself from an injury in any workout, and running on a treadmill is no different. always take the time to stretch, build up to exercise, and cool off after.
The treadmill itself can cause you issues too, rather than just how you sue it. If it's old or outdated, for example, it might not have the best tech to help you stay safe. Shock absorbers may not be as good as they should, and that is one of the easiest ways to give yourself knee and joint injuries that can be a huge issue in everyday life. (It's important to note that a descent treadmill is still better for your knees than outdoor a lot of the time. Here's more info).
The positioning of the treadmill may also prevent some injury in the future too. Running with a slight incline of between 2 and 4 degrees will create a more realistic running motion and a forward lean without having to apply any real extra effort that a larger incline would do. That's just good practise.
Trainers (A Side Note)
Aside from a newer treadmill with good quality shock absorbers being in place, wearing the correct footwear is also crucial to avoiding injuries when running. That goes for both indoor and outdoor.
A good start is bounce. The shoes ideally need to have a lot of cushioning on the heels as this is typically the first point of contact with the floor or surface and thus needs to take most of the impact.
This does differ slightly with different types of shoe, though. Different shoes are often designed for different surfaces such as trail running vs road running and the different characteristics they should have. Many of these shoes will also last around 500 miles, so you don't need to change too often either.
So Is it safe?
Overall, with the right equipment like the correct treadmill and the right shoes, and even with the right technique, the risk of damage or injury on a treadmill is minimised and the treadmill itself is reasonably safe.
To ensure strain like runners knee is avoided, it may be wise to not rely solely on running. Change your cardio workout to have some variation on different days. For more advice on this topic, see a trainer or physician. If you are already suffering from any of these injuries, contact your doctor and ask how best to proceed.
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.