Walking on a treadmill is one of the perfect ways for senior citizens to stay energetic and maintain all the body functions in the best possible way.
It’s because treadmill offers some of the most natural forms of exercise including walking, jogging, and running. Moreover, these running machines make minimal impacts on your joints.
Plus, you can work out any time irrelevant of the weather. As long as you are dedicated and regular to your training schedule, the treadmill could be a great weight management tool.
Let’s know how you can start using one of these workout machines.
What Treadmill Should You Use?
Choose a treadmill that’s robust and offers a balanced tread for walking, jogging, or running. Using a treadmill inside a gym is different because it is commercially built for such usage.
If you are choosing a treadmill for your home gym, choose a model with at least motor worth 2.0 CHP, especially if you weight under 20 lbs. Look for a treadmill worth 2.5 CHP if you weigh more than 200 lbs.
For example, NordicTrack 6.5 Si (check price on Amazon) is suitable for users with a weight of up to 300 pounds.
Treadmill Wears and Accessories
Step on a treadmill only after wearing an athlete or sports shoes. Make sure that the footwear is flexible and try to wear comfortable clothes, so that you can walk freely. Do not wear long lowers, otherwise, it might get stuck in the treadmill’s belt. If you love to listen to music while working out, then use a headphone. Try to use a Bluetooth headset (see on Amazon), so that you don’t have to manage its cable.
Getting Started on a Treadmill
Spend some time to know the treadmill and its functions. The power button and its emergency key are the primary controls that you should locate. Some of the treadmills come with a clip that you need to attach to the t-shirt so that it can stop the treadmill in case you fall. Know how to increase and decrease the speed as well as incline.
Start the treadmill at its lowest speed while standing on the belt sides, which is called a deck. Use the handrails to maintain the balance and step on its tread belt.
Stop Using the Handrails
If you are dealing with some mobility problems or you need assistance while walking alone, then hold the handrails all the time while you are walking. Discuss your health problems with the trainer or therapist to know whether you can walk without taking any support.
Do not use the handrails if you can walk without any assistance. Walking over a treadmill builds your balance as well as stability. However, it’s not possible if you tend to hold the handrails. Moreover, walking or running while holding the rails might cause pains in your body.
Using handrails can also degrade your walking posture. So, if your doctor, therapist, or trainer suggests that you can walk hands-free, try to move at low speeds wherein you don’t need to hold the handrails. Keep practicing without increasing the speed, until and unless you get the hang of walking without any support.
Treadmill Walking Tips
- Walk straight and keep your posture upright. Do not lean forward while jogging or running.
- Keep your chin parallel to the ground and eyes straight. Focus on your body. Open your chest by rolling the shoulders back, so that you can breathe easily with full inhale and exhale. Bend your arms at 90 degrees, move them back and forth according to your strides.
- Warm-up for few minutes before increasing the speed. You should walk at low speeds for the initial days. However, increase the pace at 0.5 mph once you are confident that you can walk or run at higher speeds.
- Reach a comfortable pace wherein you can walk without using the handrails. While you are exercising, your heart and lungs are working at full capacity, sending more blood as well as oxygen to all your body parts. It simply means that they are getting stronger.
- Try to maintain the same speed for 10 minutes. In case you are tired within a few minutes or feeling out of breath, then we recommend you reduce the pace. Do not stop the treadmill and leave its belt immediately. Instead, reduce the pace and walk or job for a couple of minutes.
- Do not worry if you are unable to run at high speeds. As far as you are breathing heavier than normal, the physical activities are making positive impacts on your body. Check the heart rate, if the treadmill has a pulse monitor. The heartbeats should be 85 to 115 per minute, depending upon your age.
Treadmill Walking Schedule for Seniors
Recommended time for cardiovascular exercises including a treadmill or stationary bicycle for the elderly over the age of 65 years is at least 30 minutes. You don’t have to continuously move for the given period. Take breaks after every 10 or 5 minutes, depending upon your stamina.
Apart from running and cycling, we also recommend strength training for two or three days every week. You can use dumbbells, barbells, or resistance machines for 15, 12, and 8 repetitions. Target different body parts including shoulders, chest, back, triceps, biceps, and forearms. Include strength training every day or alternate days as per your convenience.
Invest 10 minutes three times a week for balancing and flexibility exercises. If you don’t have any trouble keeping your body stable, then include these exercises every day. Check with the trainer or therapist before working out on a treadmill or lifting iron weights.
Benefits of Walking on a Treadmill For Seniors
Treadmill workouts pave your way to a healthy life with a strong immune system and minimal fat. Walking or running on a treadmill boosts your posture, balance, and mobility. Your metabolic rates take a high resulting in a calorie burn and weight loss. Moreover, it will strengthen your lower body parts and built up and attractive personality.