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Treadmills should be treated with respect.
Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images
A treadmill can be an excellent addition to the home gym, providing a reliable and convenient space to run or walk when the weather is too gloomy for outdoor exercise. But Treadmills are powerful machines that can cause an injury if not used correctly. Take your time selecting and setting up a treadmill to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Make Sure There's Enough Sapce
You'll need plenty of space to position your treadmill. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you should have at least 6 to 8 feet of clearance behind the back of a treadmill from a ledge, wall or window. This is because you are more likely to fall off the back of the treadmill if you slip. Keep the power chord away from foot traffic areas. You may want to tape down the chord to prevent tripping.
Keep Your Children Safe
Children should not be allowed to use a treadmill without adult supervision. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 8,700 children are injured annually by exercise equipment such as stationary exercise bikes and treadmills. Painful skin burns may occur from the belt, which children can get their hands tangled up in. Teach young children not to play with the treadmill and set up a barrier gate if necessary to prevent children from wandering into the exercise area.
Choose a Treadmill With Safety Features
Its important to select a treadmill with arm grips or safety bars, which will allow you to catch yourself if you slip and will give you support when you're just starting out. Your treadmill should also have some kind of emergency shut-off features, whether its a key, button, clip or tether. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a tether, as this will be easier to reach than a button if you fall. The electronic screen should be easy to read and navigate.
Limit Distractions for Safety
While watching TV, listening to headphones or reading a magazine may make your exercise experience more pleasant, engaging in other activities can distract you and increase the chance of an injury. Unless your treadmill manual recommends using a power surge protector strip, you should avoid using one as this increases the likelihood of the treadmill shutting down unexpectedly, according to Empire Fitness Services. This can be quite dangerous, as a sudden loss of power will throw the user forward with potentially disastrous results.