The thought of a treadmill used to make me cringe. I’m still haunted by the throbbing knee pain caused by a brief attempt to learn to run again (pre EDS diagnoses). I vowed never again to touch the machine… However, as I’m learning to embrace a creative mindset, to openly and honestly rediscover how to live with EDS, I figured it was time to face the treadmill.
But what can you do with a treadmill, if you shouldn’t even be walking?
1. Use the hand rails to do dips, press ups, realign your spine, or stretch
2 .Side Step
I found side stepping on a treadmill easier than any other environment I’ve previously tried!
- The treadmill moves at a constant rate, so that the body doesn’t have to calculate as much movement. With poor proprioceptive feedback, I find many exercises more cognitively than physically challenging. Eliminating the cognitive challenge is a great way to improve movement and make exercise less stressful.
- There’s nothing to trip on or run into
- You can exercise more efficiently by continuously varying the degree of incline. This way you can work with more muscle groups an have less muscle fatigue.
- Increased traction
3. Walk Backwards
Now, why one would be able to walk backwards better than forwards is a mystery to me. This one may only apply to the subgroup of EDSers who have a combination of high laxity and high muscle tension.
I discovered this set of exercises myself, but after further research I found several articles on similar ways to rediscover the treadmill. Here’s my favorite, 8 Exercises You Can Do on Treadmill That Aren’t Running . I couldn’t successfully do any of the arm ones and they seem pretty dangerous for the wrists, elbows, and shoulders but everyone’s body is different, maybe they will work for you!