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When the weather or short daylight hours keeps you indoors for your run or walk, make the most of the treadmill with the following tips. These suggestions will help your body adapt to the surface change so you get the best possible workout.

1. Make the switch from pavement to the treadmill gradually. Especially for you runners. When you begin running on any different surface, your movement patterns may shift and tissues are stressed differently making you more susceptible to injury until your body adapts.

2. Vary your pace and incline. Just changing one of these settings a little bit every 5 minutes or so during your workout reduces the risk of a repetitive strain or injury by altering the load through your tissues. And as a bonus, it also helps keep boredom at bay.

3. Don’t’ hold on to the top of the treadmill. This one makes my crazy. I see people set the treadmill at a steep incline, but then hold on to the display while they lean back.  They’re essentially walking upright and not getting the benefit of using the incline. Please don’t make this mistake! You’ll get a better workout by keeping the incline lower and using your leg and glute muscles to power you up that “hill”. Use a natural arm swing as well, just as you would if you were hiking outdoors.

4. Practice mindfulness. Be aware of your form and posture when on the treadmill. Because the belt moves beneath your feet, it’s common for your stride to change. Whether you’re walking or running, make sure you’re not reaching too far forward with your legs and that you’ve set a pace that keeps you feeling in control.

Outdoor training is definitely my favorite! But when that’s not possible, I’m glad to have an indoor option. Keep these tips in mind for a great treadmill workout until you can get back outside!

Move happy,

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