6 Treadmill mistakes that could be the reason you're not seeing any progress

If you're trying to get fitter and lose a few pounds while you're at it, joining a gym is a good place to start. And for those people who find the big weight machines and enormous dumbells intimidating, they'll probably turn to the treadmill as their go-to piece of workout equipment.

However, while doing cardio exercises like running can burn a lot of calories to help you lose weight, there are a few things about running on the treadmill you should be wary of. Yes, it means you can work out no matter the weather, but developing bad habits when on the treadmill can sabotage your workout and cause you to gain weight, rather than lose it. Here are 6 mistakes to avoid.

1. Your face isn't slick with sweat

You need to be pushing yourself, working hard, and not doing the bare minimum thinking you can get your heart rate up while chatting to your friend, reading a magazine or watching your favorite show. Push past your comfort zone if you want to see results, and expect that your hair will be a mess afterwards.

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2. Ignoring the incline

Increasing the incline just a little will help you burn more calories during your workout, as well as sculpt a nice booty by targeting your lower body more. Adjust the speed and the incline to challenge yourself.

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3. You hold the bars

Supporting part of your own body weight by clutching the handrails on the treadmill will burn fewer calories. It also means your arms won't be swinging naturally as you walk/jog/sprint – important for staying balanced, keeping a good posture, and toning your arm muscles too.

treadmill gym running jogging mistakes on treadmill Credit: Wikimedia Commons / NACDublin

4. You don't have a plan

If you think jumping on and hitting start is enough until the clock hits quarter past, think again. Running at the same speed the whole time will leave you super bored, reluctant to get on the treadmill again, and you're definitely not making the most of your workout. Write out a specific plan or look up a routine that sets up the speed and incline for each minute of your workout – so much more fun, and effective.

treadmill gym running jogging mistakes on treadmill Credit: Pixabay

5. ... Or you do the same thing every day

Sticking to the exact same HIIT plan for a precise 25-minutes isn't the best thing either. Your muscles will get used to it, and your weight-loss will plateau. Mix up the speed, incline, sprint and rest lengths, and you'll continue challenging yourself to burn calories consistently.

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6. Trusting the calories spent estimate on the machine

Eating too much is usually the biggest factor preventing someone from losing weight. Be careful in putting your trust in the treadmill machine when it tells you how many calories you've burned in your workout. It's not exactly accurate, and if you tell yourself "I worked out so I can have the double patty burger AND a thickshake", you're not doing yourself any favors.

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Are you guilty of any of these? If so, it might be time to readdress your treadmill etiquette so you can really get the most out of your workouts.