Treadmills are one of the most frequently used pieces of fitness equipment, primarily due to being fairly straightforward to use, and the similarity to normal running, which is the cardio exercise of choice for most people.
However, everyone using a treadmill must take care when using one, and children should be supervised by an adult, to minimise the risk of accidents happening. The daughter of Mike Tyson, the former boxer, died in a treadmill accident. Although deaths are very rare, many injuries have been sustained when using treadmills.
When using a treadmill, you should be stood on the belt when you turn on the machine, and select the speed which you want the belt to move at. If you selected a speed of 5mph, this would mean that you would need to be moving at 5mph in order to stay on the treadmill.
Treadmills allow you to run even when there is heavy snow or rain outside, which sometimes prevent people from training. The belt which you run on provides a more cushioned landing than running on tarmac, helping to reduce the likelihood of injuries, primarily to your joints.
You can adjust the pace as you want, and leave it at a consistent speed. Many treadmills also allow for the incline setting to be changed, so you can mimic the effects of running uphill to target different muscles and increase the difficulty.
If you have a treadmill in your home, it could turn a sedentary activity, such as watching TV, into exercise.
Treadmills can make use of lots of information such as weight and heart rate to determine which speed you should run at, with many treadmills allowing you to create a programme for each session.
This allows you to maximise your training, and you generally always have your workout information right in front of you. When running outside, you often need to stop to see your progress on your phone, if you have a fitness app.
It is not uncommon for runners to develop a poor running technique when using a treadmill, and this may lead to inefficient running when outdoors, or even injury.
Running on a treadmill can be quite boring and monotonous, even if you use a version which has a TV screen built-in, or run in front of a TV screen.
It costs a lot of money to buy one, or become a member of a gym. You can avoid these costs simply by choosing to run outside.
Treadmills also fail to mimic any specific sport, because even if you wanted to train for athletics or cross-country, you would find it more beneficial to train outdoors.
Buying a treadmill
If you want to able to watch the TV while you walk or run, or simply don’t want to be outside in the elements, then you may want to purchase a treadmill.
However, treadmills are not cheap, and can set you back at least £400 even for a fairly standard version. They are notoriously noisy, due to heavy foot falls, and take up quite a lot of room, so this may influence your decision.