If you want to exercise, and you love running, but you’re less than enthusiastic about doing it in all sorts of weather or traffic conditions, you may be thinking of investing in a home running machine, i.e. a treadmill for running at home.
For running, a treadmill is still the best option for indoor exercise.
Good machines will offer speeds ranging from a slow walk to a full run, so you can mix easy workouts with more difficult ones.
Maybe you’ve used a treadmill at the gym or health club, and you’re thinking of buying one for home use. It could be that you find it hard to get to the gym three or four days out of any given week, which is the usual level of use that’s recommended for maximum benefit.
Or maybe you just find the fees a bit much.
If that’s the case, a home treadmill can give you all the benefits of walking or running, and these days quality equipment really isn’t all that expensive.
You can find out more about the history of the treadmill in this excellent article by Josh Douglas-Walton.
What Are the Advantages of a Running Machine?
Running and walking provide you with the best overall form of exercise for cardio fitness, weight loss and toning, and when adjusted properly can give you a full fat-burning workout.
You can go for an easy workout that provides cardio benefits, or ratchet it up to burn calories fast.
Treadmill exercise mainly works your legs, calves, and glutes.
You can go with a long workout to provide overall health benefits and toning, or you can work out longer and harder to improve blood circulation and give your muscles a real workout. The speed and the workload are up to you. You can decide how long you’re going to walk and run, at what speed, and at what incline.
When you compare a treadmill workout with running on the road or on a track, you don’t have to worry about obstacles or on-ground hazards, and you get to choose the “terrain.” If you want an uphill workout, it’s there for you, or if you’d rather just take it slow, you can do that as well.
If you want an intense, weight-loss workout, you can run.
If you’re recovering from an injury or an illness and just trying to get moving again, you can go for an easy walk.
You choose the workout, and you never have to deal with unfamiliar or potentially dangerous conditions.
How Can You Choose the Right Running Machine?
Generally speaking, treadmills deliver the same benefits in terms of cardio health and overall fitness.
However, treadmills for running can differ in size, speed, and slope options.
In the gym, you can find professional-level treadmills that offer speeds of close to 30km per hour – that’s marathon speed! Most people won’t require this at home. A treadmill that offers walk to jog to brisk run more than suffices.
Many home treadmills approach gym quality. For somewhere in the neighborhood of a thousand dollars, you can buy a home treadmill that offers a variety of speeds and inclines, and also provides digital readout that will tell you how far you’ve walked or run, how fast, and at what level of incline.
Ideally, when purchasing a home treadmill, you should buy the best you can afford, and as we’ve stated, about a thousand dollars gets you the best value and quality short of a piece of gym or health club equipment.
Many running machines come with additional features like cooling fans and iPod docks, so it’s really a matter of how much you want to spend on “bells and whistles.”
There is no shortage of brands, but very few offer the same range and quality as the bigger players such as Schwinn, Vibram, Life Fitness, Sole Fitness and Johnson Health Tech. We currently recommend the Sole F63 treadmill from Sole Fitness.
Consider the Benefits of Treadmill Running
We’ve already talked about some of the general advantages of using a home treadmill, but let’s get specific.
Here’s what a home running machine will do for you:
- You’ll get a great aerobic workout that challenges your lungs, heart, and muscles to get stronger and more efficient.
- Your circulatory system will improve.
- Your leg muscles will “tear down” with a vigorous workout, and then rebuild themselves stronger.
- You’ll sweat, and expel retained water and impurities.
- Your lower back will become stronger because of the effort you expend holding your body upright.
For the best home workout, a treadmill provides cardio and strengthening benefits.
You’ll burn calories faster, and lose weight more quickly.
As you continue to work out, your overall health will improve. Home treadmills are inexpensive compared with the cost of gym memberships, and you never have to worry about weather conditions.
Whether you want a single piece of machinery, or you’re building your own all-inclusive home gym, start with a treadmill running machine.