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Health benefits of treadmill: Should I buy a treadmill for home?BY: Swati | Category: Health and Fitness | Post Date: 2009-07-05
Treadmills are a true blessing for people that are cautious about their fitness but have limited time for exercise. Many experts suggest that treadmills are the most important exercise equipments of modern times. Health benefits of treadmill are enormous and you must consider to buy a treadmill for your home. Before I explain why one should buy a treadmill or it's health benefits lets go over some interesting facts.
Did you know that running and walking are the most natural physical activities for humans. Coincidentally they are the two best activities that keeps humans healthy, active and fit. Today we live in a capitalist economy where each one of us is busy in our own corporate worlds. Either you are a clerk, software engineer, businessman or CEO of a company, there is one thing in common among all of us - we all over stress our brain (which we should not do), but certainly do not get the daily dosage of physical activity required for our body. Our all day activities are SITTING, EATING, LIGHT WALKING AND SLEEPING.
Do you know how much physical activity do we need?
Well according to cdc.gov these are the MINIMUM weekly requirements for an average adult are:
* 2 hours and 30 minutes of BRISK walking AND 2 times of muscle-strengthening activities every week.
* 1 hours and 15 minutes of jogging or running AND 2 times of muscle-strengthening activities every week.
For even better health benefits, the running/walking requirements are about twice. Moreover these requirements are only for a healthy individual. If you are even slightly overweight, your requirements may be much more. Bottomline, "RUN FOR YOUR LIFE". Health benefits of treadmill:-
HEALTH BENEFITS OF TREADMILL AND MORE:
Treadmills provide an excellent cardio-vascular workout. Famous treadmill manufacturers have put in a lot of research so we can get maximum benefits out of these exercising machines. I personally prefer buying well known names than super cheap or unknown brand names. Popular treadmill models that I know are Healthrider, Landice, Life Fitness, Nordictrack, Precor, Proform, Reebok, Smooth, Sole, Spirit, SteelFlex, Tunturi and Weslo.
Since treadmills are placed indoor in our home they can be used at any time of the day (or night). If you have been jogging outdoors for all these days, you very well know that there are several interruptions that can stop you from exercising regularly. Unsuitable weather conditions like rain, excessive heat or cold can prevent you from exercising for weeks in a row and that can be a very de-motivating factor. Many people stop exercising because of prolong interruption in their daily workout schedule. There are many benefits of treadmill but convenience is the biggest factor.
* MONITOR YOUR WORKOUT:
Most treadmills have indicators regarding how many calories are burnt in a session, distance run, time and many even come with heart rate monitor. You can also set personal goals like how many calories you want to burn per week.
* EASY ON THE JOINTS:
Majority of treadmills have a built in cushion to reduce the impact during walking or running. Treadmills are a much better option than running on hard floor like roads because built in cushion are gentle on the joints of our body, especially knees.
* INCLINE OPTION:
The 'incline' walking/running option of treadmills helps us to alter the course and even burn more calories in less time. Inclining treadmill by 10 to 15 degrees can give you an even more tiring workout.
* PRE-PROGRAMMED WORKOUT OPTIONS:
Treadmills also have several built in programs which combine several speeds and inclination options to give a real world trekking experience.
* STEADY WORKOUT PACE:
If you run outside on sidewalks, you can be interrupted by red lights on intersections and traffic. Treadmills help to give us a more regular exercise pattern. If you buy a treadmill for home use, it will likely be one of the best decisions for your health.
Having your own treadmill lets you exercise in the privacy of your own home. People who are obese are often hesitant to go out and run in front of others, treadmills are an excellent privacy option for them. Likewise, girls living in shady neighborhood can do workout in their own home instead of going outside in jogging outfits.
Most treadmills are foldable if needed, although it is not recommended to try to fold them frequently as they can be heavy.
* COMBINE WITH LIGHT UPPER BODY EXERCISE:
If you use light weight dumbbells (like 3 pound dumbbells) in each hand and walk slowly (say between 2.5 to 3.5 speed) then you can have some good upper body exercise as well. I love to do this for about 10 minutes but this combo option is not for everyone because chances of stumbling and falling increase.
Most treadmills come with an auto-shut-off string in case you fall or go a bit far form the front side. Always wear the auto-shut-off string.
Many people use treadmills while listening to songs or watching TV, so the whole exercising process can be very enjoying. Although the safety aspect of this technique is questionable.
* NO CHILD CARE SERVICES IS NEEDED:
Your children can be monitored as you will not have to leave your home, otherwise you may have to leave them in a daycare.
Treadmills are relatively affordable, and almost anyone can own one. You can get fairly good treadmills for about $600.
* STRESS BUSTERS:
Studies have shown that exercising can reduce the level of stress that we have in our day to day life.
* HEALTH SYMBOL:
They are a public symbol that you are health cautious.
* NO MORE EXCUSES:
Having a treadmill at home gives great convenience. If you are a procrastinator, well you do not have any more excuses for not exercising.
SOME DISADVANTAGES OF TREADMILLS ARE:
Although there are several health benefits of treadmill, there are some obvious limitations too.
* TREADMILLS DIE:
Treadmills have their own life after which they will stop working. It is important to regularly perform servicing to keep them in good condition. Make sure your treadmill has a good manufacturers warranty.
* NOT EVERYONE ENJOYS TREADMILL:
Many people find walking/jogging in park with friends more enjoyable. They love the open air and ambience of fresh air that they do not get on a treadmill.
* THEY MAKE NOISE:
Treadmills make noise, some make less noise than others .If you live in an apartment or have people sleeping in the next room your ability to exercise during those times becomes restricted.
* BE PRACTICAL:
Many people get overly excited and overuse treadmills for initial few days, then experience soar muscles for the next few days. Others increase the pace of their workout too fast instead of gradually increasing workout level a bit each day. Everyone should use common sense while using treadmill, everyone has different limits on how much they can exercise.
* YOU CAN FALL AND GET INJURED:
It is important to leave atleast 5 feet open space behind treadmill, so just in case you fall there is enough space between the treadmill and the wall. Always use good running shoes and avoid wearing clothes which are very fluffy and may entangle while running. Follow safety booklet instructions which comes with the treadmill, if no safety manual has been provided by the supplier then ask them verbally on how to safely use it. Keep small children away from treadmill. Every treadmill has a maximum weight and height specification for the person using it (Ex: some treadmills will telll people over 120 KGs cannot use that model of treadmill).
* STEADY ELECTRICITY SUPPLY ESSENTIAL:
Places where electric supply is not reliable, treadmills can be an unreliable exercise equipment. This may not be an issue in most developed nations. Countries like India, China and Philippines can have unreliable power facility.
* AVOID MANUAL TREADMILLS:
I personally dislike manual treadmills (that are non-motorized). A motorized treadmill is easier to use than manual ones. Always select a motorized one and with a wide running mat.
Treadmills can be expensive, especially the higher models. Additionally there is a constant electricity bill associated with them.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER:
* Treadmills cost from several hundred dollars to over $5,000.
* The length of the belt should be long enough for an ample stride. Typical dimensions are at least 77 inches long, 30 inches wide and 53 inches high. For runners the dimensions may be a bit more.
* Select a treadmill with atleast a 1.5 horsepower, continuous-duty motor.
* Treadmill should be stable with handrails.
* Noise level, Warranty and Safety features.
* Avoid overly complicated treadmills.
Therefore, health benefits of treadmill are enormous, you should certainly consult your doctor before you buy a treadmill for home. Based on your personal health history, your doctor may advice you on certain things about treadmill usage.
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