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Treadmills are one of the most popular types of home exercise equipment, but they aren’t without risks.
One of the most recent high-profile examples of the potential dangers of treadmills came from the Peloton company. Peloton became one of the world’s most popular brands with their exercise bike and at-home live and on-demand spinning classes.
Following the success of the bike, the Peloton company released a new high-end treadmill.
The popular and expensive treadmill has unfortunately been linked with a deadly accident. The Peloton Tread+ reportedly has the potential to pull a child underneath it. As a result, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commissions released a warning about the Peloton Tread.
The company has since recalled them and is working on a fix to make them safer.
It’s not just the Peloton Tread that’s potentially dangerous, however. Treadmills have led to deaths and injuries over the years of not just children but also adults.
The following are some general safety tips to keep in mind when using a treadmill.
Choosing a Treadmill
Before you even buy a treadmill, if you’re in the market for a new one, some features are going to make it a safer option.
One, you want a deck that fits your stride. The deck is what you run on. If you’re short, you may not need a long deck, but if you’re taller, you probably do.
You want a treadmill with an easy-to-reach and read control panel, and you want to make sure you choose a treadmill that has enough cushion to support your body. A lot of treadmills will list a maximum weight capacity.
When you set your treadmill up, make sure you leave enough space all around it. You don’t want a treadmill to be too close to a wall in case you were to fall, and then you might hit the wall. Make sure there are no objects directly behind it either, and install it on a flat surface.
You can place a rubber mat around your treadmill clearance area to cushion any potential falls.
When you’re on a treadmill, resist the urge to look down at your feet or to the side.
If you’re watching your feet and especially if somewhat new to using a treadmill, you are more at risk of being injured. Your feet follow your eyes, so if you’re looking down or to the side, you’re more at risk of losing your balance.
If you’re on the treadmill and you ever start to feel dizzy, which is relatively common, you should step off and reorient yourself until the dizziness goes away.
Unplug Your Treadmill After You Use It
If you have a motorised treadmill, get into the habit of unplugging it after you’re done using it, every time if you have kids or even pets. It may not be convenient, but when you do that, it can prevent the risk of your child strangling themselves in the cord. Plus, if it’s unplugged, if your child were to get on your treadmill, the risk of injury would be lower.
Your treadmill also probably has a safety key. When you remove it, the treadmill doesn’t run. If your treadmill has a safety key, take it out when you’re not on it, and put it somewhere your children can’t find it.
Straddle the Deck When You Start
When you’re beginning your walking or running workout on your treadmill, you should straddle the deck rather than beginning with your feet on the belt. A machine will usually start slowly no matter what the speed was when you stopped using it, but still, it’s best to straddle it.
When you’re starting, you also want to use the handrails to balance. You should get on the belt before you press start.
Don’t Step Off When It’s Moving
You might want to hop off the treadmill for just a second, but you shouldn’t leave it in motion if you do. It can be dangerous for you and anyone else around you.
Finally, you should use all the safety features that are available on your treadmill. The safety key is a big one. If you attach the safety key to your clothing with the clip, then if you were to fall or stumble, the machine’s belt would stop right away.
Treadmills are a great way to exercise, but you should do so carefully and with your safety and the safety of your family in mind.