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Treadmills: What they Are and How You Benefit from Having One

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What a Treadmill is:
A treadmill is an exercise machine that easily lets you enjoy the health benefits of walking and running, all in the convenience of an indoor location. You could use a treadmill in a gym or exercise facility, or better still, right in the comfort and safety of your home. A treadmill can be called a running machine.

Because the treadmill has a continuous running tread belt (akin to a conveyor belt), it lets you walk or run as you wish, right at one spot. You simply run on the deck of the treadmill, while the running belt provides the lane area that you require. A treadmill is a great way to tap the aerobic benefits of walking, jogging or running. In a sense, treadmills are a close cousin of exercise bikes, which allow you to ride a bike, staying in a spot.

Benefits of a Treadmill
A treadmill is an exercise machine, but more importantly, it's one that makes it pretty easy and convenient to engage in those natural exercises of walking and running. Health experts continue to applaud the health benefits of a brisk walk. This aerobic exercise can go a long way in promoting your good health and fitness.

Generally, experts recommend a total coverage of 10,000 steps daily to put you in tiptop condition. At the least, a brisk work of at least, 20 - 30 minutes, three to four days in a week, is thought to be necessary for healthy living. Running or jogging will always been great for your health and fitness.

The problem is that the circumstances of today make it increasingly difficult to regularly engage in these health activities. Most people work late and can't easily find the opportunity to visit a gym or other exercise facility. Many areas are dark and unsafe at night, ruling out night walks or jogging. With no alternative, folks stay bottled up with the cumulative impact of work stress, without exercises. Health could suffer ultimately.

All that changes when you acquire a treadmill. A treadmill will put your fitness programme more firmly in your control. You can be walking or running by midnight, if you have to, because that is in the safety and convenience of your home, right on top of your treadmill. That's why they are very popular in developed economies where people are more health-conscious. But think about it, who doesn't need good health? In summary, here are the benefits you get from a treadmill:

  • Strain-Free Walkout: Your suffer less strain when you walk, run or jog on a treadmill. Why? Because there's a absorbent surface - a shock absorber, if you like - that takes some of the impact. On the pavement or road surface, you hit hardcore resistance and that could strain ankles and knees and even the bones.
  • Road Accident Free: Care is exercised when you walk or jog on the street, but the risk of a knock-down is not so remote. Treadmills keep you off the street and that hazard of possible accident.
  • Weather-Proof Exercising: With your treadmill, the rain, the wind or some inclement weather won't stop the action because you are running indoors.
  • Safety? No Problem: Most people can only find time at night to walk or jog. When that is outdoors, you worry about safety and that could discourage going out on your exercise routine. A treadmill takes that worry off your back - you do it in the safety of your home.
  • Timing is no Constraint: Your workout can be at any time, so your fitness programme is not jeopardised by your busy schedule. Walk or jog or run late at night, if that's when you can. All you do is get on your treadmill and off you go.
  • Pre-set Programming: Your exercise programme can be programmed through phases you want to go through, if your treadmill has a pre-setting feature. That means, for instance, increasing you speed as preset, in line with your build-up. That includes the benefit of incline, more like hill training, to increase the stress factor in your walkout.
  • Monitoring & Feedback: Many treadmills have in-built devices to monitor your body performance and give feedback. The heart rate, for instance. That safety value is easy to appreciate.
  • Ease and Frequency: Because of the ease of proceeding with your workout, you can do so more frequently, unless hampered by power supply.
  • Engage in Other Activities Simultaneously: You can take on some entertainment as well, for instance. You don't have to miss your favorite Soap, for example, because you can watch TV while on the Treadmill. Enjoy a lot of music, too.
  • Interruption-Free Work Out: Want to focus on your workout? You can avoid distractions and slow-downs: like stopping for vehicles before crossing the road, or stopping to chat with a friend you stumble into.
  • What to Wear? You worry, if you're leaving your home. When on your treadmill at home, it doesn't matter. No need to freshen up either. Not having a nice outfit ready could stop you from an outdoor walk. Not on your treadmill.

Types of Treadmills
There are basically two types of treadmill: a manual motor treadmill and an electric motor treadmill. Manual treadmills have no motor - it's the motion of your feet on the belt that turns them on the rollers, allowing you pace on while on one spot. For a motorized treadmill, its motor is the propelling force, saving you the strain of literally kick-starting it. Motorized treadmills also allow for easy adjustment of speed and incline, while still on walking or running on them. For a manual treadmill, you will need to stop it, step down and make any adjustment you want. Their benefit is in lower cost, but convenience is obviously lacking.

Parts and Features of Treadmills
There are many parts and features a treadmill can have, but some are extras which not all treadmills necessarily have. No treadmill will easily boast of all the features and more features mean a higher cost range. A basic treadmill may just be all you need. Here are the important parts and features.

  • Frame:
    this is the structure, usually steel or aluminum, which forms the framework of the treadmill. The frame has to be of good strength for the treadmill to be durable. A steel frame means more carrying weight when you move it, though the extra weight helps keep the treadmill stable in use. The treadmill frame may be coupled to its base by welding or bolting.
  • Treadmill Motor:
    This powers the treadmill and has capacity rating in horsepower (HP). No doubt that the treadmill's motor is a major component. Ratings could range from 1 - 3.5 continuous HP. A motor capacity of at least 1.5HP will be good to meet your basic need. Heavier users will need to go for more power.
  • Treadmill belt:
    The treadmill's belt is the conveyor belt that rolls out the lane area on which you run or walk. Ensure you have a belt area that is adequate and of quality that will endure regular use.
  • Treadmill Deck
    The deck is where you stand on and what the treadmill belt runs on. The deck is usually made of fiberboard of medium density or particle board.
  • The Treadmill Console
    You get your readings and manage the control of your exercise treadmill through the display console, more like the cockpit of a tricycle. A treadmills could come with an LCD display or an LED option. Most high-end treadmills will have an LED display.
  • Treadmill Side Rails
    These are the side handlebars that you can hold while using your treadmill. You need a comfortable handrail, soft touch, if you like.
  • Incline Feature
    The incline feature makes it possible to raise the gradient of the deck, increasing you workload (as though climbing a hill) and giving you a more vigorous workout. Incline will be stated in terms of angle of incline,
  • Treadmill Rollers The rollers roll the belt, providing the walking or running surface you need
  • Treadmill cushioning The expected comfort from running on a treadmill won't be possible without a shock-absorbing feature. The cushioning takes the impact of your landing on the treadmill deck and minimises the strain on you.

A treadmill, you can see, is a cool exercise machine, offering a lot of convenience and helping you burn out the calories and achieve fitness and good health. If you can afford one, it's certainly a valuable possession. Granted that power supply problems will be an issue, you can still power your treadmill the way you have found answers to powering other equipment you have at home. Given its health value and encouragement it gives to frequent workouts, it's worth investing in.

© Copyright 2009

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