Treadmill Maintenance Tips

Treadmill- n.- 1. a device with an endless belt on which a person walks or runs in place. 2. my baby, my therapy, my escape.

Having a treadmill in the home makes it very convenient to run at any time.  Treadmills, like any other piece of equipment need to have preventative maintenance performed on a regular basis.

A general rule of thumb is to perform this maintenance around every 3 months or 150 miles, or as stated in the owner’s manual.  Please do take the time to read your owner’s manual.  No two treadmills are alike. The owner’s manual is a great source of information on how to properly use and maintain your treadmill, thus extending the life.  I do recommend that if you are going to make the investment of buying a treadmill, do buy the extended warranty.  Motors, decks, belts, and electronic components can get expensive quick without a warranty.  You may be better off purchasing a new treadmill when all those begin wearing down.  The cost will be about the same.  I speak from experience.

Not just during preventative maintenance, but in general, keep your treadmill clean.  Dust, dirt, and grime, not just use, are main culprits of wear and tear.   Keep it dusted, floors and areas around (and under) it clean.

Have it plugged into a surge protector.  Treadmills are full of electronic components sensitive to power surges. Some recommend that the treadmill is plugged into a dedicated circuit. This is mainly for commercial level treadmills, but also some sophisticated home models.

Here is a preventative maintenance checklist including some helpful tips:  Note-  perform maintenance with the treadmill unplugged.

  • Clean floors around, beside, and under the treadmill prior to performing maintenance. Why? Some debris and dust will be scattered onto the treadmill while you are cleaning floors (especially if vacuuming).
  • Wipe the body, display, and arms down.  Pay attention to any recommendations by the manufacturer about what you can and cannot use to clean it with. I typically use a damp cloth or cleansing wipe.
  • Check under the hood.  With the treadmill off and/or unplugged, take off the motor panel. Remove dust, and pet hair.  Be careful of all the components and wires.  Use a gentle touch.  I use a vacuum attachment to get in tight areas.  You can also use compressed air (like one used to spray a computer keyboard) to dust the components.
  • Check motor belts for fraying.  Check for loose or rubbed wires.
  • Lubricate the belt.  You need it well lubricated between the belt and the deck.  A worn belt will wear down the deck. Replace the belt based upon manufacturer guidelines, never wait too long. A worn belt will damage the deck.  You will prolong the life of the deck if you maintain the belt properly.  I use a kit that you put under the belt. It reaches from one side of the belt to the other.  You slip it under the belt and turn the treadmill on, evenly lubricates. NOTE: Some treadmills DO NOT require lubrication, read your owner’s manual to see if yours requires lubrication or not.
  • Clean the belt.  Most lubrication kits come with a cleaning kit, or they are sold separately.  Check manufacturer recommendations in your owner’s manual.
  • As mentioned before, replace the belt in a timely manner. The deck also will need to be replaced from time to time.  Check your owner’s manual for recommendations.  I use my treadmill a lot.  I was able to replace my belt with a commercial belt to prolong the life of the belt.  Not all treadmills are capable of this, but it is something to consider if you plan on logging major miles.

Warning signs maintenance needed:

  • Little pieces of what looks like cotton around the treadmill.  The belt is breaking down and needs to be replaced.
  • Loud humming or clicking from the motor (and no signs of rubbing belts).  Motor may be going.  My particular model’s motor will begin to change color as a warning sign when the motor is going, however the loud humming gave it away first.
  • The belt is “off center” and/or begins to rub.  It is out of alignment and or may need tension adjusted.
  • Burning smell.  Your treadmill is working hard.  Check the belt and/or deck.
  • Loud squeak or whine.  The drive belt (like on a car) may be going, it will get louder with increased speed.
  • Won’t turn, or intermittent. Can be a lot of reasons, but the brushes in the motor may be going.  Typically the motor will wear out before the brushes.
  • Again, read your owner’s manual.  It will also give you signs to watch out for when maintenance is needed.

The manufacturer of my treadmill has videos and even a customer service line that will help walk you through step by step, repairs, replacements, and maintenance. Free of charge.  Check with the manufacturer of your treadmill to see if any maintenance assistance or step by step tips are provided.

Anyone who knows me knows my treadmill is my baby, and I am accident prone.  I don’t trust myself with major replacements so I have a very reliable treadmill technician who takes care of my major repairs and replacements.  He also takes the time to give me tips and advice on how to better maintain my treadmill.  He was the one who suggested getting a commercial belt due to the high mileage I put on mine. Treadmill repair specialists are a great resource and they love sharing knowledge.  Get to know one.

I hope you find these tips helpful.  I learned a lot by trial by error with my treadmills.  I wish I had some advice on maintenance a long time ago.  I successfully killed off my first treadmill due to improper maintenance.  My other is still going strong and has well over 2000 miles on it.

Always feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Be Healthy, Train Smart, Have Fun

Coach Kristie

 

Special mention- Chris of “The Treadmill Guy” in Henderson, NV.  He is my go to for all treadmill repairs. He was my sounding board while I wrote this blog post.  He has been patient and taught me how to take proper care of my treadmill. Thank you!

 

Cancerversary Part 4. My Message to You

Cancerversary-n. – 1._______________ 2. The anniversary of my first Cancer diagnosis

Part 4. My Message to You

Some things never change. Only a select few were aware that as I was writing Part 3. of this series, I had gone to yet “just another doctor’s appointment”. I was awaiting test results, again. I am happy and lucky to say, everything turned out ok.  This has become a pattern of how I personally have come to cope with each test, biopsy, etc. There is no wrong or right with how someone reacts to Cancer. There is no instruction manual on how to support someone with cancer, or to support the loved one who is affected as well.

My Message to those fighting and surviving Cancer:

It is ok to be scared, angry, bitter, sad, overwhelmed. Whatever your feelings, they are valid. They are your feelings. Period.  Your life matters. You matter.

My Message to those who know someone affected by Cancer:

You may be the spouse, child, friend, or coworker of someone affected by Cancer. You may know them socially or may be the one who will have to help care for them.  Like I mentioned above it is okay for you too to be scared, angry, bitter, sad, overwhelmed. Whatever your feelings, they are valid too.

Here are some tips on how you can offer support to someone affected by Cancer:

  • Don’t sing songs to the heavy heart.  Phrases that discredit a person’s feelings of fear, despair, sadness: “cheer up”, “it’s no big deal”, “you’ll be fine” while they may have good intentions, they only throw salt on the wound.
  • Listen. Don’t talk. Don’t feel the need to fill silence. Let the person talk, or be silent. Be a sounding board. People’s emotions are all over the place. I am a talker, I think out loud. Sometimes I just need to get it out.  It may be gibberish, but it’s a way I cope and many others do.
  • Don’t try to solve or fix the situation. Many people dive in “you need to do this, you need to do that”.  Again, listen, don’t try to solve anything, unless you are asked.
  • When in doubt, ask. Ask the person “what can I do to support you?” They may want you to listen, help them research treatment options. They may say they need to be distracted. They may not even know.
  • Don’t offer tissues. In my Stephen Ministry training this was one of the best examples used in how in a situation people rush to make it “all better” and don’t allow a person to feel their emotions. Example: If tissues are on a table and someone is crying, don’t pick up the tissues and hand them to them. Some people need the cleansing of the tears. Tissues handed to someone signal it’s time to quit crying and dry up the tears. The tissues are there, they will reach for them if they want them. Let people cry.
  • If you love them, tell them. People need to know they matter, that they are loved. The feelings of being alone and invisible can be overpowering.
  • Touch them. Cancer is not contagious. Hug them. Simply place your hand on their hand, shoulder, etc. There is nothing more comforting than human touch.

 

I could list 100’s of 1000’s of tips. I really could. Bottom line, let people feel and cope the way they need to. Everyone reacts a different way. No two people and no two cancers are alike.  One thing is for certain, Cancer is Cancer. No matter the type or severity. It’s Cancer.

My last message to everyone:

BE HEALTHY. You owe it to yourself and those who love you. Take care of yourself. Eat right. Exercise. Wear Sunscreen. Get regular checkups. Early detection is the key to survival.

For me, I have come to accept that it’s not if I have Cancer again, but when. I choose to be as healthy as possible due to the fact if Cancer knocks on my door again; it is in for a HUGE fight. I have a husband who loves me and little boy who I WILL be there for him as he grows up.

To everyone who followed this series, thank you for taking the time to stop and read. It was painful and scary to share my story. I still have kept some things private. My life with Cancer has too many painful memories, so those details didn’t and may never come out.

As always, like we say at PRSFit Nation:

Be Healthy, Train Smart, Have Fun…and one more thing…FIGHT CANCER

 

*Special thanks to Lori Hauck and Krista Greaves who were my sounding boards while writing this series. I cannot express how much I appreciate you both.

Cancerversary Part. 3 Time to Get Healthy

Cancerversary-n. – 1._______________ 2. The anniversary of my first Cancer diagnosis

Part 3. Time to get healthy

I hadn’t felt right. Things were just weird. My spidey senses were going off and I had called my doctor to schedule an appointment.  I wasn’t to see him for a few days. I just remember his words echoing in my head that I had been reversing the damages of the cancer with some of my new healthy habits.

On my way home from work one day on a whim I decided to stop at the drug store. Something told me to. Now I stood in the bathroom staring at the little white stick on the counter.  The word “PREGNANT” was plain as day.

I remember going to the doctor’s office scared out of my mind. What if I was pregnant and had cervical cancer again? What would I do? After a battery of tests it was official. I still had no trace of cancer, but I did have something new. A miracle. I was going to have a baby.

Weeks later as my belly began to grow. I did as every woman does. I went to the mirror and pulled up my shirt to look at my growing belly. Then I saw them. Tan lines. Up until I found out I was pregnant I was still going to tanning beds.  Yes, the multiple skin cancer survivor was still using tanning beds. Not unlike the lung cancer survivor who still smokes. It’s not right, it’s awful, don’t judge, but it happens.

The tan lines made me furious. How could I jeopardize my health?  I now was bringing a baby into this world. I lost my father to a heart attack when I was 10, a heart attack that could have been prevented if he had taken care of his health. I refused to think of leaving my child without a mother.   I got in the car and took my tanning bed membership card and returned it to the business. I walked in, handed it to them, and never went back.

Some people are blessed with what I call “pretty pregnant”.  They look the same, have the nice round belly. No complications. They have the baby and walk out of the hospital in their pre-baby clothes. Then there was me. My body went on strike. It could fight cancer left and right with the gusto of Rocky, but pregnancy? Nope, my body decided it didn’t want any part of it. I was a high risk pregnancy, and I had a multitude of complications. My body swelled up. I looked like a long lost cousin of Jabba the Hut.  Eventually I was put on bed rest.  All through this miserable pregnancy, the part that mattered the most…I was carrying a healthy baby, boy.

Then after a long, painful attempt at vaginal delivery just shy of a scene from a horror movie where I practically grabbed my doctor by the shirt and said (well, yelled) “get him OUT OF ME” I was wheeled in for a C-section. My son was not coming out on his own, a C-section was now necessary.  My doctor was prepping me for the C-section and noticed a very large scar on my lower abdomen.  It was from one of my previous melanomas (remember? the one where the sun didn’t shine?). My doctor looked at me and said “I am going back in through this scar”.  My beautiful, miracle of a healthy baby boy…was born via an opening made from an existing scar left by cancer.  Something that could have killed me, was now giving life.

I made a private vow to God when I kissed my son for the first time. I vowed to be healthy, from now on. If not for me, but for this precious gift I was given. My son.

When I finally cleared the fog of postpartum depression (that’s a blog post for another time) and given the green light to resume exercise, I had a big mess to work with. My body was nowhere near what it once was. Pregnancy and childbirth took a toll on me. I needed help. I contacted a personal trainer. I could not do this on my own.

With her help I took my body and my health back. I made serious lifestyle changes. I hate the word “diet”. It’s lifestyle, not “diet”. You choose to eat healthy or you don’t. Calories in, calories out, garbage in, garbage out. You truly ARE what you eat. I started devouring all the information I could get on eating healthy, exercise and how the body works.  My trainer put a bug in my ear to consider looking into becoming a personal trainer myself. I thank her for this, I would never be where I am today without her. Thank you Fatima Valeras.

Fast forward a few years. I am now a competitive athlete. I am sponsored by the great folks at Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing. I am an ambassador for Raw Elements Sunscreen. I have a feature by Runner’s World under my belt. I am a Certified Personal Trainer and Triathlon Coach and now work with my Coach Jeff Kline and the best team at PRSFit Nation.  Most importantly I am on a mission to spread awareness and compassion for those affected by all cancers, but especially the one that won’t leave me alone, skin cancer.

I am haunted by what many have termed “Survivor Guilt”. Why have I survived and others haven’t? Why have I not had chemotherapy and others have? Cancer has no rhyme or reason and no two cases are the same. I raise money and donate to cancer research when I can.  I became a Stephen Minister so I can provide support to others so they do not have to go through what I did. Cancer is cancer no matter what type or how severe.

I am living breathing proof early detection is the key to survival. So please…be healthy, and get regular checkups, if not for yourself, for those who love you. Your life matters.  You matter.

Previous Posts:

Part 1. The Diagnosis

Part 2. Fighting the Demons

Still to come:

Part 4. My message to you