Treadmill walking can be just as beneficial to your fitness as walking outdoors. Both burn approximately the same number of calories when the speed and incline levels are the same. And, aside from the fact that, when walking on a treadmill, the treadmill belt transports the leading leg backwards, both forms of walking are basically performed in the same manner.
Technique of Walking on a Treadmill
Proper posture is important in any kind of walking. When you walk on a treadmill, you also need to focus on your rhythm and maintaining your balance, to prevent an accident. Try to avoid holding onto the hand rails for balance.
What is the proper posture and technique for walking? Always hold your head and chin up, with your eyes focused straight ahead. Relax your head and neck above your shoulders, avoiding tension in that area. Don't slouch your shoulders or let them creep up to your ears. Keep them down and pulled back throughout the exercise.
Lift your chest naturally. Slightly bend your arms at the elbow and keep them low, allowing them to swing naturally, as they help to propel you along. Loosely cup your hands, rather than making a tight fist. Hold your tummy in, and very slightly tilt your pelvis forward. (This provides protection to your lower back.) Move your hips backward and forward...not side-to-side. Keep them relaxed and loose. Let your thighs guide your legs and hips in a natural stride.
Don't take steps that are too short or too long. Try to notice how your feet push off the walking surface of the treadmill. Your heel should strike the surface first, with your toes slightly flexed upward. Your foot should roll from heel to arch to ball to toe, before lifting up and placing the other foot down. Concentrate on your breathing, too. Don't hold your breath, whatever you do. Try to breathe regularly, taking in deep, smooth breaths. By relaxing your breathing, you will keep your heart beating at a nice, steady pace and rhythm.
For Best Results
According to Fitness Walking for Dummies, by Liz Neporent, M.A., the longer you walk and the more intense you make your workout, the more calories you'll burn. The more calories you burn, the more likely you'll shed pounds, eliminate fat, and gain lean muscle tissue. However, if you're just starting out, "you will spend 4 to 12 weeks building up your fitness base and level of conditioning with lifestyle walking before moving to the next level. Lifestyle walking is the most casual of walking techniques. It is low to moderate intensity and relatively slow paced."
The Smooth 5.65 treadmill is an ideal machine for walkers.