If you are anything like me when I hear that I have to exercise only "30 minutes a day' it makes me want to go and lie down. Half an hour can sometimes seem like an eternity especially when you are working out. So if I am going to do it I want to do it right and get the most out of my walking treadmill. I am sure you would too.
These tips may seem obvious to some but they weren't to me so I thought I would share them with other like minded souls. Good luck...
Good walking posture
Apparently, this is really important. No looking down at your phone the whole time and you must let go of the walking treadmill handrails, sorry. If you have to be entertained whilst walking you will have to prop up your device so that you are looking straight ahead otherwise it can lead to back and neck pain. We want to breath deep down into our bellies as we walk and run and bad posture will hinder that.
When you hang on to the handrails the whole time it reduces the effort you are putting in and therefore the amount of calories you might be trying to lose. Your feet and legs need to be carrying your weight to gain more from your workout.
So, before you hop on the treadmill give yourself a quick check over, roll your shoulders a few times, pull in your tummy a bit and tuck in your bum whilst tilting your pelvis slight forward. I know it seems like a difficult yoga pose but It sounds harder than it is. Most importantly, remember to breathe. Avoid shallow chest breathing and focus on deep belly breathing. Breathe through both your nose and mouth, but primarily through the mouth as it brings in more oxygen than breathing through the nose.
Check back in every now and then during your workout to make sure you haven't slumped back into bad habits.
Arms not just phone holders
Believe it or not your arms are actually an important part of your walking workout. They don't get to be lazy phone holders anymore.
Hold your arms close to your body and move them forward and back opposite to your legs. Arm forward, leg back. It is a natural walking posture so you don't have to over think it. You don't need to protect your face unless you are boxing or have larger than average breasts so just keep them below your chest area. The faster your arms go the faster your legs will go so they are your own little motivating personal trainers adding extra energy and calorie burning to your workout.
The tortoise or the hare?
You actually don't have to workout at high speed to have an effective workout. Everyone is different and at a different workout level. You want to be taking a brisk walk on your walking treadmill. This just means that your heart rate and breathing rate are raised rather than just dawdling along breathing as usual. You should be able chat to yourself but singing along to your favourite song should not really be possible. Just remember to familiarise yourself with your treadmills speed controls and safety switches before you take off.
Yes, you are allowed to buy shoes
Shoes are extremely important when it comes to walking for exercise even on your walking treadmill. There are so many to choose from and the wrong ones can cause all sort issues from the simple blister up to painful muscle and joint injury.
Apparently your 'gait' (the way you walk) can show a pattern of neutral pronation, overpronation or supination (underpronation).... so confusing. Then there the motion control shoes, the orthotic shoes, flexible shoes, cushioned shoes.. aaaaah! and they are all different. It is recommended that you have your gait tested at a good athletic shoe store before you buy. I tried the Athlete's Foot MyFit Experience and found it a good place to start, I think I was overpronated but I am pretty much over-everything in life. What about you?
Keep walking, reach that 30 minutes a day and reap the rewards.