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Using a treadmill for running at home can be a convenient way for people to maintain and improve their fitness.
Treadmills offer some benefits compared with running outdoors, but there are also some potential safety issues that people should bear in mind.
This article provides tips on using a treadmill for running and discusses the best products to consider, the health benefits and risks, and alternative fitness equipment.
The best way for a person to get the full benefits from a treadmill is to establish a fitness routine that fits their lifestyle.
A person can first consider why they are purchasing a treadmill and what they want to accomplish. Someone who wants to use a treadmill to train for races through the off-season will have different needs than someone who wants a treadmill to help them become more active.
People can get the most out of a treadmill by:
- planning and setting goals for the duration and level of exertion of each workout
- warming up carefully by walking slowly for several minutes and increasing the intensity gradually to see how the treadmill works at different speeds
- raising and lowering the incline slowly
- keeping treadmill workouts interesting by doing a mix of steady runs, intervals, hill training, and tempo runs
- increasing the difficulty of workouts gradually over time
- tracking the level of exertion with monitors or by observing the breath
- cooling down with slow walking for 5–10 minutes at the end of each session
- making sure that the machine will stop if the user stumbles or falls by clipping the safety key onto the clothing
Can treadmills allow you to do more than running?
People can incorporate strength training into treadmill workouts by using hand weights, resistance bands, or their own body weight.
For example, they can stop the treadmill, step off, and do one set of strength-training exercises before stepping back on and running again for a brief period. They can repeat this cycle throughout the workout.
People looking to do a whole body workout can perform a different exercise each time they step off the treadmill to target a different muscle group.
Many different treadmills are available to purchase for use in the home. Below, we look at four of the best options.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based.
Horizon T101 Treadmill
Horizon Fitness claim that this treadmill will suit those seeking a treadmill with fewer features and a lower price tag.
Designed for quick folding and easy storage, this treadmill is straightforward to set up and use. It has a 55-inch cushioned deck to support running and walking.
A Bluetooth connection, integrated speakers, rapid-charge USB port, and device holder help people stay connected during their workouts. It comes with a lifetime frame and motor warranty.
SOLE F63 Treadmill
The 3.0 HP engine allows this treadmill to reach speeds of up to 12 mph. It also has 15 different incline levels, alongside six preset program options.
This treadmill comes with built-in speakers to accommodate music players. It also has cooling fans and a user-friendly display, providing personal running statistics. It can support body weights of up to 325 lb.
The frame and motor come with lifetime warranties, while the deck, electronics, and parts each have a 3-year warranty. There is also a 1-year labor warranty.
Bowflex Treadmill 22
This treadmill allows for speeds ranging from 0 to 12 miles per hour (mph). It also offers motorized inclines ranging from 5% to 20%.
The product comes with extended handlebars for steep inclines, heart rate sensors on the handgrips, a 22-inch console, and an adjustable touch screen.
Bowflex also provide a free 2-month membership that lets users participate in online coaching through personalized workouts.
This treadmill offers 26 different workout programs and a Bluetooth connection. The manufacturers have designed it to help people find workouts that meet their needs, keep them interested, and let them track their data.
The Explore the World app lets people run in real-time in 19 different locations across the globe.
It is easy to move and store this treadmill, even though it can support user weights of up to 300 pounds (lb).
The Nautilus T616 comes with a 10-year warranty for the frame and drive motor, a 3-year warranty for the mechanical and electronic parts, and a 1-year labor warranty.
A treadmill gives people the ability to walk or run when it suits their schedule, regardless of the time of day or the weather. This convenience and flexibility make it easier for a person to maintain or improve their fitness level.
Treadmills offer numerous potential benefits, including:
- targeting key muscle groups, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves
- giving people the ability to adapt the speed and level of incline to suit their fitness levels
- providing support in the form of handrails for people recovering from injuries
- providing an even running surface, which reduces the risk of stumbling or tripping in comparison with running outdoors
The risks of using treadmills for running come from the combined hazards of running in general and using a treadmill. Potential risks include:
- poor posture due to holding onto the handrails
- altered running gait
- stumbling on the machine or belt
- breakdown of equipment over time
- joint pain
- sore feet and calves
- injuries from falls or incorrect use of the equipment
People with concerns about using a treadmill for running due to health conditions should speak with a doctor.
Treadmills are a popular type of home gym equipment, but there are other options:
- Stationary bicycles: Stationary bicycles tend to be less expensive than other forms of home workout equipment, although high end models with online connections can have higher price points. People may find it easier to use a device while exercising on a stationary bike. Learn about the best exercise bikes here.
- Rowing machines: Indoor rowing machines provide a workout for the legs, core, back, and arms. Using an indoor rowing machine can also help people improve their posture and flexibility. To get the most benefit from a rowing machine, the user must be sure to use proper form. Learn about the best rowing machines here.
- Elliptical trainers: These provide a low impact aerobic workout, which means that they do not cause the wear and tear on joints that running or walking can. Many of these machines can work both the upper and lower body.
Being physically active is essential for health. Purchasing a treadmill for home use can help people exercise when it suits them.
A range of treadmills is available for home use. People should decide how they plan to work out before making a purchase so that they can determine what features are important to them. Treadmills with more features are likely to have higher price tags.