Did you know that treadmills are thought to be the most dangerous of all exercise equipment? Well, according to this article, they are. Perhaps this is due to the fact that more than 50 million Americans use them as part of their exercise routine. Obviously injuries are going to occur when so many people are using these large machines, but we can take steps to avoid these injuries. Some of my suggestions may be common sense, but you wouldn’t believe how many people get hurt while on treadmills just because they aren’t using caution, and they think “Oh, this won’t happen to me!” So pay attention so you don’t end up killing yourself for simply trying to stay healthy.

First, while running, don’t ever get off of the treadmill while the belt is still running. I know it is tempting to just jump off while it’s still going, but don’t do it. I have actually injured myself before trying to do this one. Using the handlebars, I boosted myself up, and then tried to jump off to the side, but I didn’t jump up quite high enough and my foot hit the belt and I wound up on the floor. Luckily I only had a bruised hip, but I have heard of accidents happening when people try to get off while the belt is moving, and they weren’t so lucky. It’s definitely not worth a trip to the hospital.

Second, focus on what you are doing. It is extremely easy to be distracted while you are running, and mis-steps are common. If your foot lands half on the belt, half off, you could easily end up sprawled on the floor with tread marks on your forehead. Sprained ankles are also a horrible consequence of not paying attention. I have had 2 ankle surgeries due to ankle sprains, and trust me, you don’t want to go through that.

Third, don’t be dumb. Sorry folks, but if you know nothing about electronics and you are trying to fix your machine by yourself by opening it up to do the mechanics inside the motor, that probably isn’t the smartest idea. Another stupid idea is running at a very high speed without attaching the safety key to yourself. I could list a million common sense ideas to follow as you are using your treadmill, but that would take all day. Just read your owners manual, and actually pay attention to all of the warnings found there, and you will be a lot better off because you did. It may even save you from paying a lot of expensive medical bills.

Just remember that a treadmill is a large piece of equipment that can help you out if used correctly, but if used incorrectly, you could be injured. Take the steps today to ensure that you don’t have a future injury while working out!