There is no other home exercise equipment more popular than treadmills. Accounting for more sales than any other piece of fitness equipment, home and commercial treadmill sales continue to flourish. And it’s no surprise. Easy-to-use, easy to operate, plentiful features and reported to be the best machine for aerobic fitness and fat-burning, treadmill popularity continues to rise.
But what’s so good about the humble treadmill, and why are they so darn popular? Why not another piece of exercise equipment such as elliptical machines or exercise bike? This article highlights the main reasons why treadmills have experienced such success and why perhaps you too should get in on the action.
1. Home Treadmills Save Time
A big ‘excuse’ for many individuals is that they simply don’t have the time to go to a gym. You have to gather the right gym clothes, make-up or grab a sports drink, lock-up, make your way to the gym, exercise, shower, get back in the car…yikes. Depending on your proximity to your health club, the amount of traffic and more, a thrice-weekly visit to the gym can easily add an extra 3 hours of unproductive time.
With a home treadmill, you can just hop on whenever you like, you don’t really have to bother what you wear and you’re straight in the shower and off to your next thing. No more car journeys, no more traffic jams…point taken.
2. Save on Gym Fees
A yearly membership to a health and fitness club is not the cheapest fitness option. And once the year is up, you have to pay all over again. Compare to your trusty treadmill, buy once, get 12 years + use out of it (providing you purchase a good treadmill.
Of course, a part of some people’s reasons to visit a gym is the social aspect. Perhaps joining in the aerobics classes, yoga or other classes is a better option – and with many clubs, you can pay on a ‘as-you-go’ basis. If you want to build muscles, then good ol’ dumbbells, barbells and a weight-bench and perhaps a couple of buddies are all you need.
3. It’s Convenient
Having a home treadmill is a great bit of gear to have. Hop on anytime you like and get in a quick session when you feel like it – not just when you happen to have time to visit the gym and workout. You may only feel like a 20-minute run which is great. You unlikely spend ages getting to the health club just to spend 20 minutes on a treadmill.
4. More Likely to Stick With It
There have been numerous studies showing that home treadmill users are far more likely to stick with an exercise program than those who frequent a gym. Added convenience, more time, more enthusiasm and more options to do other things whilst running are all possible reasons for their findings.
It’s quick and easy to get in a home treadmill workout. Twenty minutes here, thirty minutes there, so much easier. Now going down the gym requires a lot more thought and motivation. Got to get up, walk/drive there…shucks, can’t be bothered with that. Too much time to talk yourself out of it. At home, your treadmill sits there and you just jump on do it – easy!
4. Great for all the Family
A real family machine, a good treadmill can be used by all members of your family. That’s more gym fees saved. And the good news is that many of the best treadmills have a good variety of workouts and user IDs, so each family member can select and save their treadmill workouts for future sessions.
5. Easier on the Joints
Running outside on hard surfaces such as concrete or grass is not too easy on your joints. Shins, ankles, knees, lower back, all receive impact from running. All good treadmills have well-cushioned surfaces and shock-absorption systems – reducing the impact on your joints.
6. Great for Single Parents
If you’re a single parent, then home treadmill workouts are a great option to have. Stay fit and healthy and keep an eye on your kids at the same time. No need for you to find friends, family or minders to look after your kids if you want to get a cardiovascular workout.
7. An Investment in your Health
If you buy a reasonably good treadmill from a top brand manufacturer such as Precor, Star Trac, Landice, Smooth, True or Trimline (and more), then you can expect to get many good years of use from your machine. 12 years and over is very possible if you look after and take care of your treadmill.
8. Easier to do Do Other Things
Many people like to listen to audio-cassettes and/or watch videos when they exercise. Working out in the comfort of your own home can give you lots more options over what to do. Crank up the home stereo system, turn on the TV and watch your favorite shows. If you like to do other things whilst running, a home treadmill can be a dream come true.
9. Avoid Adverse Weather
Even if you’re a dedicated runner, running when it’s freezing cold, snowing, blowing a gale or during a blizzard is not the best of options. You can stay inside and get a quality aerobic and anaerobic workout with your treadmill. A home treadmill ensures you get regular aerobic exercise – not just in the summer months when the weather is nice.
10. Easy To Use
Perhaps one of the main reasons why treadmills are so popular is that they are easy-to-use. Walking and running come naturally to people, so climbing on a treadmill and getting a workout requires little learning. Compare this to some other activities which require tuition on how to perform the moves correctly, and you can see how treadmills come out on top.
11. Treadmill Use Burns More Calories
According to some independent studies, treadmills are the best exercise equipment for burning calories. Reasons for this include the suggestion that many people tend to prefer running treadmills. The implication being that they exercise more effectively and for longer on a good quality treadmill.
12. Useful Treadmill Features
The best treadmills come with a good range of workout programs, safety features, heart rate monitors, workout programs and more. These all contribute to enhancing your treadmill enjoyment, motivation and interest levels. The added feedback and variety of workout options mean it’s more likely that you’ll stick to the program.
13. A Good Way to Wind Down
Hopping on a treadmill for half an hour after work is a great way to wind down after a day’s work. A quick workout session can be all you need to feel re-freshened and invigorated.
14. The Fitness Products Council
A trade association of more than 140 fitness equipment manufacturers found that treadmill users exercise with greater intensity. The study subjects burned up to 40% more calories on the treadmill than other typical machines.