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Walk with proper posture to protect your knees.
Running in general, due to its high-impact nature, is often made out to be the cause of lower body joint pain and other related issues. In actuality, your approach, form and health history are probably more influential than the treadmill itself. Being mindful of your technique, body alignment and the exercises that you are performing on the treadmill can help to reduce or eliminate knee stress.
Choose the Right Treadmill
Choose a treadmill that is well maintained to help reduce the impact on your joints. Though treadmills are not as cushioned as grass or a track, they are easier on your body than concrete. However, with time and use, treadmills can lose some of their shock-absorbing abilities. Test several different treadmills at your gym and pick the one that provides a softer landing.
Walk, Don't Run
Walk on the treadmill rather than run to prevent knee pain. Brisk walking at a pace of 3 to 4 mph provides an efficient cardiovascular workout that can also strengthen your legs and glutes. Start by walking for 20 to 30 minutes and gradually work your way up to 45 to 60 minutes, three to four days per week.
Wear the Right Shoes
Wear proper walking or running shoes, depending on your activity. The right shoes can help to absorb the shock and take pressure off of your knees. Shoes should fit well, be cushioned and provide plenty of arch support. Aspects such as the shape and size of your feet along with your particular stride are important details to take into consideration when purchasing walking or running shoes; ask your foot doctor or an expert at your local sporting goods store to recommend the right shoe for your body.
Shorten Your Stride
Shorten your stride so that your foot hits the ground directly under your body. It is common to think that longer strides will help you to move faster, however, extending your leg too far forward can cause your foot to land in front of your hips, which can adversely affect your knee by throwing your body alignment off. A shorter stride can help you to run or walk more efficiently, which can help to increase the speed of your pace.
Practice Good Posture
Straighten your back and keep your torso centered over your pelvis. Leaning forward, as is often seen with both walkers and runners, can throw your posture off and make you move with improper form. Leaning forward can also place greater stress on your knees. Instead, elongate your spine, slightly lift your chest, keep your abdominal muscles pulled in to protect your lower back and push the shoulder blades down and away from your ears.
Consult a physician before starting a walking or runner program, especially if you have any knee injuries. Discontinue treadmill use if you feel pain in your knees and seek medical attention. Tell your doctor if you have chronic knee issues; continual problems may be a sign of a more serious condition.