Are you considering owning a treadmill?While a treadmill may be the most basic piece of cardio equipment, their impact on your workouts is anything but. A treadmill can be used for everything from high intensity interval training (HIIT) that will help you to lose weight fast to easy walks and lower impact jogging on your active recovery days. Here are a few considerations and helpful tips about shopping for and owning a treadmill.
What kind of people own treadmills?Treadmill owners are looking for a simple workout that will challenge them day after day, burning calories and improving their fitness. Treadmills aren’t just for runners (though they’re certainly popular with this group). They appeal to anyone who appreciates efficiency and getting an effective workout. Many treadmill owners also enjoy running or walking outdoors and appreciate the consistency of the workout this cardio machine provides with their recreational and athletic pursuits.
What are the benefits of a treadmill over other cardio machines for the home?Treadmills offer one of the most convenient workouts of any piece of cardio equipment. The movement used is as easy as walking or running. This machine also blasts through calories as you up the pace or the incline to increase your effort level. The treadmill workout is approachable for most people using and increase in incline or a walk to run program. Walking or running on the treadmill builds bone density, making it an excellent choice for baby boomers and busy moms. Additionally, many outdoor runners appreciate the cushioning provided by the deck of the treadmill when building up mileage, returning to their sport, or maintaining fitness over the winter. One final benefit of a treadmill is the efficiency of its design. The capability of folding up the deck of many models means that it fits well when floor space is tight.
Specific Workouts for Fitness and Weight loss:Runners love the fact that a treadmill workout can be used as an alternative to an outdoor run in any training plan. Additionally, by setting the pace and incline, you can take some of the guesswork out of your training runs or walks, knowing that you are progressing towards your goals. If you don’t already consider yourself a runner, you may want to try using the incline setting on your treadmill to increase your effort level and calorie burn. If you’re looking to burn belly fat and lose weight fast, the Sprint 8 technology available on some Vision brand cardio machines takes the guesswork out of high intensity interval training. These highly effective, 20 minute sessions include only four minutes of maximum effort and are based on your age and fitness level. The effectiveness of this programming approach is supported by research in reducing body mass, waist circumference, and resting heart rate!
One of my favorite workouts builds on this efficient and effective approach to training. After a five minute warm-up (walk or jog depending on your comfort level), increase the incline or speed to bring your heart rate to 85% of your maximum heart rate. Hold this effort level for 60 to 90 seconds. Reduce your effort level for the remainder of the next five minutes until your heart rate returns to less than 75% of your maximum. Repeat this pattern two more times, finishing with an easy jog or walk for the remainder of the 20 minutes. Combine this workout with a simple strength training program that includes core work, lunges, and push-ups for a total body workout that can be completed in just 30 minutes and will help you to lose fat while gaining strength and improving your performance in running and daily activities.
What to look for when shopping for a treadmill:Try out the machine you’re considering. Look for a level of cushioning that responds to your needs, especially if you want to reduce the impact of outdoor workouts. You want a sturdy frame that will hold up to daily use. A continuous-duty horsepower motor, with a digital drive system, will provide a constant supply of power to the belt, ensuring that you don’t experience ebbs and surges in the performance of your machine. An adjustable, power incline will provide you with greater variety in your workouts and the ability to increase your effort level without increasing your speed. If you plan to run, make sure your treadmill will keep up with you, ideally with a speed of up 12 miles per hour. Also, note that belts come in different lengths and widths. Taller runners may want to try out different machines to ensure that they will be comfortable as they turn up the pace.
Treadmills also offer a lot of extras that can make your workout more effective, fun, and comfortable. Sprint 8 technology offered on Vision products, can take the guesswork out of intense training. ViaFit compatibility, included on some models of both Horizon and Vision cardio equipment, provides workout tracking that integrates with your favorite fitness apps or provides an independent format for tracking workouts and networking with friends, family, and fitness buddies. These machines can also be integrated with the Passport Virtual Technology, allowing you to take your run to exotic and beautiful global destinations. Many consoles offer effective, pre-programmed workouts that keep your sessions in line with your training goals, whether that’s active recovery or calorie blasting. Lastly, you may also want to consider comfort features, including a built-in fan and audio input and speakers.
The take home?Treadmills are among the most straightforward cardio machines to use, bringing the simplicity of running and walking into your own home. These workouts will challenge you and remain fresh. Your treadmill will take you through training for road races, while also providing immediate feedback and programming. You can join a community to add interest and feedback to your training schedule and get customized workouts. The right machine will stand up to hard training, while adding excitement and convenience to your active recovery days.
About the writer: Joli Guenther is a certified personal trainer, yoga instructor and clinical social worker practicing in and around Madison, Wisconsin. Learn more about Joli.