Exercise Tips

Exercise Tips2018-10-08T09:19:41+00:00

The benefits of using a treadmill for exercise

Most people already know that exercising on a regular basis is the best thing they can do for their bodies. However, it’s one thing to know what you should do and another to actually do it. A lot of people come up with various excuses to avoid working out, especially outdoors.

It could be the foul weather, uneven road surfaces, lack of enough space for running, traffic pollution, unwanted attention, or dangerous neighbourhoods. That’s where treadmills come in. A treadmill is an ideal exercise option for everyone. This equipment comes with a range of features that beginners, intermediates, as well as advanced exercisers can use to achieve their fitness goals. Understanding the benefits of using treadmills for exercise will not only help you stay in shape but also make your workout sessions enjoyable.

The Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Using Treadmills for Exercise

I. Lose Weight Fast

Running on a treadmill for just 20 minutes at 6mph can easily burn away 229 calories on average. And, you can burn even more by using the machine’s incline feature or following HIIT principles. Combining your 30 minutes daily workout sessions with a healthy diet will get you your ideal weight in no time.

II. Improve Mental Health

Being physically active also helps with mental wellness. Exercising causes the brain to release increased amounts of endorphins, which are chemical compounds in the brain responsible for making one happy. This goes without saying that using treadmills for exercise directly contributes to reduced amounts of stress, anxiety, and depression. It also boosts energy levels and helps you sleep better, improving your general mental health.

III. Improve Heart Health

Heart diseases are currently among the leading causes of death. Exercising regularly on a treadmill gives a great cardiovascular workout, which helps improve heart health. It strengthens your heart, improves blood circulation throughout the entire body, and helps reduce bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol.

IV. Low Impact

Every time you run on hard surfaces, your legs take a lot of impacts. Eventually, this can lead to knee, back, and ankle problems, which can become severe as you age. Treadmills have relatively soft surfaces, even running platforms, plus, modern models come with shock absorption as well. This reduces impact, lowering joint pain and other aches.

V. Muscle Building and Toning

Generally, exercising on a treadmill works your lower body, including the leg muscles, gluteal muscles, calves, hips, and thighs. Treadmills come with built-in handles that allow you to add your upper body to your workout, helping you build and tone arm muscles as well.

VI. Improve Stamina and Endurance

Exercising on a treadmill regularly will help build your ability to engage in physical activity over time. Shorter, high-speed workouts will build your capacity to do high-intensity exercise, whereas moderate-intensity walking helps build stamina and endurance.

VII. Build Bone Density

Regular running on a treadmill builds bone density, which refers to the number of minerals found in the bones that contribute to their durability and strength. A higher bone density helps you combat diseases like osteoporosis.

How Does Using a Treadmill Compare to Other Forms of Exercise

There are several forms of exercises that can help you stay in shape. Outdoor activities are often considered more effective; however, you always have to prepare for the unexpected variables that may hinder your workout. This makes indoor exercises much more reliable. Even though there’s a wide variety of exercise machines for indoor exercising, treadmills are more dynamic and offer interesting workouts. Here’s how treadmills compare to other forms of exercise:

I. They are Fun

Most people cite lack of time and the fact that exercising is not enjoyable as a reason why they lack physical activity in their life. Using a treadmill makes workouts more enjoyable. It allows you to do other things while working out. For instance, you can walk and at the same time read or watch TV. You can also listen to music during workouts, keeping them more interesting.

II. You Are in Control of Your Workouts

Treadmills come with several features that keep you completely in control of your workout conditions with more accuracy. You are in control of your speed and incline levels, distance, time, warm up, and cool down. Depending on your fitness level, you are able to customize the workout to your liking and abilities.

III. Easily Track Your Progress

Treadmills come with digital monitors that show you important info like heart rate and calories burned. This helps you track your progress over time, which is important, especially if you are working towards a specific fitness goal.

IV. Offer a Variety of Workout Programs

Most modern treadmills come with a variety of pre-programmed workouts. These workouts can challenge your speed and incline, making the entire session more challenging and less boring.

What are the Advantages of Being Able to Exercise Using a Treadmill at Home?

I. Easy to Use

When it comes to exercise equipment, treadmills are among the easiest to use. They require virtually no effort to set up. Most of them will simply require you to press a few control panel buttons, choose the settings you want, and you are good to go. If you don’t understand the treadmill, don’t worry, it comes with instruction manuals that will make work easier for you.

II. Safety and Security

Running alone, especially during dark hours is less than ideal. Treadmills offer the same results you would get running outdoors but in a much secure environment, probably in the comfort of your home. They also come with some degree of shock absorption that reduces the impact of running. This reduces injuries while working out.

III. Privacy

Some people don’t like the unwanted attention that comes with exercising outdoors. If you are a self-conscious person, you can still workout regularly using a treadmill at home.

IV. Consistency

Treadmills are an effective and convenient way to ensure you are staying active. They allow you to exercise in the comfort of your home whenever you want, which helps you to stay consistent. Plus, you have no excuse for not working out when outdoor elements are unfavourable. Consistency is mostly important for individuals with a specific fitness goal to achieve.

V. Allows You to Multitask

Treadmills can make workouts feel less of an exercise as it allows you to do other things simultaneously. You can get your workout while watching TV, listening to music, reading, and taking coffee. This keeps exercising more interesting, which is important to achieve long-term physical activity.

Scientific/medical Research about Using Treadmills for Exercise

Walking and running are the most studied forms of locomotion. The treadmill has always been a useful scientific tool in these studies since it offers a variety of speed/slope combinations, which isn’t easy to find in nature. Some of the scientific/medical research about using treadmills for exercise includes:

  • The University Of Maryland School Of Medicine and the Baltimore VA Medical Centre Parkinson’s exercise trial: The research studied participants walking on treadmills. The study found that low-intensity treadmill workout is ideal for improving mobility in people with Parkinson’s disease compared to high-intensity workouts.
  • Scientists at Johns Hopkins: Research by these scientists show that treadmill exercise can retrain the body and brain of stroke victims.

How Regularly Can a Treadmill Be Used?

A treadmill is an effective tool for getting the recommended dose of cardiovascular workout. NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on a weekly basis. This can be achieved by using a treadmill for 30 minutes daily, 5 days per week. You can also choose to do 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. But, if you want to speed up weight loss or create a vigorously healthy body, then you should increase your exercise time to over 300 minutes per week. Depending on your fitness level, the number of times you use a treadmill can go up, so long as you reach the recommended exercise times.

When deciding how regularly to use treadmills, pay attention to any signals your body is giving you. If you notice signs of dizziness, nausea, feeling light-headed, or pain of any kind, it’s better to reduce your intensity or stop working out altogether until the symptoms subside. If they become a regular problem, consult with your doctor.

How are Treadmills Used by Individuals of Different Health and Fitness Levels?

Treadmills are versatile, and as such, can be used by everyone and for everything from HIIT to easy walks and low impact workouts. Beginners should focus on sessions with slow, continuous rhythm. Whereas, sports enthusiasts tend to use interval running training program, which is more or less an intensive workout method. Treadmills also come with a variety of features to help individuals of different health and fitness levels. For instance:

  • Cushioning: People who suffer from joint pain or have had an injury before should use treadmills with higher amounts of cushioning.
  • Incline: Incline settings are ideal for more advanced runners. This feature allows your treadmill to mimic an uphill, downhill running experience. Plus it can be adjusted to fit different fitness levels.
  • In-built workout programs: Treadmills come with a wide variety of pre-programmed workout programs that are suitable for different individuals with different health and fitness levels. Plus, these programs pose a real balance challenge for beginners.
  • Control panel: Most modern treadmills come with elaborate training modes that allow you to preset specific incline and speed over certain time frames. More advanced options are even programmed with Google maps to allow you to set a route while the control panel automatically adjusts inclines. Control panels are good as they help different individuals track their fitness levels in different modes.

Can treadmills also be used to Prepare for Other Forms of Exercise?

Yes they can. Using treadmills for exercise is a great way to introduce variability into your workouts. Using the incline setting and the control panel can allow you to easily prepare for competitive events like ultra-long marathons. As we’ve seen earlier, treadmills help you lose weight, build upper and lower body muscles, improve stamina, and so much more. All these benefits allow you to engage in other forms of exercise with ease.

The Importance of the Warm-Up

So, your new piece of fitness equipment has arrived. It looked fantastic in the box, just as you had hoped. You’ve added the finishing touches and ensured that it’s stable. You’ve positioned it just where you wanted it, read the manual and you’re ready to go!

But, what one minute! Before leaping on to your brand new treadmill, there’s a critical step that you simply can’t ignore: you need to warm-up.

The warm-up is an important and yet often under-estimated element of any exercise event. It not only helps to protect you from injury but can also increase the effectiveness of your session. Let’s take a closer look at why a great warm-up really matters:

What does warming-up mean?

We’ll all probably familiar with the phrase warming-up, but what is a warm-up exactly? Put very simply, it’s a pre-session, to be undertaken prior to your main activity. During the warm-up, you’ll carry out some stretching exercises and some very light cardiovascular activity.

Precisely what should I do?

There are a number of exercises that are well suited to your warm-up routine. Fundamentally, you have two main aims:

  • You are gearing up your muscles, getting them ready for the exercise routine that is to follow. By stretching your muscles, you warm them up, preparing them for the main exercises that will follow
  • Cardiovascular exercises, on the other hand, will start to bring the heart rate up. They increase circulation and your core body temperature

Why do I need to do all of this?

Many exercise sessions will involve rapid movements. By building up slowly, you’ll help to get your body in the best condition to avoid injuries.

Is this really necessary?

You may think that walking is itself a form of warming-up. If you play team sports, for example, then walking may be a part of your preparations. So why would you bother warming-up before stepping on to a treadmill? That’s certainly true, but there’s value in a short warm-up here too.

Many treadmill users are looking to gain fitness and may be starting from a relatively low level. This can leave them more susceptible to injuries. Prior to an intense sporting activity, a 30-minute warm-up may be appropriate. When preparing for a treadmill session, a lighter warm-up is likely to be right for you. But just as warming-up helps avoid injuries during intensive sessions, so it can help here too.

What if you feel pain?

If you feel pain during your normal exercise routine, or as part of the warm-up, then this may indicate a wider problem. A great exercise session is designed to improve your overall levels of fitness, but it certainly shouldn’t ever put your body at risk. If you are suffering pain, then it’s always best to consult a medical professional.