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Treadmills Score a Home Run

Updated on March 19, 2011

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Treadmills have always been popular with the athletic crowd and those who want to loose weight both at home and in their favorite gym. With the price of gas today treadmills may become even more popular at home. After all, with the bells and whistles found on even the lower end treadmills they are like having a virtual workout coach.

Price wise treadmills can be a great option for at home fitness. Depending on your needs you could pay as little as a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Shop at garage sales and online to find even lower prices. You will find that the motorized treadmills are more expensive and that manual treadmills are less expensive. Some fold up to save space, some are longer for tall exercisers and some are wider for heftier exercisers.

Intensity wise motorized treadmills are can be more challenging with multiple programmable options but if you consider that manual treadmills depend completely on people power some may think they are more challenging. Manual treadmills may be OK of you are strictly a walker but if you want to speed walk, jog or run I suggest that you opt for a motorized treadmill.

Bowflex Series 7 Treadmill
Bowflex Series 7 Treadmill

Emilie and Natalie Treadmill Dance


Programmable options not only include the monitoring of calories burned and heart rate but will include incline, speed and interval training. Beginners can feel at home on a motorized treadmill because the speed can be controlled. I find that the lowest speed tolerated by most treadmills is about 1.5MPH. As fitness progresses most motorized treadmills are capable of at least 12MPH. The incline can be adjusted up to 12% which will make you feel like you are climbing a step hill and will increase your workout even at a slow speed. Typically endurance is increased at lower speeds, more incline for longer length of time where speed is increased with less incline, higher speeds for shorter length of time. A combination of the two - known as interval training is beneficial for an all round workout.

Treadmills have an advantage over pounding the pavement. Knees, hips and other joints take a beating. Treadmills are considered a soft surface and most are equipped with a sort of shock absorber. It is important however to realize that treadmills can be hard on some knees. It has something to do with the slight difference in the speed of the treadmill belt and your pace. I have walked and jogged many miles for several years on two different motorized treadmills with no problem.

Treadmills offer many advantages over other forms of exercise. They are inside out of the elements, they can be at home so you don't have to travel, time of day is not an issue and you don't have to pay a babysitter when you want to workout. Easy days or hard days are just a setting away on the monitor. Your exercise routine will probably last longer if you monitor your improvement.

My treadmill is located where I can watch TV, talk to the family and is close to the ceiling fan. It also has a small fan built into the console so it is easier to stay cool.


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    • Jason Stanley profile image

      Jason Stanley 9 years ago

      The new treadmills also seem to be made pretty well. A friend recently had a flood in his basement and thought his three week old $1,200 motorized treadmill would be ruined. He was very happily suprised when it dried out and ran perfectly!

      Personally, I never use the things - though I know I should. My wife and I have an exercise schedule fairly well established. She gets up around 6 and goes to the gyn (where the treadmill is one of her standard exercises) and I roll over for another hour of sleep. It has worked for years!