It is never too late begin an exercise program! If you’ve been idle for too long and want to get back into shape, NOW is the perfect time to do so! One of the easiest and most popular means of exercise today is walking on a treadmill. What steps should you take to get started on your treadmill training?
Before You Begin
Even if you feel healthy, it’s a good idea to have your physician check you out prior to beginning any exercise program. This is especially true if you haven’t exercised in a long time.
If you have any health-related questions or concerns, be sure to address those with your doctor. It’s always better to be safe now than sorry later. Be sure to listen to any advice given by your healthcare professional.
Once you get a clean bill of health and permission to go ahead with your exercise program, then it’s time to get started on that treadmill training!
Take Baby Steps…Even on a Treadmill
It’s important to realize what you can and cannot physically do! Listen to your body! If you haven’t exercised in months or years, you cannot expect to work out at the same intensity level as someone who exercises several times a week. Start at the bottom and gradually work your way up. Try to do too much in the beginning, and you’ll definitely pay the price in the following days.
“But I’m only walking on a treadmill!” you protest. “I’ve been walking all my life!”
That’s true! Nevertheless, you need to stop and consider just how much you actually walk during the course of a day. Do you walk any real distance for pleasure or work? Do you take the stairs instead of the elevator? Or does the majority of your walking consist merely of a few 30-second jaunts into neighboring rooms?
The best advice is that, if you haven’t been working out regularly, you should begin your treadmill training by walking at a slow, steady pace for as long as it feels comfortable to do so. A short, brief walk to start with is recommended to avoid extreme muscle fatigue and soreness. Take baby steps! Increase the length and intensity of your walks a little at a time, as your strength and endurance improve.
Working on Fitness Goals
First, decide what fitness goals you want to reach. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to build endurance? Do you want to strengthen your heart and lower body? Be sure to set realistic goals that CAN be reached!
As your muscles and heart become stronger, increase the intensity of your treadmill workouts to the next level. Perhaps you might even want to introduce a little jogging into those walking routines to get the heart rate up higher. Walking at a steeper incline is also a great way to work at a higher intensity level. Just a slight increase in speed and/or elevation helps you burn more calories, further strengthen leg muscles, and work the heart harder.
Once you’ve reached your fitness goals, maintain them by continuing your treadmill training or set even higher goals. By now, you should be able to exercise at higher speeds (through brisk walking, jogging, or running) and for longer periods without becoming too winded or tired.
To prevent exercise boredom, vary your treadmill workouts by using one of the automatic workout programs or by adjusting the speed and incline levels manually. Listen to your favorite music, watch TV, or read to make the workouts seem less tedious.
Whatever you do, don’t give up! You can reach those fitness goals! Now, what are you waiting for? Start walking!
The Benefits of Using a Variety of Treadmill Programs