Why it’s good to run or walk on a treadmill
By AARON DORKSEN – 3G Cardio Fitness Editor
Most people know that a fear of spiders is called arachnophobia. Being afraid of the number 13 is called Triskaidekaphobia. As far as I can tell, there’s no actual word for having a fear of treadmills.
Still, some people do have an aversion to treadmills for differing reasons, but there’s no reason to fear these machines. Treadmills are the most popular piece of fitness equipment for home gyms for a reason: they get results.
According to several fitness websites, more than 60 million people own treadmills.
Why fear the treadmill?
Before I give my top reasons for owning a treadmill, let’s quickly cover some of the reasons people might not like them.
Some people who like to run want to only do it outside. However, that’s short-sighted because having a treadmill is a great alternative to run on when conditions outside aren’t favorable or to simply cross-train.
Some people fear falling off the treadmill, worrying that once that belt gets going they’ll lose their balance and go toppling off. However, there are many ways to prevent that from happening that I’ll cover in this blog.
Finally, some people call it a “dreadmill,” saying that it’s boring to stay in one place on a treadmill. Keep reading for reasons that’s false.
Why love the treadmill?
Here are some reasons why I love exercising on a treadmill:
* A treadmill allows for more variation on your workouts because you can vastly change the speeds, incline or decline and easily perform interval training.
* Treadmills offer great versatility for anyone from a rehab patient to an elite athlete trying to push themselves in high-impact running. There are lots of marathon caliber machines on the market as reasonable prices, such as the award-winning 3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill.
* If you own a treadmill you can decide where, when and how you want to work out. Set up the treadmill in front of a TV and watch your favorite show, place a book or magazine on the rack, or play the home stereo while you walk or run. There’s nothing boring about that.
* By working out in the privacy of your own home, you don’t have to worry about walking outside and having people in the neighborhood staring as they drive by. Some people feel more comfortable at home than exercising in a health club gym, either.
* Treadmills are safer than outdoors because you don’t have to worry about stepping in a hole outside, inclement weather, dogs not on leashes, etc.
* You can also get an outstanding workout on a treadmill. Walk, run or mix in both for as long or short a workout as you want. Walking is excellent for your circulation, and boosts metabolism. Running also boosts metabolism and suppresses your appetite as well. Combined with healthy eating, how much cardio activity you do and other factors like age and weight, you could lose 2-4 pounds a week after starting a treadmill walking program.
* Treadmills are easy to program and keep track of your workout. You can control the time, speed, incline of the walk or run and also log how many calories you’ve burned.
* For intermediate fitness programs you can start working in interval training – going harder for several minutes at a time, backing off the pace and then quickening the walk or run on a repeated cycle.
Calming the Dread for the Tread
* If you aren’t having a great workout, get tired, or simply want to move on to another exercise, if you’re out and about on a jog you still have to find a way home.
If you’re on a home treadmill, simply get off the machine and do something else.
* Go as slow as you wanna go! If balance is a concern, build up your speed gradually. Don’t increase the speed until you are entirely confident at a lower speed. Treadmills also have handles in front and on the sides that you can grab onto if needed.
Most treadmills have clips connected to them that you can attach to your shirt, so in the unfortunate event that you do lose your balance or fall off the machine will stop if the clip pulls off.
I actually love running on a treadmill as well as outdoors. Ideally, a person should run or walk outdoors AND inside on a treadmill. No day is ever quite the same and obviously workout moods, conditions and needs can vary a lot.
Don’t fear the treadmill – embrace it!
NOTE: Consult a doctor or certified fitness trainer before starting any new workout program to determine if it’s right for your needs. This is especially true if you (or your family) have a history of high blood pressure or heart disease. If you experience faintness, dizziness, pain or shortness of breath at any time while exercising you should stop immediately.