As we age, it becomes even more important to find ways to stay mobile and active. Luckily, treadmills are an option many people use for walking and running. Having a treadmill at home (or a gym) can allow senior walkers and runners to continue their usual activity any time of day or season. It can also help people of all ages burn calories, build muscle, and increase bone density.
However, some people question if treadmills are suitable for seniors to use.
This article will further discuss the benefits of using treadmills or bikes if you are in elderly person. We will also talk about techniques seniors can use when using these machines to stay mobile.
Are Treadmills Dangerous for Seniors?
Using a treadmill is a wonderful way to walk or run without having to go outside, which is beneficial to avoid slipping down on wet or icy sidewalks during bad weather. Doing a treadmill workout can be just as safe for senior citizens as it is for younger people with proper precaution. However, a treadmill can be dangerous if you don't use it properly.
Unfortunately, falls, sprains, and strains can occur. Anyone can hurt their ankles, hips, or knees while using the treadmill. When it comes to safety, a treadmill is the source of more accidents than any other exercise equipment.
Seniors using a treadmill are more likely to suffer from strains or sprains resulting from falls.
So they should take extra precautions on a treadmill to reduce danger. Using treadmill safety features is highly beneficial to the elderly, so they can have a perfectly safe workout.
One of the best things a senior on a treadmill can do is to utilize the handrails for support. An emergency stop cord is also an important feature to have when you are a senior.The senior should
Are Manual Treadmills Good for Seniors?
Manual treadmills are great for seniors. Using this type of treadmill still gives you a very good cardiovascular workout while being safer than a motorized one.
Manual treadmills are ideal if you have a hard time pushing yourself forward. They are also less likely to break and are lighter than standard treadmills.
These machines allow seniors to use their body weight to provide resistance. Because they have to use their own body weight, they have more control over this type of treadmill than they would with a standard motorized treadmill.
Treadmill or Stationary Bike for Seniors?
Both the treadmill and stationary bike are great options for a good cardiovascular and lower body workout for everyone - including the elderly. However, if you have mobility issues like arthritis or foot problems, sitting on a bike is a better option than bearing all of your weight on a treadmill.
Biking is also considered more low-impact while running is a high-impact activity. High impact sports have many benefits but also more risks such as injury.
So, in comparison, a stationary bike is a better option for most seniors, since you get to sit while exerting energy. Of course, you can still use a treadmill, but you may need to take more caution.
Elliptical vs Treadmill for Seniors
Whether you are a senior that prefers the elliptical or the treadmill, you can get an effective workout, increase mobility, and burn calories. However, the elliptical is a great lower impact alternative to the high impact activities on a treadmill.
Elliptical machines usually come with handlebars which are great for support and safety.This machine also makes it easier to work the whole body and different muscle groups like the back. However, the treadmill only focuses on the lower body.
While the elliptical is lower impact, there is still a risk of injury if you push too hard on it. Hip problems can occur if you push too hard on the elliptical.
Tips for Seniors’ Treadmill Safety
Take Your Time
To stay safe, make sure you're using a treadmill that suits you. Before you begin running, start with a slow walk or gait in order to test how you feel on a treadmill, to make sure you feel stable. You can always speed up into a brisk walk or run when you feel comfortable.
Have Assistance Nearby
If you can, try to make sure someone is around whenever you are on the treadmill. This person can be a family member, a physical therapist, or a caregiver. If you prefer to use the treadmill at the gym, try to make sure there are other people around during the times that you go. Another presence can make sure you have fast assistance in case you accidentally slip or fall.
Get The Right Shoes
Make sure you have the right footwear. Always wear walking or running shoes that fit properly. Before you begin running or walking, make sure your shoelaces are tied. Untied shoelaces are one of the main culprits of falls on a treadmill.
Use The Emergency Clip
There is an emergency stop clip you can attach to your clothing. Pull this clip to turn off the treadmill anytime - even while you feel yourself tripping. There are different types of clips available and you can easily find one on sites like Amazon.
Know When To Get On
Never step onto or off of a moving treadmill. Doing so will greatly increase the odds of you having a catastrophic fall or injury. Before you turn on the machine or turn it off, make sure you always stand with your feet stable and hold it onto a handrail.
Seniors Can Use Treadmills For Their Workout
Using a treadmill is a great way to stay mobile and get an effective workout. Seniors can enjoy the benefits of a treadmill as long as they take certain precautions for their safety. There are different types of treadmills available to choose from, such as manual and motorized ones.
Be aware of the types of injuries you can sustain on the treadmill and take your workout slowly.
Use the right equipment, such as well-fitting shoes and emergency stops. If the treadmill is too much for your mobility level, you can also use an exercise bike or elliptical machine for lower impact. Whatever machine you prefer, seniors have many options to help with mobility and overall health.