1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Treadmill Walking Mistakes to Avoid


Updated May 16, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

8 of 10

Treadmill Mistake - Not Knowing Your Treadmill Features
Treadmill Console

Treadmill Console

Maury Phillips / Getty Images Entertainment ©

There are two things you must know about any treadmill you are going to use - how to turn it on and how to turn it off. Many people don't progress beyond that, and figuring out where the drink holder is. But if this is your home treadmill or one you use often at the gym, take a few minutes to get to know its features so you can get the most out of it.

Incline: Most treadmills have an incline feature. Adding incline will give you more of a cardio workout. Find out how to change the incline. Treadmill Incline Workouts

Speed Adjustment: Know how to set the speed and to increase it or decrease it during your workout. You will usually want to start at an easy pace to warm up for 3-5 minutes, then increase to your desired workout pace. Finish with a cool down of 3-5 minutes at an easy pace.

Programmed Workouts: What sort of programmed workouts does the treadmill have? Does it allow you to program your favorite workout? Does it have heart rate controlled workouts that communicate with a heart rate monitor? Varying your treadmill workout is a great way to progress in fitness. Play with the programs and find ones you can use to spice up your workouts.

Heart Rate Monitor or Pulse Monitor: Many treadmills have a pulse monitor, either in a grip or a clip. This can give you feedback on your heart rate, although you can also see some weird results if you don't attach it right. A chest strap heart rate monitor is more accurate, and many treadmills are set up to communicate with them.

Personal Workout History: Does your treadmill allow you to save your workout history? Don't be anonymous!

Calories Burned: Does the treadmill want to know how much you weigh? That allows it to calculate calories burned, as it is very much dependent on your weight. Less weight, fewer calories burned, so don't shave pounds - tell the truth.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.