How to Use a Treadmill
Running Machines / Treadmills
Treadmills, which are machines used for walking or running while staying in the same place has become a very important machine in helping individuals improve and maintain their fitness and health. Almost every gym has a running machine that you can utilize. It provides a moving platform with a conveyor belt typically driven by an electric motor. The technologies of the this incredible machine has evolved tremendously over the past decade that has seen many new and exciting features added to the modern day treadmill. Nowadays they can be folded, have heart rate monitoring capabilities, can be inclined, tracks and records speed, time, distance and calories burned, and even comes with preset workout programs! Many also come with built-in speakers just so you can listen to your favorite tunes (without headphones) while working out!
Selecting the Right Running Machine
Often individuals get overwhelmed with sensory overload when choosing cardio machines. In other words, there are so many factors that come into play when selecting the best fitness machine that it makes it difficult to weigh in the pros and cons. This usually results in paralysis by analysis if you over-analyze everything.
Some of the common things that hold up individuals are: i) too many different brands to pick from, ii) unsure of the features that are needed or feel the need to “want” every available feature and iii) price / budget constraints. Some even doubt their choice in deciding to purchase a treadmill in the first place with the primary doubt being if it would be worth the money. Indeed, these exercise machines currently run from a couple of hundred to a few thousand dollars and that’s a huge chunk of money. However, health and fitness really has no price and many users will tell you that it is worth every penny.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry, we’re here to help with this process! We created this website so that we could share our knowledge on treadmills and to go over the factors that one should take into account before purchasing one.
Benefits of a Treadmill Workout
A treadmill is considered as a “cardiovascular machine.” It was actually first designed to help diagnose heart and lung disease. Research conducted and published in 1968 showed the benefits of aerobic exercise which in turn supported the development of the home running machine. Some of the main advantages of having a machine like this at home include:
- You can set up an exercise regime that you can follow irrespective of the weather. This one is quite obvious; it is unlikely that you will go for a jog in the park when it is raining outside.
- You feel less impact when running ( since most have a cushioned conveyor belts) when compared to running on outdoor services. Nowadays they come with rubber or elastomers belts. This can make a world of difference especially if you have joint or knee problems.
- The ability to incline provides means for the user to continuously run or walk uphill which in turn allow for an “uphill” training regime to be planned.
- Preset rate settings and speed settings force you to run at a consistent pace.
- Your progress on the can be tracked. Certain machines allow users to save data such as distance, calories burned and heart rate onto a USB drive. This can allow you to accurately track your progress of your fitness regime.
In addition to these “general” benefits, you can also follow different types of effective workouts on your exercise machine to suite your needs. An example of this workout is the High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT for short. The HIIT workout as its name suggest, focuses on the user to carry out a high intensity workout for a short period of time followed by a period of recovery. There are also different workouts which are suitable for beginners or to maximize calorie burning/weight loss.
The Treadmill Market
First things first, brands. There are more than a dozen different options including: Ancheer, Nordic Track, Yozwa, Landice, Proform, Weslo, and so on. Choosing a brand is usually the first things that potential buyers have to decide on. Some have been making fitness machines for decades while others have done so only for a few years. If this is your first time purchasing one, there are two things you could do. The first is to reach out to someone who has consistently been using one. They will be able to tell you from their firsthand experience what they liked or disliked about it. Secondly, you can do a quick overview of the reviews that we have here on our site. This is a great way to figure out what brand stands out and you will be able to tell if the brand is a good one.
The next thing you should look into are the different specifications as well as the different features that come with each of them. Treadmills have come a long way, from the time when they were just constant speed, non-folding, non-programmable, to the present day where they have many features. While it would be nice to have a machine loaded on the different types of features, the truth is, you can certainly do fine without most. You can also think of buying this exercise machine to be similar to buying a new PC. While you could buy a fully loaded PC which has the best graphics card and processor, you may not even need them if all you intend to do is browse the internet and check your emails. An average graphics card and processor will do the job just as well.
Some of the features that are commonly found in the more modern ones include folding, incline, data monitoring, and tracking, built-in speakers, as well as preset workout programs. If you have limited amount of space at home, a foldable one would be a perfect fit for you. Foldable treadmills, although not as sturdy as non-foldable machines, have a smaller footprint that can help you snuck your machine in a storage area. For example, Lifespan’s TR1200i folding running machine measures 74” x 33” x 54” when it is unfolded and only 39” x 33” x 66” when folded. This is about a 35% reduction in volume and space saved. How space efficient!
The ones that have incline as a feature, have a separate motor that will help the machine move along the high and low inclines, mimicking the motion of running uphill. This in turn will in turn cause your body to work harder, resulting in the burning of more calories. Why should you consider purchasing one with incline? Well, they offer a different variety of workouts you can try and the increased work that you have to do on an incline also results in quicker improved cardiovascular health. Nowadays they can usually be inclined between 0 – 15 degrees. Some incline machines such as the Proform Pro 7500 can also have decline degrees; which will allow you to mimic the activity of jogging downhill.
Other features you can find include built-in speakers for mp3 players and iPods, heart rate, speed, distance and calories burnt monitors, LCD screens to display your progress, preset workout programs, preprogramed routes that mimic different terrains in the world and different apps that you can connect with to see your workout progress. Note that many of these features are found in most of the different brands.
Aside from determining which features are important to you, below are a few other factors that you should keep in mind before purchasing:
- Motor horsepower (HP): A higher horsepower motor on also means that it has a higher weight capacity and can achieve higher speeds. Weight capacities are often stated in the specifications.
- Treadbelt dimensions: A larger treadbelt means more room for you to jog or run.
- Warranty: Most have different warranty periods for different components. These warranty periods are usually broken down into the warranty for the frame, motor, mechanical and electronics, and labor. In general, the higher the price, the longer the warranty period for these items. Warranties for the frame and motor are typically longer when compared to the warranty on labor. What this means is that if you start running into some failures, you will most likely have to fork out some money to cover labor costs.
- Price: As described, they can cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. The difference would be in the build quality and the number of features available. Again, this does not mean that you should purchase the most expensive treadmill, but rather, you need to find out the best bang for your buck based on the features you need (not want).
It is now up to you to figure out what you actually need versus what you want and what you can afford.
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