Are you getting the most out of your treadmill exercise? Indeed, using the treadmill seems simple enough, but like every other workout equipment, there’s a right and wrong way to use it. You can hop on the belt and walk for more than an hour, sure, but without the right principles, you might end up wasting your time and effort.

To make sure every minute counts, here are some tips you can use. Pick a favorite or use a combination – it’s up to you.

Stretching

Like every exercise regimen, stretching comes before and after the main workout. Stretch your legs and arms – hold each stretch for 10 seconds – before getting on the treadmill. This reduces the risk of injuries that can cripple your workout.

Posture

Without proper posture, you won’t be able to get the results you want. Remember to maintain the right form: Lean slightly forward, shoulders back and head looking forward, not at the floor. Land on the middle portion of your feet and pump your arms back and forth naturally (not across the chest). Don’t shorten your strides as well.

Speed up

It goes without saying that the faster you would go, the harder the workout is. Identify the speed for your fitness level using the talk test. Try chatting with a friend while on the treadmill. If you can talk fine, and aren’t gasping for air, you’re in the right speed.Speed up gradually, though. Don’t shock your system.

Incline

Take advantage of the incline feature of the treadmill for a harder workout. After all, walking up a hill is harder than walking on flat land right? For novice runners, try running at a 1% grade. This is the same strain your body feels when running outdoors. Tip! Don’t hold the handles or the front of the machine as this removes a lot of resistance.

Weights

Boost your heart rate while on the treadmill by adding on some weights. The heavier you are, the harder it is to move the body. Since carrying dumbbells on the treadmill is very dangerous (as it can throw you off the machine), it’s advisable to wear a weighted vest instead.

Intervals

When you have built up your time on the treadmill, you can further improve your heart fitness by doing interval training. This reduced the amount of time you’re on the treadmill but burns calories faster. To do this, you should switch between 3 minutes of running and 1 minute of sprinting, or adding inclines.

Hydrate

It might seem pretty basic, but you would be surprised at how hydration plays a role in your daily workout. Your body needs fluids, especially when you’re sweating away on a treadmill. Drink water or fruit juices before your workout to stay hydrated. Using a cold press juicer gives your drink more nutrients and greater taste.

Now that you know how to get more from your workout, what are you waiting for? Start your treadmill workout today!