Running on a treadmill may not be the definition of inspiring. It’s sweaty, undignified, and can sometimes feel like monotonous pounding. Unlike when you get outside and start running, there are no details of the scenes around you to observe, and no view to make the pain feel worth it. Arguably, immersing yourself in a gym workout and gritting your teeth as sweat pours down your cheeks is only worth the end results. Yet there are advantages to running on a treadmill, some of these obvious and others less so:
- Weather doesn’t have to be a factor. Have you ever sat there crunching your cereal, gazing with mounting despair out of the window at sideways rain? Treadmills mean it’s possible to still get your endorphin fix, without also taking a battering from the elements. In an increasingly uncertain climate, what could be a better tool for helping you stay fit, strong and healthy?
- You can get into your own head. That’s right. When you’re on a treadmill, you don’t have to worry about pedestrians, cars and bikes, or a dog walker whose dog barks fiercely at you and seems to contemplate chasing you. If you can manage to ignore the mirrors that display your own red mottled sweating reflection, it’s the ideal occasion to listen to whatever you please on your iPod, and turn the volume up loud. Some gyms even allow you to simultaneously watch telly!
- You can tell precisely how much you’ve achieved – to the nearest calorie. You can regulate your speed, to the nearest kilometre per hour. And face it, there’s something very satisfying about knowing how much of a difference you’ve made, or the speeds you’ve achieved.
Bring your gym into your home
Increasingly, a gym within one’s own home is becoming something commonplace and popular. It is no longer the preserve of those who live in homes with a 7 figure value, to dedicate house space to cardiovascular exercise and physical conditioning. It is now possible to introduce a treadmill to your living space for less than £100, and there are a huge range of types and models available. With treadmills to suit every budget, every size and shape, every gait and speed, here’s a quick look at some of the advantages to avoiding the gym and working out from the comfort of your own home:
- There’s less opportunity to compare yourself to other people. Ever felt under far too much pressure, and failed to zone out from the fact that the person next to you is running faster and on a steeper incline? Ever been plagued by simple fears about body image, that the person next to you looks slimmer or fitter? Training from a treadmill in your own home leaves you free to just be you and go however fast or slow you please,
- Sheer convenience. Even if you live down the road from your local gym, you still have to pack a bag, lock the house, get changed at the changing rooms, swipe a card. At home, you can literally fall out of bed and on to your treadmill, if that does it for you.
- Time: supposing you only have 10 minutes before you need to collect the children from school, or cook supper, or head out to work? You couldn’t very well fill that 15 minutes with a walk to the gym and back, and a meaningful cardio workout. Increased opportunities to cram in little bits of training could actually allow you to be fitter overall
So, you’ve decided to invest in a treadmill. Now here’s a look at why a curved treadmill could well be right for you
- There have always been those who claim, perhaps with some justification, that by running on a treadmill instead of in a real environment, you’re cheating yourself. An electronic treadmill necessitates a very repetitive, robotic action that actually doesn’t use as many fibres. You can escape all of this by considering a manual, or curved treadmill, which also doesn’t need a plug or a power pack. No more robots and no more tangle of cables across your living room floor.
- An electronic treadmill is not good at simulating a natural gait. When we run in real life, we very seldom move constantly and continuously, at exactly the same pace, for long periods of time. When you’re on the treadmill and you’ve set the speed, unless you want to fall off, you don’t really have a whole lot of choice. With a curved treadmill, you go as fast as you can go.
- A curved treadmill is entirely powered by your legs, your lungs, your heart. This means that you can run in the style that is natural to you, and using whatever gait works. You run like how you would outdoors, rather than how the machine dictates that you run. The only difference to genuine running is that you also have to drive the belt, meaning the treadmill could place up to 30% more demand on you, making it more effective in its job of sculpting you into a lean, mean, fitness machine.
The only disadvantages that we can really see to investing in a curved treadmill are the fact that you might not be fit enough to work that bit harder, with the consequence that you end up shirking the treadmill workout altogether. That really depends on the individual.
Some people might view curve treadmills as being poor value for money. For a top of the range model, such as the Primal Strength curved treadmill, you could be forking out up to four times the sum you might expect to pay for its electric counterpart, and this when it actually does less to assist you with your workout. It’s all down to whether assistance is really what you’re after.
You’ve decided you want a curved treadmill. So, what are the options?
- This baby hits your wallet pretty hard, pricing in at an average of around £5000
- For that price, you get up to the moment data about your calories, heart rate, the distance you have travelled during this workout, the time that’s taken, and your consequent speed
- The shock absorbing technology this machine boasts is second to none. It is lightweight and strong, built from separate treads of an advanced composite material. it provides plenty of spring, making this machine particularly ideal if you’re a little heavier
- The curve of this machine supports a running gait that uses the balls of your feet. This significantly reduces the impact on your joints, and also pushes your body forwards, engaging more of your muscle groups and allowing for a more complete workout
- The belt on the Speedfit is almost noiseless. You need do nothing to maintain it. Literally hop on and go.
- At a glance, the Speedfit Curved Treadmill might appear expensive, but given that you get many extras that might amount to individual costs, and given that using the machine is effortless, £5000 begins to seem like reasonable value. All this, and the treadmill comes with a 3 year warranty, just on the off chance it develops a fault, or you find it isn’t suiting your workout style
- This machine costs between £100 and £200, and for that price, it folds away neatly and comes with the hindrance of any wires or cables
- Its computer tells you essential information that includes speed, distance and calories. No heart rate.
- The conveyor belt is flat and on a fixed incline, yet it is smooth and magnetic and there are eight levels of difficulty available. Powered entirely by your legs, the Confidence Fitness can be used at any place, at any time, and with virtually no maintenance.
- Accompanied by a 1 year warranty, the only real concern with this machine might be that it’s a bit flimsy. Even so, this shouldn’t be the cause of much concern if you weigh less than 100kg
The amount you can spend on a curved treadmill varies perhaps more wildly than with electric treadmills. Some come with cutting edge science, and can provide an extremely accurate simulation of running outdoors, perhaps on a bouncy rubber track. For about a day’s wages, you can become the proud owner of an extremely versatile machine such as the Confidence Fitness. If you’re won over to the idea of running outdoors, indoors, and not feeling like a robot in the process, there’s almost guaranteed to be a treadmill available to suit your budget and your training goals.