Minimize your static risks by wearing cotton socks instead of socks made from synthetic fibers.
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Adults need 150 minutes of walking or similar aerobic exercise every week, recommends the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An indoor treadmill can help you fit those workout minutes into your day no matter what the weather is like outdoors. Unfortunately, static shock may occasionally give you an uncomfortable zap and may even damage the treadmill's circuits. The good news is you can easily defeat static buildup so it doesn't keep you from achieving your fitness goals.
Consider Your Workout Gear
Take a glance at the tags on your workout clothes. If your gear is made of synthetic fabric, such as polyester-enhanced running socks or nylon workout shorts, they may be the culprit. Synthetic fabrics build more of a static charge than clothing made from natural fibers. For the best results, switch your workout gear to clothing made of cotton or other natural fibers.
Bump Up the Humidity
Dry air leads to a bigger risk of static shock. That's why you're more likely to feel the zap of static when you're working out indoors where heaters or air conditioners suck all of the moisture out of the air. Banish static shock by bumping up the humidity levels in your gym or home, ideally aiming for a humidity of 45 to 65 percent.
Give Your Treadmill Some Tender, Loving Care
Just like many other appliances, your treadmill needs regular care. The treadmill's user guide will list manufacturer-specific guidelines on how often the machine should have its walking belt replaced and its gears lubricated. Regular maintenance minimizes the risks of static because a worn-down running surface and poorly lubricated gears create friction, which in turn generates static shock.
Check Your Shoes Before They Wreck You
Before hopping onto your treadmill for a jog or run, always clean the bottom of your shoes. It's not just about keeping your treadmill looking sparkly clean. Dirt, dust, hair and other items on the bottom of your shoes create more surface area for friction to build up and give you a zap of static shock.
Spray Yourself Down
If all else fails, turn to an anti-static spray that you can apply to your treadmill's running belt and to your workout clothes. An anti-static product works in several ways. First, it adds moisture to the area, which helps diffuse static shock. The spray also makes the surface area less conductive to electrical buildup. The fabric softener you add to your laundry does this, too, and you can make your own anti-static spray by mixing a cup of water with two tablespoons of fabric softener. If your treadmill is on carpet or a rug, don't forget to spritz the carpet as well.