Exercise! - Treadmill for Klutzes




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LisaMarie71
09-07-2006, 04:31 PM
Ok, I'm a bit of a klutz. I have rhythm and coordination to some extent, so I'm not talking about screwing up in a step aerobics class (I have other issues with that). I'm talking about balance, which I lack completely and utterly. An acrobat I'll never be.

I'm no stranger to the treadmill, so this is nothing new, but I've been doing it at the gym nearly every day lately instead of walking outside, because I get home too late and I'm not big on walking at 5:00am when it's dark. I kind of love it, actually, and I find that I keep wanting to walk faster and faster and track how intense my workouts are. All good stuff, right? Well, yes, except I can't let go of those side rails. I try to rest my hands on them very lightly so I'm not supporting myself and therefore not getting as much of a workout, but I really want to take them off and move my arms a bit like a normal person. I set the incline at 1.0, but even when it's flat I still can't take my hands off.

Is anyone else as completely unbalanced as I am? When I take my hands off, my legs go a little insane and it's only a matter of time before I'm nearly sailing backward into the ellipticals behind me.

Does anyone have any advice for a klutz like me?


Jen415
09-07-2006, 04:47 PM
What kind of speed are you going? I'd keep it at about 2 mph until you get used to it, then increase the speed a little. For me, I do about 2.3 mph at a 7.0 incline...there's more of a workout from the incline than the speed.

HarleyMom
09-07-2006, 06:17 PM
Start slow! speed of 3.5 is a pretty fast walk. I usually start it out about 2 something and then work my way up. I was falling all over the place and can now do 5.0 or better. You just work your way into it. I find that the incline makes it harder so I would start with no incline and work my way into that also.


webweevil
09-07-2006, 06:26 PM
It is not just you. I am the same way. I have been doing the c25k running program on the treadmill. I just finished week 8 and still cannot let go of the handlebars for more than a few seconds. This is both when walking and running. I go a little to the right (or is it left?) when trying to walk straight. It is not very noticeable except to me. I seemed to have gotten this from my grandmother and mother because they also have trouble walking in a straight line. I believe this is why I have trouble letting go of the treadmill handlebars. I can alternate between either hand, but one hand must always be holding on. :dizzy: Strange, I know.

hoodj0080
09-07-2006, 06:31 PM
If it makes you feel any better, I have literally tripped over lines painted on the ground. Seriously. I am a running joke in my family. I did theatre in High school, and right before the each show opened, my theater teacher assigned a boy to walk around with me and catch me when I fell down the stairs. And yes, he had to catch me a couple of times. So don't feel bad:)

LisaMarie71
09-07-2006, 08:16 PM
Thanks for the responses, everyone! Today I took my hands off for a minute at a time every few minutes just to practice.

As for going slower, I've considered that but I just can't go that slow. I warm up a little, then go 3.5 for 30 minutes with an interval in the middle at 3.8. When I walk slowly, I just don't feel like I'm doing enough. I like sweating all over the place. So I think I'll keep going and just practice taking my hands off. I figure if I'm sweating like crazy and my legs feel it and the scale keeps moving down, holding the rails a few more weeks won't hurt. :tread:

webweevil, I plan on trying the C25K program down the line, when I'm in better shape. My big goal is to run a 5K next September. That's a long way away, but I have lots of weight to lose. I've been following the "Advice on Becoming a Runner" thread because I'll eventually join you guys!

webweevil
09-08-2006, 06:30 AM
Sounds good Lisa. See ya there!

Ilene
09-08-2006, 08:24 AM
Lisa, I don't blame you for not wanting to lose that good sweat, but maybe you should practice walking slowly on the treadmill w/no hands when it's not a specific workout time. My reasoning is that if you can walk at a certain pace on the ground you can walk at that same pace on the treadmill :shrug: .... and then work yourself up by 0.1 or so increments per week...

Misti in Seattle
09-08-2006, 08:28 AM
Lisa, it sounds as if you are doing great... that should be a good speed. I tend to be the opposite LOL and dance and do exercises while on the treadmill and get on it backwards; so far I have not severely damaged myself on it. :) But I think it is good -- as you are doing -- to just take your hands off for short periods of time and be especially cautious at those times. Bet you will soon feel more comfortable and assured on it!! Keep up the good work. And just keeping your hands there for balance without putting your weight on it is good too.

I couldn't do it super slowly either. T'would drive me nuts :)

LisaMarie71
09-09-2006, 05:17 PM
My reasoning is that if you can walk at a certain pace on the ground you can walk at that same pace on the treadmill :shrug:

If the ground and the treadmill feel the same to you, you have wonderful balance! To me, it's a huge difference. I walked outside today for 3 miles in 45 minutes, so my pace was even faster than what I do on the treadmill and I certainly didn't have balance problems. I don't think the speed is really the problem, because I lose my balance on a treadmill even during my cooldown at a slow pace. The problem is that it's moving forward and I'm not. On the ground, I'm moving forward and the ground's staying where it's supposed to be!

That's a great idea, though, Ilene, about practicing when it's not workout time. And I do try to just lightly keep my hands there for balance, like Misti said. I plan to just keep doing what I'm doing and practice longer intervals with my hands off. I think some of us are blessed with good balance and some of us have to work at it, but yes...the moving treadmill and the stationary ground are very different!

Ilene
09-09-2006, 08:17 PM
Lisa -- I just had a thought, I have pretty good balance, I agree, and I attribute that to core workouts. Maybe that's something you can look into. If you workout at a gym do they have Bosu balls? If they do, try to stand on one for a while. Then once you get used to that try standing on the Bosu ball doing all exercises that need to be done standing, bicep curls, etc...I skip rope on a Bosu ball, it's really easy on the knees and lots of fun...

This is a Bosu ball in case you're wondering...

http://www.localcatering.com/caterer/fitnessunlimited/pictures/bosu%20ball.jpg

LisaMarie71
09-10-2006, 10:12 AM
Cool! I think they do have one of those, but wouldn't I break that thing with my 250-pound self? :lol: No, seriously, that might be a good thing for me to try.

I'm working on my core slowly by doing ab work, and I can tell I'm getting stronger. It's just a slow process, I guess.

AnneWonders
09-10-2006, 11:09 AM
FWIW: I have never been comfortable on a treadmill and I always feel like I'm about to fall. I've worked Bosu a lot in the past and that didn't really help, although I'd give it a shot if you haven't. I also can't run as fast on the treadmill as I can on the road--I find it much much harder.

Basically the feeling of sliding, and that's what a treadmill feels like to me, is highly unnatural to me, and I'm in a heightened state of alertness the whole time and it is most unpleasant. I also cannot skate or ski for the same reasons. Having said that, when I need to use a treadmill, I do, and I'm pretty certain if I used it for some time it would get better. But usually when I'm stuck inside, I'll pick an elliptical over a treadmill any day.

Anne

owira
09-10-2006, 11:16 AM
might make sure ya aren't tryin to look down and walk on the treadmill ..everytime i look down i nearly trip .. i have to find a spot on the *horizon* and i am ok ..but if i look at those numbers or anything like that i have to grab hold til i get back to my horizon

Ilene
09-10-2006, 09:46 PM
I also can't run as fast on the treadmill as I can on the road--I find it much much harder. And I am the total opposite I can run really fast on the treadmill, although not for long periods of time... What I have a difficult time doing outside is doing intervals, going faster and then slower, on the treadmill I at least have the numbers helping me gauge the speed... I do prefer running outside though, the treadmill bores me to tears :yawn:

owira -- I agree that when I look down at the treadmill I get off balance too... The treadmills at my gym are so awesome, each one has it's own monitor, so I just look straight at the monitor...

AnneWonders
09-19-2006, 08:24 AM
You probably need a broadband connection to fully appreciate this, but this is obviously the right treadmill for klutzes! Look what it did for these guys!

http://www.fugufish.org/frog/?p=38

Anne

Ilene
09-19-2006, 05:55 PM
I've seen that before, isn't it the coolest dance/workout/cardio :lol:

Bravelilchicken
09-25-2006, 11:49 AM
Heres my 2 cents - when I am not feeling secure with my own feet, I slide my hands back and forth on the handles, it mimics the motion of arms when walking but I still feel the bars. Did this make sense?

Kontessa
10-02-2006, 05:37 PM
Heres my 2 cents - when I am not feeling secure with my own feet, I slide my hands back and forth on the handles, it mimics the motion of arms when walking but I still feel the bars. Did this make sense?

This is just the tip I needed as I really have fallen on a treadmil because of my balance issue and so fully letting go is not an option at any speed right now! My poor knees!

LisaMarie71
10-02-2006, 08:29 PM
An update on this: I can pretty much let go the whole time now! Woohoo! I still feel a little unstable sometimes, but mostly I'm ok. I'm stable at 3.5mph and a little shaky at 3.8, so I spend most of my workout at 3.5. If I go slower than that, I feel like I'm not doing anything.

Ilene
10-02-2006, 11:05 PM
Yay, Lisa :dance: ... In a few weeks try bringing it up just .1 and leave it there for a while...

LisaMarie71
11-23-2006, 11:16 AM
I just had to revive this thread because I have some treadmill questions for the more experienced folks...

I've been using the elliptical and the treadmill for a few months now and I can finally take my hands off the treadmill for the whole time now -- woohoo!!

Here's my question: for those of you who walk on the treadmill, what speed do you usually do? And when you do hill intervals, how much of an incline do you use? I know what's working for me so far, but I like to see what other people are doing.

Also, I'd like to try jogging on the treadmill but I've never done it. I've been jogging outside a few times a week and I'm really enjoying it. What speed did you start out with on the treadmill for jogging or running? Was it hard to keep your balance or was it the same as walking? I don't want to fall down and make a fool of myself!! I'm thinking of trying at my sister's gym this weekend, since there won't be many people around!

Thanks in advance for any advice any of you may have! :)

Zorak
11-23-2006, 12:27 PM
Here's my question: for those of you who walk on the treadmill, what speed do you usually do?

3.5 ,but that's only as part of a warm-up and between jogging intervals. If I solely walk in my workout then I do intervals of 4.3.

And when you do hill intervals, how much of an incline do you use?

I only use a 1.0 incline now and never did hill intervals.

Also, I'd like to try jogging on the treadmill but I've never done it. I've been jogging outside a few times a week and I'm really enjoying it. What speed did you start out with on the treadmill for jogging or running? Was it hard to keep your balance or was it the same as walking?

I started out at 4.7 ,but that was too fast and I gradually lowered it to 4.4.

If you are walking at 3.5, then I would start jogging at that speed to start. If you find it too slow, then you can gradually raise the speed.

Basically find a speed in which you are comfortable and able to keep a straight posture. I can complete a run at 4.7 ,but my posture suffers and I ended up injuring myself. Running at 4.4 gets my heartrate up just the same, but I'm not gasping for air and hunched over.

I find jogging easier on the treadmill than walking and I'm not the most coordinated person out there. If you take it easy on the speed, then I seriously doubt you will fly off.

Sheila53
11-24-2006, 08:21 PM
I currently walk at 4.0 as a warmup, then jog at 5.2 to 5.4 for half an hour or so, and end up at 6.0 intervals. That's not how I started, however. When I first started running on the treadmill, it was at about 4.8, I think, then I was 5.0 for a long time.

The nice thing about a treadmill is that you can grab a bar with one hand, and slow the speed down quickly with the other if you get tired. I have pretty bad balance, but the only problem I have on a treadmill is trying to take a drink while running. I always have to hold on. I've never seen anyone fly off the treadmill, and I've seen people of all ages going at all different speeds. You'll be fine. Boredom is always a factor, though, so take some good music, or hook into the TV if they offer them at your sister's gym. I've taken to scheduling time on the elliptical at 10:00 am so that I can watch The View. :)