10 Tips for Using a Treadmill when Walking for Weight Loss

September 10, 2020Ellen
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Lockdown restrictions has meant a lot of us have been unable to get out to do our normal walking for weight loss regimes.  A great alternative is to use a treadmill on your walking for weight loss journey.

There are some tips I want to share with you to ensure your treadmill walking is free from injury and pain.  The following tips will help you walk faster, burn more calories and have a great workout.  Treadmill walking does take a little getting used to but once you master it, you can put on your music and walk your way to weight loss!

Related post:  How I lost 42lbs walking

Tip 1:  Getting on the Treadmill

This may seem a no-brainer but never get on a treadmill when it’s moving.  Ensure the treadmill is off.  Next step on the treadmill and stand with your feet slightly apart.  All treadmills have a safety stop cord which is normally in red.  Attach this to your t-shirt.  The idea is that if you fall or stumble the cord will pull out from the treadmill and it will stop immediately.  Start the treadmill at a slow pace and don’t increase until you are comfortable. 

Tip 2:  Hands Off the Handrail

When you start on the treadmill and this is your first time you can hold on to the handrail but don’t do this for long.  Holding on to it is not a natural way to walk and isn’t great for your walking posture either.  So let go of the handrail.  If you don’t feel secure then I suggest you reduce your speed rather than hold on. 

Tip 3:  Keep a Good Posture

Ensure you keep a good walking posture which means no hunching your shoulders or looking down at your phone!  This means keeping your head up and your eyes forward like you would walking down the street.  If you are watching something or reading make sure it is up at eye level.  The thing is if you walk with hunched shoulders or looking down it can contribute to lower back pain.  Remember you want to feel good after walking so look after that posture!

Tip 4:  Avoid Leaning Forward

I don’t know about you but when I’m walking up hill I seem to lean forward.  It’s such an easy habit to get in to that can cause you to have bad posture.  Make sure you avoid leaning forward and keep your tummy engaged, head up, shoulders back and keep checking yourself so you are getting the most out of walking on the treadmill.

Tip 5:  Keep your strides manageable

It’s very easy to overstride when on the treadmill.  This is true when you are trying to walk faster.  This can be an issue as it often means you are hitting the front of the treadmill.  This can cause you to trip and fall which is what we don’t want when you are walking for weight loss.  Make sure your front heel strikes are close to your body and the back heel strikes remain on the ground a fraction longer to give you a good push-off.  This will ensure you walk faster.

Tip 6:  Walk lightly

Don’t allow your feet to drag when using the treadmill on your walking for weight loss journey.  The correct way to walk is to strike with the heel in front when the rest of the foot is slightly off the ground.  Think as if you are walking on ice and how you would walk lightly.  Stomping is now walking lightly!

Tip 7:  Use your Arms

I have talked extensively about how to turn your walking in to a cardio workout. In it I discuss the importance of using your arms.  The same is true when using a treadmill for walking.  Your arms help you increase the level of walking by using more calories and also help to relax your neck and shoulders.  Did you know your legs will only move as fast as your arms do so keep those arms swinging in a controlled way.

Tip 8:  Know your treadmill

This may seem straightforward but you need to know how to operate your treadmill to ensure a smooth session of walking for weight loss and to get the most out of it. This means looking at the speed adjustment and how to increase and decrease.  Does it have pre-programmed workouts?  If so, play with them to see what suits you.  Many will have calories burned so keep a note of this to see how far you have come.

Tip 9:  Don’t Go Too Fast Too Soon

This is more about motivation.  If you set yourself an unrealistic target and go too fast at the start, you will lose motivation and stop.  Only go as fast as you can initially before moving on and only go as far as you can initially too.  There may come a time where you feel like running but again take your time and set realistic goals.

Tip 10: Challenge Yourself

Change it up!  Our bodies can get used to doing the same thing day in and day out so change it up and vary your training.  Challenge yourself on the days you feel good.  I’ve no doubt you will see an improved level of fitness in no time at all.

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