One of the most popular types of home exercise equipment is the treadmill, which provides a straightforward, efficient aerobic workout. For many, treadmills are a good choice to begin a new exercise routine because walking is well tolerated by most individuals regardless of fitness level and for most back conditions. As strength and endurance are developed, the treadmill can be used for jogging and/or for interval training.
Advantages to Using a Treadmill
- The treadmill is a relatively easy piece of exercise equipment to use
- The treadmill has a predictable surface that is much easier to negotiate than sidewalks, curbs or trails and the risk of tripping is reduced
- All aspects of the workout can be controlled by the user: speed, incline, warm up period, cool down period, and energy spend
- Generally, users can design custom programs to fit the time they have to exercise
- Multiple users can use the same equipment without adjusting the structure
- Some treadmills have special features such as step counters and heart rate monitors so fitness progress can be tracked
- Running on a treadmill generally burns calories faster than most other forms of in-home exercise, such as biking
Disadvantages to Using a Treadmill
- They can be expensive, with some models over $2000.
- The cushioned surface of the treadmill may still inflict too much of a jarring impact on the back or stress the hip, knee, and ankle joints. Testing the surface and rebound is critical.
- They can take up a lot of space. The more sophisticated treadmills take up a fair amount of space (up to 36 inches wide by 72 inches long) and generally do not fold up.
- Like other equipment with computerized programs and motors, maintenance of treadmills usually requires a professional.
- Some treadmills have loud motors that interfere with other activities near the equipment.
- Treadmills provide a limited kind of exercise – walking to running – so some people find treadmills boring after a while.