Tips for Beginners
-- By The American Institute for Cancer Research
People who engage in some sort of physical exercise on a regular basis—either through their occupations or leisure time activities—are likely to live longer and healthier lives. To lower your cancer risk, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) advises aiming for an hour of moderate activity each day and an hour of vigorous activity each week.
Walking is a moderate activity, and a treadmill allows you to safely walk or run indoors, at home or at a gym, no matter what the weather is like. Gyms are usually open for long hours, so you can go when your schedule permits. Or you can step on a treadmill whenever you want by purchasing one for your home.
Take the Right Step Forward
Walking or running on a treadmill is a form of aerobic exercise. Aerobic activities use the arm and leg muscles and give the heart and lungs a continuous workout. With regular and progressively harder aerobic exercise your heart can grow stronger and more efficiently supply oxygen-rich blood to your body.
Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine. Then keep these tips in mind as you prepare to use a treadmill:
Before you mount the treadmill belt, experiment with the controls. Play with the speed and incline. Test the emergency off button. Keep in mind that raising the incline more than 10 percent may strain your back or leg muscles. Expensive treadmills may also have preset programs that change belt speed and elevation to mimic a hilly path outdoors.
Warm up at a slow speed. Begin walking at 2 to 2.5 miles per hour for a few minutes. Then increase your speed to 3 to 3.5 miles per hour for a more challenging workout, if appropriate for your fitness level.
As you walk or run, keep your shoulders back and chin up. Don’t look at your feet.
Relax and take normal strides, just as you would on the ground.
Pay attention to where you are on the treadmill. Don’t veer to either side or fall too far back.
As a beginner, keep your treadmill workout simple until you are accustomed to the equipment and know your endurance levels for time and speed. Treadmills usually have small screens that display your speed, time spent treading, total distance, and approximate calories burned. You can use these numbers to gradually increase the difficulty of your treadmill workout.
For more articles, visit SparkPeople.com.