The treadmill remains to be one of the most popular fitness equipment, whether used in the gym or at home. It’s loved by both beginners and professionals for maintaining fitness and health.
You love your treadmill truly, but are you really informed when it comes to proper use of the equipment? One of the most common questions asked about proper treadmill use is should you turn off and unplug the treadmill after use?
Most of us are attuned to that habit of mindlessly switching the treadmill off and leaving it plugged in.
The right thing to do, to preserve the treadmill’s functionality, is to turn it off and unplug it after every use. Apart from extending its life, you will also reduce your energy consumption.
Small changes matter when it comes to expensive electrical equipment. Find out further why unplugging is beneficial for your treadmill.
The Advantages Of Unplugging A Treadmill
So, should you turn off and unplug the treadmill after use? This is a move that is smart since it has long-term benefits. Electricity still courses through a machine whenever it is turned off.
This is damaging to the treadmill and unplugging it from an outlet allows your treadmill to rest. If you want to be informed more about the benefits of unplugging, here are some sound reasons.
1. Saves On Your Energy Bill
As mentioned previously, leaving your treadmill plugged in still allows electrical currents to run through the equipment’s components. You will be paying for that flow of electricity so if you want to save up on your bills, make sure to unplug each time.
2. Prolongs The Life Of The Treadmill
As soon as you stop electricity from running throughout the treadmill, this will help safeguard its functionality and lead to longer service life. Allow your treadmill to rest like you do each time a workout is completed.
If you take care of the equipment properly, the treadmill will retain its shape for a while longer. If it’s always connected to an outlet in your home gym, it is at risk of stopping suddenly due to malfunction. This can be dangerous particularly if you’re running or you have kids or pets at home.
3. For Safe Use
Keeping it unplugged means it will not operate when it’s accidentally turned on by another person inside your home gym. One of the reasons why treadmills are well-loved is because of the device’s user-friendliness.
One can simply start the machine with just one click. If you live with young children, turning it off and unplugging it completely means everyone (and the device) is protected from possible safety issues.
Treadmills are notoriously heavy devices and they can pose a threat to both children and adults if handled carelessly. Thus, to be on the cautious side, always make sure that the unit is unplugged once you finish your workouts. If you turn off and unplug a treadmill after use, you can help prevent accidents at home by making this a habit.
Using A Power Strip On Treadmills
Using a power strip at home provides several benefits. For starters, it prevents a level of damage caused by frequent electrical flow. Furthermore, power strips are also designed to accommodate several chargers to be connected to a single port and save power.
Power strips help prevent some of that electrical flow from coursing into the treadmill. However, the best way to guarantee the safety of your treadmill is to disconnect it from the wall outlet or the strip. Natural occurrences like lightning strikes can still cause some damage to electrical devices, even if those units have been turned off.
Power strips are helpful but keep in mind that treadmills, in order to operate, need plenty of power. This is especially true for models designed with powerful motors.
High-powered treadmill motors necessitate sufficient amps to deliver the level of juice that the treadmill needs. The majority of treadmill companies and manufacturers suggest plugging their units into outlets that are rated at 15 or 20 Amperes.
The NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer, for example, requires a power source rating of 15A or above. Unfortunately, the majority of power surge protectors have ratings lower than that. The treadmill might not utilise all that power each time, however, power spikes can happen during footfalls or acceleration.
Power strips, on the other hand, are available in high power ratings. Power strips with switches and 20-Ampere rating are also sold at most hardware stores and home improvement shops. However, unlike power surge protectors, these products do not protect against power surges. To stop electrical devices and machines from drawing power, make sure to turn the switch off when it’s not being used.
How To Turn Off Your Treadmill Safely
Since NordicTrack is a trusted and popular brand for its large cardio machines, I will use NordicTrack treadmills as an example. Here is a short and sweet segment on switching the unit off.
To switch it off, remove the safety key from the console and make sure to store it in a secure area. Turn off the power switch and for extra safety, unplug the power cord of the treadmill.
Make sure that the machine has completely shut down and cannot be restarted when the safety key is removed from the device.
Treadmill Safety Before Use
You will extend the life of your cardio equipment when you turn off and unplug the treadmill after use.
Here are more tips on treadmill safety that you should practice to better get the most out of the unit.
1. Always Take The Time To Read The Manual
Before using the treadmill, reading the whole user manual should be done first.
The owner’s manual will explain in detail the location of the power switch, the basics of how to plug and unplug the treadmill correctly, and the function of the safety key.
These features are essential factors in avoiding treadmill-related accidents involving kids and pets.
The user manual also includes important details like the treadmill’s power requirements. Remember that correct wattage is crucial since an inappropriate one can damage not only the treadmill but its electrical circuit as well. Be sure to use the right adapter as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
User manuals will also indicate if the specific model will begin operations in Manual Mode from the main menu or the start screen. Some treadmills require users to choose Manual Mode or a certain program before the belt starts to function.
Read about the console’s functions and layout in the user manual. Not all treadmills use the same activation methods. Some can be started through manual buttons found on the console while other units are activated through touchscreen buttons.
Spend some time to fully understand the functionality of your treadmill to keep yourself and others safe.
2. Put The Treadmill In A Proper Spot
If you live in a household with children and pets, you have to ensure that the treadmill is kept away from them, preferably in a room that can be locked. Areas like your home gym, garage, and basement are ideal locations to place your treadmill.
However, not all of us have a dedicated space for workouts at home so the next best thing to do is to consider our living space carefully and assess potential areas where the treadmill can be placed safely.
If you live with family, check who can access it, whether young children or pets. Determine the amount of space required to operate the treadmill safely. Ask yourself if people can move around it safely when it’s turned on. See if the space has sufficient ceiling clearance for the treadmill’s inclines and different user heights.
Do not position the treadmill close to the stairs or the door since a treadmill moves slightly whenever it’s used. Never place them in high-traffic areas, as well. This is to prevent the unit from getting stepped on by other people or tripping/hitting them during use.
Treadmills should be positioned in areas where you plan on using them. While there are foldable models and some are equipped with wheels for easier transport, treadmills are still heavy machines. One has to be very careful when folding or moving a treadmill.
Do not put the treadmill in damp areas, near drapes, or curtains. Keep them away from windows with blinds since some blinds have cords that hang low when window shades are opened.
3. Make Sure That The Treadmill Has The Right Size And Power
Purchasing a treadmill that accommodates your height and weight is crucial. If you need to pay extra just to buy one that suits your size, then so be it. Do not scrimp if you want a safer treadmill workout.
If you stand 182cm tall, get a treadmill that is 20 inches wide and 60 inches in length, at the least. Check the maximum weight capacity of the model as well to make sure that the machine can handle your size.
Furthermore, if the treadmill will have its fair share of users, get one that is rated to accommodate several users. A treadmill that can work for an extended period is also suitable if it will be used by several people. The motor of the treadmill can overheat or wear out prematurely if it’s used extensively.
4. Check The Voltage Requirements
Before using the treadmill, you must ensure that the voltage requirements of the area where you plan on using the device match your chosen treadmill’s voltage. The treadmill’s electronics can be damaged if you use the incorrect voltage.
Electric shock can also happen if the connection of the equipment-grounding conductor is not done the correct way. If you’re not too sure that the treadmill you purchased is grounded correctly, ask for the help of a professional electrician. In addition, prevent risks of electric shock by not using the machine in locations that are frequently damp.
5. Give The Treadmill A Dedicated Outlet
Providing a dedicated outlet to your treadmill is for additional safety. It’s not only meant to protect your treadmill, but it will also help protect your electrical devices and systems.
A dedicated outlet means it’s to be used for your treadmill exclusively and no other electrical device will be plugged into the same outlet. This guarantees that the treadmill will not lose the electrical power it needs since it does not have to share the electric current with other devices. It will also prevent damage to your treadmill.
6. Steer Clear Of GFCI/AFCI Outlets
The most common outlets in modern homes today are the GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) and AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupter). While these may be beneficial since they prevent damage to residential homes’ wiring set-ups, they’re not kind to fitness equipment like incline trainers and treadmills due to their design. They are typically found in kitchens and bathrooms and include a reset switch bearing a white or red colour on the plate.
Treadmills and incline trainers typically utilise the ground prong on electrical outlets to distribute static electricity. Thus, if those devices are connected to a GFCI outlet, it will most possibly trip the breaker and stop the machines from operating. Treadmills plugged into an AFCI outlet are also quite prone to functionality issues.
Safe treadmill use is essential if you want to extend its longevity, maintain its functionality, and prevent accidents and injury from taking place. Turning off and unplugging the treadmill after use provides benefits that will make the purchase of your treadmill a worthwhile, valuable decision.
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