Treadmills like any other machines can be dangerous if they are not used properly or safety precautions are not followed properly. Keep your children and pets away from the treadmill, and never leave the key in while it is not in use. Here are safety tips to use the treadmill while minimizing serious injury.

Look Forward

It is common for exercisers to watch their feet, especially if they are new to treadmill. Exercisers who look down while they are on treadmill are likely to lose their balance and ultimately fall down, which could lead to serious injury as machine is in still running. People’s feet follow their eyes, therefore looking to the side is likely to cause their feet to move to the side, where they may be injured serious by moving belt.

Dizziness is a common complaint from people who have only used a treadmill for a few times. While exercising on a treadmill, the exerciser has the sensation of moving ground. Stepping off of the treadmill may cause the exerciser to feel disoriented for beginners, so they should hold onto the machine handle until that dizziness subsides.

Don’t Rely on Handrails

It is fine for beginners to use the handrails while they are getting used to the machine’s movement, but using the handrails for an extended period of time can strain your shoulders and elbows. It is also a sign that the speed or incline is set too high and should be adjusted to a more comfortable level. Using handrails can also badly shake an exerciser’s balance and make them more prone to leg and foot related injuries.

Holding onto the rails decreases the number of calories burned because of the core muscles are not engaged the way they should. Moving the arms freely is a more natural movement that also burns extra calories.

Start off by Straddling the Deck

When start a workout, it is very important for you to straddle the deck and not start the machine with your feet on the belt. Most machines start at a slow pace regardless of what setting they were set on when they were turned off last time. This safety feature could cause malfunction resulting injury to exerciser that is expecting a lower starting speed. Even if the runner is planning to sprint, they should start slowly and increase their speed gradually.

Don’t Use it Barefoot

Heat and friction is created by the moving belt on a treadmill and your feet need protection from these elements. Burns, scrapes, and blisters are common ailments of exercisers who use treadmill barefoot. Everyone should wear a pair of running shoes when they exercise because their shoes absorb the shock of movement and take stress off of their joints too. Feet can get caught where the side of the moving belt meets the machine and serious injury could occur.

Keep Children Away

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, around 8700 documented injuries to children every year are caused by exercise equipments in their home. Machines with moving parts are very dangerous for children and should be stored so that it is away from where children play around. Treadmills often cause injuries to the hands and arms of children who are curious about them and put their hands on belt or between the belt and the rest of the machine. It is best for parents to only use their treadmill while their children are being supervised by another adult.

Don’t Ever Step Off a Moving Treadmill

It is tempting for most of “young exercisers” to leave the treadmill in motion while the exerciser steps off for a few minutes to answer the door or go to the bathroom. A moving treadmill is a danger to anyone in the area and should be shut off completely before the exerciser steps off the machine. Everyone who uses a treadmill should know where the emergency shut off button is located in that way it can be stopped quickly if they become injured or a piece of clothing gets caught between the moving parts.

Author's Bio: 

As a fitness professional, I understand the challenges you face in finding time for fitness. I know it is especially difficult to stick to your fitness goals when you are trying to do it all alone. That's why I originally entered the fitness industry. I enjoy helping others stay fit and healthy. It's easier (and more fun) to reach your fitness goals if you have someone to help guide you as well as someone you can be accountable to. But I've learned through my years in the business that some people just can't schedule traditional appointments to meet in person with a trainer either due to lack of time or affordability.