Friday, July 6, 2007

Getting the Most Out of the Treadmill

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, While walking / Running, Should I hold onto thet Treadmill ?

A. These are The top excuses:

I’ll fall off if I let go!" SLOW DOWN

My trainer says it’s OK." I once asked a trainer why he allowed his able-bodied client to hold on, despite three weeks of training. His response: "She’s scared." Beware of trainers who fail to empower you.

"I’m old!" If ever there were a reason NOT to hold on, this is it!

"If the rails on the treadmill are positioned too low, holding on will encourage forward posture (especially for tall people), which exacerbates the slumping position most of us develop with aging," says Kelli Calabrese MS, CSCS, exercise physiologist and certified personal trainer. "Grasping the rails does not promote natural walking biomechanics." This also applies to shorter people.

Some people grip the front bar, yanking forward with each "step." Others grasp the side rails, shoulders bobbing up and down, body weight subtracted from the tread. And clinging on with one hand creates unequal stresses to the body.

"Holding on and walking at top speeds is dangerous because of the ballistic hip rotation, over-striding and forward posture. It can lead to serious neck, back and knee injuries," says Calabrese. Standing straight while gripping won’t correct the situation.

Some people don leather gloves for increased gripping traction, then proceed with their fake walking, legs wistfully moving through mere motions. But they’re tricked into believing they’re working hard because the settings are high: 4 mph, 12-percent incline!

In the actual world, legs, knees, hips and back work in unison to support your full weight as you ambulate. Holding on, even lightly, takes valuable work away from your musculoskeletal and nervous systems.

The calorie readout is triggered by the program setting, not the person on the machine! Walking hands-off burns about 20 percent more calories for the same length of time.

"I’ve seen people increase the treadmill's elevation to augment the workload, then hold the handrails and lean back, defeating the entire purpose of the elevation," says Calabrese.

The leaning back is at the same angle as the incline, literally canceling out its effect! Leaning forward won’t correct this; you’d be pulling forward. People set the speed at an unrealistic pace for the elevation. Would you really walk 3.5 or 4 mph outdoors up a 15-percent hiking trail?

Begin at a slower speed and let go. If you prefer a high incline, start slowly; this pace should be similar to an outdoor uphill hiking pace. Any discomfort in your lower back means those muscles are working for the first time!

Try this: Set the pace or incline at a challenging level, and walk hands off for only a few minutes. Then slow down or lower the incline and continue hands off for a few minutes to catch your breath. Alternate between these more demanding intervals and easier "recovery" intervals.

Regardless of your fitness level, weight or age, you must release your hands and walk the natural way. After all, haven’t you been doing this since age 1?

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program.Please consult your physician !

Wishing You Great Health!

Any questions? Ask Glen

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About Me

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Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States
Is the Founder of Fitness Builders 4 Life,the WorkOut GEM,G350,G180, G90, Eat 4 Life, Clean, Lean & Mean & Ask Glen. The mission of the Fitness Builders is to provide the community with health education and to empower people to change unhealthy lifestyles thereby increasing life expectancy. By educating the community on healthier lifestyle practices it is the intent of Fitness Builders to reduce the ravages of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle or self inflicted diseases. Glen is also a AMA Certified Nutrition Specialist and a ACE, ACSM, NASM Certified Personal Trainer has 30+ years in Sports, Exercise Science and Nutritional Food Management, Learning and Mentoring Men and Women on a more Mental & Physical Healthy Life Style consisting of a low fat, low salt, Low carbohydrate, high protein, organic nutrition which also includes moderate exercise and mental awareness. Stay Informed, Live long and be Mentally and Physically Healthy! Any questions? Ask Glen!

Any Questions? Ask Glen!