Everything you need to know
Calorie creep. It's affecting more and more of us. Restaurant portions get bigger every year, our work hours get longer and the sedentary options for our free time - HDTV, PS3, exploring the world online and more - grow more appealing by the day.
It all adds up. We can see it in our waistlines and plaque deposits on our arteries. Burn just a few less calories per week than you consume, and at the end of a year, you've put on a pound or two; this may not seem like much, but at the end of a decade, a pound or two has grown into a threat to your health.
A treadmill may be the answer. Note the word “may”, however, as the most effective exercise is the one you'll actually do. If you hate walking on a treadmill, parking a brand-new machine in your living room isn't going to change that. But if time constraints and the inconvenience of traveling to a gym are the only things standing between you and your leaner self, a home treadmill might be the answer.
Treadmills offer a number of advantages to would-be exercisers:
- Can be used at a range of exercise intensity levels, from a slow walk to a strong run.
- Easy - walking and running are athletic skills we mastered as children.
- Provide a relatively low-impact exercise for your legs, heart and lungs.
- Some exercisers find walking more comfortable than being seated on an exercise bike.
- Allow for exercise in the home, so you can keep up on responsibilities.
- Eliminates the elements - rain, snow, heat or cold - as excuses to divert from exercise regime.
- With experience, hands can be free for other uses, such as reading. Because the device is stationary, you can also watch television during your workout.
Despite all their good, treadmills also have a few disadvantages, however:
- The sidewalk is free and good quality treadmills aren't cheap.
- The scenery doesn't change inside, and you won't be getting fresh air or sunshine.
- A potential hazard to children, from falls or contact burns.
- You have to pay for electricity.
- Compared to running outdoors, the powered treadmill may overwork hip flexors, and underwork glutes and calves in the push-off phase.
This guide is all about giving you options; you'll find the information you need to decide if putting a treadmill in your home is right for you.