7 Treadmill Safety Rules You Should Keep in Mind
You might think it odd to read about treadmill safety since much of what can be talked about is really just common sense. Treadmills have a moving belt, and usually hydraulics for adjusting the incline, but it’s a good idea to review some basic tips about staying safe on your machine.
Here are a few treadmill safety tips to keep in mind while using the machine:
- Before you start your workout, stand with one foot each on the opposite sides of the rails, straddling the deck. Step carefully onto the moving belt when the treadmill display counts down from 3 and begins to roll. Keep hold of one of the rails and steady your balance before you start punching in your desired program and settings.
- To pause or stop the machine, use the emergency stop button. This stops the moving immediately if you feel panicked that the treadmill belt is moving faster than you can run or for any other safety reason.
- Don’t compromise your safety and jump off the machine to answer the phone or change the channel and leave the belt running. Use the pause button and resume your treadmill workout when you’re ready.
- Don’t watch your feet while you walk on the treadmill. Be safe! Either keep your eyes forward or on the console display. This is because you may lose the sense of your position on the belt; you could be too close to the rear of the belt and fall, or you could be too close to one side and lose your balance.
- If you think you need to hang on to the front or side handrails for added safety and to catch your balance, that’s fine, but do swing your arms freely if possible. If you find yourself holding onto the front rail because you’re afraid to fall off due to the belt moving too fast, obviously you should decrease the speed. In the long run, it is much better for your posture to avoid the handrails, and you’ll burn more calories with a constant balancing of your core muscles while moving freely on the deck.
And just a few final treadmill safety tips we’d like you to consider:
- Keep the machine’s safety shut-off key out of the reach of children. You’ll also need to be aware of any pets in the room and keep them clear of the machine while it’s in use. This goes for small dogs who may try to jump on the moving deck with you, or kittens that show interest in exploring under the machine while the hydraulics have lifted the deck to an incline.
- Don’t work out on a treadmill while barefoot or wearing flip flops. Running shoes should always be worn as they provide the proper support and cushioning to protect your feet, ankles and knees and help to guard against injury.
These are expensive workout machines and the treadmill is no place to compromise safety -- like deliberately rolling off the back of the moving belt while your buddy shoots a video for TV’s Funniest Home Videos. It hurts more than you think to be thrown off one of these powerful machines and you won’t have much control over where you’ll land. With enough force, you can be thrown into other furniture or punch a hole in the wall with your foot, elbow, or head. Most of these treadmill safety rules follow common sense but it’s always a good idea to be reminded to be careful around them.