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The Treadmill-Introduction

Elvis Elvis

As all runners know, it is not always convenient to run outside, so if you just can’t get away from the house then a treadmill could be the answer you are looking for.

The Mechanism

The basic principle of a treadmill is simple, it is based on a belt system .i.e. an electric motor or flywheel driving a circular run of material. The top of the belt moves to the rear in order to allow the runner to run an equal and essentially, opposite speed.

This mechanism allows the speed of the run to be set or measured, as the runner moves at the rate at which the belt moves.

Benefits of a Treadmill

A treadmill offers a vast range of benefits to a runner as against the conventional forms of outdoor running.

Here’s a few of the advantages of using a treadmill as a part of your training program:

a) Gives you the control to change and monitor your speed levels, which is great when training for a race.

The Treadmill Introduction

b) You can easily calculate the energy spent as all the main factors of the run are known

c) Specific features such as step count, heart rate monitors and amount of calories burnt, help you to design your fitness regime better

d) Exercise on a treadmill is at times less complexed than other cardiovascular exercises

e) Can be adjusted to provide you with different running experiences, such as hills, intervals, and tempo runs (subject to the type of treadmill)

f) You can use treadmills in the privacy and comfort of your own home and also do other things, such as watch television simultaneously, some treadmills even come with a built in screen, such as the Horizon Elite Entertainment Treadmill

g) Shock absorption offered by the treadmills provides the benefit of reduced impact, therefore resulting in fewer injuries.

h) Extremely useful in unfavorable weather conditions such as cold or rain, which hinder any outdoor activity

i) Exercising on treadmills is known to reduce strain on ankles, knees and the lower back and provides exercise to muscles in a uniform manner

Treadmills have become the favorite home exercise choice. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, the treadmills sales in the 1990s exceeded the sale figures of all other home exercise equipment.

Buying a Treadmill

There are a few things to take into consideration when buying a treadmill, here are a few important things to bear in mind.

1) Know your requirement: The first thing you need to consider is your own individual requirement. Look at the following factors:

- Space available
- Goal of exercise
- Budget

If you’re short on room, opt for a folding treadmill that collapses for easy storage. Similarly, if you have a limited budget, look for the discounts available on treadmills, especially on the internet. Discount and sale treadmills can offer you the best of deals on some of the finest treadmills on the market.( I personally picked up a Tunturi £1200 treadmill for only £700 via the internet and it has been fantastic !- Carl)

You should also decide whether you want a home treadmill or a club treadmill.

2) Cost matters: Although you might be working on a budget bear in mind that a treadmill with a slightly higher cost could give you added benefits that would be useful for your particular requirements. It is sometimes better to save a little longer to get the correct treadmill rather than jump in and buy the first and cheapest one that you see.

For instance, a £500 treadmill may serve the purpose. However, a £700 treadmill is likely to serve you for a longer time, ask for fewer repairs and offer more functions.

3) User-friendly traits: Look for features that make it easier for you to use the treadmill. Amongst others, these could include readouts, programmed workouts and heart-rate training capability.

You can also see if the treadmill’s speed and incline ranges suit your training requirement.

4) Commercial details: Go through the warranty details carefully. Examine the life expectancy figures listed in the literature. Normally, the range of an average treadmill’s life is seven to twelve years but some of the better end treadmills offer lifetime warranties on the motor, which could be costly to replace if the need arose.

5) Maintenance requirements: Enquire about the possible requirement of repair in the future. You should know that a treadmill is often difficult to repair and requires technical expertise. It helps to know how much after-purchase maintenance the machine will require.

6) Power measure : Look for the horsepower (h.p.) rating. Horsepower (h.p.) is a measure of motor power, you will require a 1.5 h.p. or a higher motor for a home treadmill. (see the guide at the bottom of this page.)

7) The Belt Size: Look for the correct belt size to facilitate the long stride and natural side-to-side movement of runners. Though 20-inch belts are available, you will probably find more 17 or 18 inch machines, meanwhile, the length of the running area should be at least 50 inches.

8) The Deck: The deck or the bed of the treadmill should be made of laminated wood, coated with lubricants to minimize friction between the belt and the deck. Second to the motor, this is one of the most important parts of a running machine.

9) Other parts: Requirements for some of the other parts of the treadmill are:

a) The frame should be of a high alloy steel. For a home treadmill, select a bolted frame.
b) The hand rails should be designed such that they don’t interfere with your arm swings.

Treadmill – Effective Usage

There are certain set of guidelines that will help you in using your treadmill most effectively. The main amongst these are:

a) Start with a walk. Set a normal speed of about 5 km/hour to start with.
b) Stay in the centre of the belt while you are running.
c) Pay attention to your environment and make it congenial for your exercise.
d) Change the elevation at regular intervals.
e) To maintain a correct running posture, see to it that you do not swing your arms outward.
f) Make a schedule and stick to it as far as possible.

Treadmill – Maintenance

Dust is considered as the primary killer of treadmills. To avoid any damage from the dust around the area, use a dry cloth once a week to wipe any dust between the belt and the back.

In addition, keep the floor around the treadmill clean and moisture-free.

Treadmill – Effective Usage

There are certain set of guidelines that will help you in using your treadmill most effectively. The main amongst these are:

a) Start with a walk. Set a normal speed of about 5 km/hour to start with.
b) Stay in the centre of the belt while you are running.
c) Pay attention to your environment and make it congenial for your exercise.
d) Change the elevation at regular intervals.
e) To maintain a correct running posture, see to it that you do not swing your arms outward.
f) Make a schedule and stick to it.

Treadmill – Maintenance

Dust is considered as the primary killer of treadmills. To avoid any damage from the dust around the area, use a dry cloth once a week to wipe any dust between the belt and the back.

In addition, keep the floor around the treadmill clean and moisture-free.