Back on the Treadmill Again (But with a Whole New Respect)


We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
For two days, I have been eyeballing that stupid treadmill, not wanting to have anything to do with it.

But the truth of the matter: the treadmill accident was entirely my fault because I did not offer due respect to a powerful machine with a surface that was moving at 3.9 mph.

It might seem counter intuitive, but my doctor said I should move around and not sit or lie still for too long because my injured muscles might spasm. So with my husband close by, I climbed back on the treadmill, albeit at a lower level of intensity: No elevation and 3.2 mph. Given that I'm in overall good shape, this was doable and I didn't overtax my body or exacerbate my injury.

I made sure treadmill was OFF before getting on, and I stood on the rails before starting it up.

So that others may learn from my mistake (or be reminded once again), here are some basic treadmill safety tips.
--ALWAYS approach the treadmill as if it's turned on and the belt is moving, even if you know it's not.

--Before stepping onto the belt, stand on the rails, attach the safety clip to your shirt, and plug in the magnetic button.

--Remain on the rails as you configure your settings (speed and elevation), starting with a warm up speed and elevation.

--Start your treadmill and step on it carefully; sometimes, as the belt starts up, it may slip a bit, so be prepared.

--Warm up. Start your speed at 1.5 mph (beginner) to 2.5 mph (advanced). I warm up to my top speed in 15-second increments.

--While on the treadmill, drink plenty of liquids, preferably water.

--Don't overdo. If you're just starting out, start at a low level and a shorter period of time, and if you find yourself overly out of breath, slow your speed and cool down by lowering your speed in 15-30 second increments. You're not going to get in shape overnight.

--When you have finished your workout and cool-down period and the belt has completely stopped, step back on the rails, jot down your stats, pull the magnetic plug (which will disable your treadmill), and place it away from the treadmill, especially if you have young children around.
I wish this hadn't happened to me, but if I can help someone else to avoid a ridiculous treadmill accident, then at least some good can come out of this.

I knew I had to get back on my treadmill ASAP, get over any unreasonable fears of it. The treadmill is my friend, a friend that has helped whip me into great shape.

But now I realize that it's a friend that demands my utmost care and respect.

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