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Holding onto hand-rail - treadmill

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hey everyone!!

does anyone know if holding onto the hand-rail on the treadmill reduces your workout at all? i hold onto it for about 1/2 the time i am on the treadmill, usually when i am walking fast, because i am afraid of falling or tripping. the hand-rail on my treadmill is in a similar position to a baby stroller.

thank you so much....

ps i have a history of falling - usually in very public places!! :P
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If you are just putting your hands against the rail or holding on for balance, I don't think there is too much difference.  But, if you are putting a lot of your weight onto the rails, it will decrease the amount of cals you burn.  But it's better to hold on than fall!  :)
hey blue,

holding onto the treadmills isn't a good idea.  not from a reduced workload point of view (which it is), but because it messes with your natural walking gait.  Your body is designed to move as a unit.  take out one part of the equation, your upper body, and the lower body gets out of whack.  pay attention next time and you'll notice you don't walk the same way when you're holding on. You're at an increased risk of injury anytime you mess with your body's natural way of moving (same reason ankle, wrist weights are a bad idea).

instead of walking fast and being afraid of tripping/falling, why not walk on an incline to get more intensity?  or if you like the walking motion, how 'bout an elliptical trainer so you can hold on and move your arms in connection with your legs? or a recumbant bike or a stepper?
I agree with tracyvision.  You might be able to get away with putting, say, your pointer fingers on the bars or front part of the treadmill for balance, and you would be surprised at how much that helps!  I say if you are having to hold on because the tmill is going too fast, SLOW DOWN!  As was mentioned before, you can always increase the incline for a better workout. 

This is actually a pet peeve of mine, not with the tmills so much but with the ellipticals!!!  I think I will make a post about it....

I don't have an answer for you, but we're in the same boat as far as balance. I took a digger off my treadmill today because I made the mistake of turning my head to look at something!
I walk on my treadmill each day and I have aways heard you really lose a lot of the exercise benifit if you hold on to the rail. Naturally walking you should be swinging your arms alot and that brings a lot of fitness benefits. I would think if you need to hold on when you walking you are walking to fast and you should slow down and gradually increase your speed until you get used to using a tredmill. I agree with Tracy maybe you should try some incline until you build up to speed.
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