The first consumer treadmill for home use was developed by William Staub, a mechanical engineer. One of the most popular types of home exercise equipment is the treadmill, which provides a straightforward, efficient aerobic workout. For many, treadmills are a good choice to begin a new exercise routine because walking is well tolerated by most individuals regardless of fitness level and for most back conditions. As strength and endurance are developed, the treadmill can be used for jogging and/or for interval training.
Advantages to Using a Treadmill
- The treadmill is a relatively easy piece of exercise equipment to use
- The treadmill has a predictable surface that is much easier to negotiate than sidewalks, curbs or trails and the risk of tripping is reduced
- All aspects of the workout can be controlled by the user: speed, incline, warm up period, cool down period, and energy spend
- Some treadmills have special features such as step counters and heart rate monitors so fitness progress can be tracked
- Running on a treadmill generally burns calories faster than most other forms of in-home exercise, such as biking
- Users can do other things while on the treadmill, such as watch television or read, which for many can help keep the exercise interesting
Disadvantages to Using a Treadmill
- They can be expensive, with some models over $2000.
- The cushioned surface of the treadmill may still inflict too much of a jarring impact on the back or stress the hip, knee, and ankle joints. Testing the surface and rebound is critical.
- Like other equipment with computerized programs and motors, maintenance of treadmills usually requires a professional.
- Treadmills provide a limited kind of exercise – walking to running – so some people find treadmills boring after a while.
Benefits of Treadmill Walking
- Walking regularly on a treadmill helps you maintain a healthy musculoskeletal system, which includes your muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons and joints. As a weight-bearing exercise, treadmill walking exerts a pulling force on your bones that helps prevent age-related bone loss.
- Walking on a treadmill instead of pavement has the added benefit of reducing the impact on your ankle, knee and hip joints because the deck and belt cushion your strides.
- Brisk treadmill walking can improve your cardiovascular fitness, strengthening your heart and potentially reducing your blood pressure. Regular walking also helps reduce your cholesterol level, lowering your risk for a heart attack and stroke.
- Regular treadmill walking can reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, degenerative arthritis, high blood pressure, depression, insomnia and breast and colon cancer. Walking on a treadmill or participating in another form of moderate-intensity exercise for at least 150 minutes per week reduces your risk of dying prematurely.
- Walking on a treadmill or outdoors aids in weight management by burning excess calories and keeping your metabolic rate up. Many treadmills feature a calorie counter that estimates the number of calories burned during your workout. This information proves useful in diet planning, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
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