Treadmills offer an all-weather run in the comfort of your own home. Running or walking on a treadmill is an excellent cardiovascular workout. It targets the majority of the leg's muscles; while keeping the back and abdominal muscles tight.
It seems appropriate that this sturdy piece of machinery, first invented as a brawny power source on farms, is now busting your butt into shape! The fitness equipment industry soon recognized that treadmills would allow exercise to be done indoors, at home, minus bad weather and the time it took to get to a gym.
Buying a treadmill can be compared to buying a car because ultimately - you get what you pay for. Make sure that you test drive a variety of models before settling on one. For example, if you want to do walking lunges on your treadmill get an extra-wide model. A quality treadmill will have at minimum a 2 horse power continuous motor. The deck should be able to absorb the impact so your joints don't.
Programmable treadmills are designed to duplicate an entire scope of terrains uphill, downhill, fast, slow. Long distance runners are willing to pay the extra for a programmable model, if they are able to simulate a multi-terrain course without ever leaving home.
How to properly run on a treadmill:
- Wear proper running shoes with cushioned soles that absorb the impact of running.
- Stretch your legs (see our Stretching Diagram under the Printable section).
- Standing on the treadmill, attach the safety cord to your workout pants. The safety cord will stop the treadmill immediately if you lose your balance or fall off.
- Program the treadmill and press start.
- Begin walking at a comfortable pace for a few minutes until your muscles feel warm and loose.
- Increase the pace and lengthen your strides in a brisk walk. Build up your running pace gradually, allowing your body to adapt.
Your pace will depend on whether you're running to increase endurance and burn calories (long, slower paced runs) or strength and speed (intervals of fast bursts and slower periods).