Lately, we hear more and more about the obesity epidemic sweeping the United States—and for that matter, the world. While some experts suggest that diets high in fat and calories are to blame when it comes to excessive weight gain and retention, limited physical activity also plays a role. Individuals who are interested inshedding a few pounds may want to consider beginning a regular walking or jogging program. Understanding the basics of treadmill safety is a must for those who hope to get into shape and avoid potential injury while participating in this important activity.

Start Slowly

As with any type of exercise program, choosing an appropriate intensity is often considered to be a necessity. In fact, participating in exceptionally difficult exercise may not only be disheartening, but in some cases can be all-out dangerous. Individuals who have never walked on a treadmill before may want to start with just a few minutes each day, and gradually add time over several weeks. Similarly, beginning exercisers should avoid excessive treadmill speed or incline until they feel comfortable walking for an extended period of time. Consultation with a physical therapist or exercise physiologist may be beneficial for those who require more assistance or who have special physical limitations.

Wear Appropriate Clothing

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, wearing appropriate clothing during physical activity is also important for individuals who are thinking about initiating treadmill use. While there are a number of options available for exercise enthusiasts, those that are loose, comfortable, and allow for a wide range of mobility are often considered to be best. Similarly, people who plan on walking on a treadmill should always wear appropriate footgear—such as closed-toe, rubber soled sneakers. Failing to wear the types of clothing listed above can lead to injury, accident, and can just be plain uncomfortable.

Understand Machine Functions

To ensure optimal results when it comes to the use of a treadmill, obtaining a thorough understanding of how the machine in question functions may be highly beneficial. In most cases, exercisers can learn the basics of a specific treadmill by reading the owners manual. In addition, consulting with machine manufactures can be helpful for those who have unique questions not answered by product references. Learning how to turn on and off a treadmill—as well as recognizing any important safety features—is a must before initiating the use of a new exercise machine.

Choosing Safe Add-On Equipment

Obviously, there are a number of benefits associated with treadmill use, including weight loss, improvements in cardiovascular health, and increased mood. To further maximize these benefits, some individuals turn to the use of additional gadgets or tools such as heart rate monitors, specialized work-out programs, and expensive running shoes which are all great. One item you want to be sure to refrain from using on a treadmill is toning shoes (shoes with a rocker-type sole). While these products can provide some benefits, their risks are quite severe—in fact, hundreds of individuals are diagnosed with toning shoes related injuries each year. Using good judgment while exercising and sticking to your workout program can lead to a huge variety of health benefits including the priceless benefits of looking and feeling great.