Serious runners and walkers eventually turn to treadmill workouts so that they can exercise safely and conveniently at any time of day or night in their own homes. Fitness experts agree that one of the best ways to get in shape and stay that way is by running or walking every day, but the reality is that it isn’t always safe or practical to do so on “the open road.” If your free time is in the early morning or late at night, or your route is by a roadway where there is heavy or high-speed traffic, your most important goal may become getting home alive, which misses the point of the whole thing. Also, it isn’t fun or sensible to run in the snow, sleet, hail, rain, or the blazing sun. A treadmill workout is the answer to all these problems.
There are health clubs and gyms that offer treadmill workouts to their clients, but you may have decided that you don’t like the hours offered by the club or gym near you, or the locations are not convenient, or you prefer not to have an audience when you work out. Whatever drives you to it, if you are concerned about health and fitness, you will eventually buy a treadmill for home use, and you should make sure you are getting a good piece of equipment at a reasonable price. It is also important to select a model with features that you will use and enjoy:
o If you have limited room in your home or apartment, you will be happiest with a fold-up machine that can be stored out of the way in a closet or under the bed.
o If money is not a concern, you can combine fitness and entertainment by choosing a treadmill with a built-in television and speakers; or you may be happy with an inexpensive manual machine, which you can position in front of the TV.
o There are treadmills with controls that monitor speed, pace, incline, time, distance traveled, calories burned, and with heart rate controls and pulse sensors.
o Many models have built-in racks and nests to hold reading material, a water bottle, a CD player or a cell phone, and a towel.
o If you would like sophisticated gadgetry on a treadmill but the cost is prohibitive, you should check out the used treadmills and the discount treadmills, which may offer what you want at a price you can afford.
A Variety of Treadmill Workouts are Available
o There are treadmills that include workout CDs with energizing music and workout videos with spectacular scenery to create the illusion that you are outdoors, or you can buy these separately. (And if you want fresh air to go with it, you can open a window.)
o Some treadmills have pre-set programs, such as interspersing flat surface workouts with inclines, or by varying speeds. Some programs are designed for weight loss and some for cardio fitness, and all will have different levels of intensity. There are programs that vary the speed and force of the workout to keep your heart rate within a pre-selected zone.
o On some machines, you can design a personal program for yourself, and, of course, all treadmills allow the user to change the speed or incline during the workout, usually at the push of a button.
Treadmill Workouts Keep You Motivated
o ProForm – Some models of ProForm treadmills come with interactive workout disks that include music, incline and speed controls, and recorded advice by personal trainers to encourage you to monitor and gradually improve your cardiovascular fitness.
o Precor – Precor treadmills have a patented system to absorb the shock of impact, have cool and quiet motors, and a quick start feature. These quality machines also specialize in providing a variety of programs to challenge and motivate you (anywhere from five to eighteen programs, depending on the model). You can be sure of finding a program that is perfect for you, and you can change to another when you are ready to move on.
o Spirit – Spirit treadmills are the best fold-up machines on the market and they also have preset programs that adjust the speed and incline according to your heart rate, or you can customize a program.
It is important to vary your programs in order to motivate yourself to improve your conditioning, or to increase your body strength, or to help you with weight loss or weight maintenance:
o Try walking backwards on the machine at an easy pace.
o Walk at various speeds with mirrors in front and beside you to check your style, posture, technique, etc.
o Begin by walking or running for five minutes, and then step off the treadmill and do one minute of crunches, push-ups, lunges, and any other exercises that appeal to you, and then back on again and repeat until you have exercised for your usual length of time.
o After walking or running for ten minutes, step off and do ten minutes of stretching or weight training and then back on again, and repeat as desired.
o Light some candles, burn some incense and turn on spa music to walk off your stress.
o Walk or run in the nude (make sure the curtains are closed).
In fact, anything you can think of that adds variety to your workout and keeps you interested is worth trying.
Information about brands, models, and features of individual machines, as well as comparisons of various models are available online by consulting treadmill reviews and information on the Internet. Remember that online retailers don’t have the storefront expenses that are standard for most sports equipment outlets, and so they are able to offer you, the customer, brand name machines, both new and used, at big savings. Make sure there is a warranty of some kind in place if you buy a used, discount, or factory refurbished treadmill. Same-day shipping is sometimes offered, or shipping within three to five days, and sometimes the cost is included in the price.
There are countless benefits to be gained by engaging in daily treadmill workouts. You will increase your bone density, your endurance, your cardio fitness, and your general health. Exercising is psychologically rewarding because it increases your feelings of accomplishment and well being, and, therefore, is good for your mental health. The investment in a treadmill offers big rewards. Let us help you find what you need and start you on the road to improved physical and mental health. You will be happy with the results.