Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Treadmill

Aah, the treadmill! Some people cherish it. Some people hate it. Others consider it a necessary evil to get through chilly mornings and long winters.

Irrespective of how you feel about it, the treadmill remains one of the best ways to get cardio exercise, and owning a treadmill has its benefits. For instance, you can run at your highest speed at any time of the day or night, without having to worry about the weather or speeding vehicles.

However, care should be exercised when using a treadmill because some mistakes could lead to injuries, and many are victims to this.

A treadmill desk; image source:

In fact, according to the US Today, treadmill injuries send thousands to the ER each year. To get a risk-free treadmill experience, avoid these 5 common mistakes.

1. Jumping Off the Treadmill with the Belt Moving

It may seem like a great idea to jump off the treadmill when it’s still moving for a water break. Besides, it saves time, right?

However, doing so can make you stumble and fall, inviting all sorts of injuries. Whether you are running on a motorized or manual treadmill (see this list of the best manual treadmills), never jump off the treadmill with the belt moving at a full speed.


To jump off from the machine safely, first set the belt back to flat if inclined. Then walk for a few minutes at a slow speed. This allows you to cool down and at the same time helps to prevent dizziness when you jump off. Lastly, hold on the handrails until the machine stops running.

2. Skipping a Warm-Up

Yes, we’re all busy. Some days you just want to hop on the treadmill and start running at full speed, get it done and hop off.

But skipping warm-up can lead to pain and injuries. Before you hop on to the treadmill, start with a 5 to 7 minutes warm-up session. Also, finish your session with a cooldown of 3 to 5 minutes at a slow pace to help prevent dizziness when you jump off.

3. Holding on to the Sides of the Treadmill

Holding onto the handrails may help increase your stability but it also takes the load off your legs, making it easier for you to run.

The downside to this is that by doing so, you burn fewer calories owing to the little effort utilized. Besides, holding on the rails promotes bad posture, and this can create tension in your shoulders, arms, and neck leading to pain in the affected areas.

4.  Looking at Your Feet

Most people especially beginners are tempted to look down when the treadmill is running. Doing so misaligns your body, and this can cause long term damage if done too often.

Besides affecting your posture negatively, looking down can cause you to lose balance and end up falling and hurting yourself. To be on the safe side, always keep your gaze forward with your head, shoulders, and chest lifted.

5. Reading While Running

Reading or browsing your social profiles while on a treadmill is counterproductive. Not only will you lose focus but balance too. This is the perfect recipe for disaster, and you can trip and hit the ground from any angle.

For more information on treadmill safety and the right running gear, I’d take a look at








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