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Must-know Treadmill Benefits and Downsides Before you Hit the Deck

Published on:

Last Updated on:

December 16, 2022
A man is running on a treadmill for its health benefits

Wonder about the treadmill benefits? Many health gurus and professional trainers tell you to walk and run on the treadmill, but have they ever told you why? You might think it’s something as simple as it’s just good cardio, but we’re here to tell you it’s more than that.

First Off, What Kind Of Treadmills Are There?

There are specific benefits to each kind of treadmill, but the major difference is manual vs. electric. The manual treadmill is workout equipment that has a belt that you are responsible for moving yourself. Without a motor, the belt will move at different speeds simply depending on how fast you’re moving. And there is the electric treadmill which is a flat-belt table that gets powered by an electric motor with running speeds as high as 14 MPH at a constant speed that you stay at until you pick a new one. Meaning, unlike the manual treadmill, how fast you move does not change the treadmill’s speed.

Advantages Of Using A Treadmill

An athlete trying the benefits of a treadmill

Just like with any consistent exercise there are health benefits and body benefits, though we’ll go into the main advantages of running here:

Weight Loss

It might be the most highly recognized benefit, but we can’t deny the fantastic weight loss results that have come from working out on the treadmill. They burn way more calories and specifically belly fat than some other forms of aerobic exercises and are a great cardio exercise to add to your health journey. Whether it’s creating an extensive exercise program around the treadmill or simply adding it to your exercise routine you’re guaranteed to see the body fat slip away and an increase in muscle mass.

Heart Health

Treadmill exercises are one of the top cardiovascular exercises that are proven to improve your cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol levels. By elevating your heart rate to a healthy level continuously it’ll enable you to perform other exercises with increased safety and success. Treadmill training can help increase the circulation of blood flow, stabilize blood pressure, and lower the risk of heart disease.

Build Muscles and Bone Density

Exercising consistently on a treadmill is a great way to build muscles and improve bone density by increasing the number of minerals present in your bone tissue. This will help with preventing things like osteoporosis and reoccurring sprains.

Less Stress on your Body

If you need a low-impact exercise then walking on a treadmill and even running on a treadmill is considerably softer and easier on your joints than outdoor running on hard concrete or uneven surfaces. On a treadmill, there are no rocks, holes, or gravel that could cause injury or make it harder to walk/run. Most people who run do a combination of treadmill workouts and outdoor runs to get the benefits of both.

Assists With Diabetes

According to The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association, exercise like running five days a week can significantly help regulate your blood sugar levels.

While working out, your muscle tissues get glucose from your bloodstream for energy and assist in keeping your blood sugar levels in balance. There have also been studies that show how exercise can lead to an improvement in insulin sensitivity in adults, which can aid in controlling your levels as a diabetic. 

Easy to Use

Though treadmills can be bulky equipment, they’re pretty straightforward and easy to use even for a treadmill newbie. At the minimum, there’s a start and stop button along with speed and that’s all you really need. There are obviously more advanced treadmills with screens to display live workouts from professionals, but if you buy a manual treadmill or an older model it’s very simple to use. 

Mood-Boosting

Like most workouts, there’s an increase in happy hormones, and people who run often experience things like a “runner’s high,” which is a deep euphoric feeling from a release of endorphins following an intense exercise. 

Disadvantages Of Using A Treadmill

a range of treadmills in a gym

While there are many treadmill benefits, what about the not-so-good aspects of using or owning a treadmill?

Electric Treadmills Don’t Use All The Muscles Possible

If you’re using an electric treadmill then the treadmill belt does a lot of the exercise for you. While it’s still a great aerobic exercise, the way the treadmill belt propels your feet prevents the use of certain muscles unlike a manual treadmill, which moves when you move it and uses more leg muscles

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Can Be Expensive

While some treadmills can be reasonable especially if it’s purchased second-hand, the newer models can be expensive and since they usually have newer technology they are more likely to break and need maintenance, meaning more money invested. 

It’s Very Bulky

Unless you get a portable electric treadmill or a smaller manual one, most treadmill machines are extremely bulky and take up a lot of room so if you have an at-home gym with limited space, getting a treadmill might not be the best option.

Limited Kind Of Exercise

Although the list of treadmill benefits is long and beginner treadmill workouts are easy, there is really only so much you can do with the machine (all of which can be done outside). If you need a versatile, full-body machine then a treadmill might be lower on the list of equipment to get for your small gym.

A man is asking questions about the treadmill benefits

How many minutes should you spend on a treadmill?

If you are wondering how long should you run, it depends on your fitness goals, but a great starting point is walking or jogging for twenty minutes every day.

What is the best workout on a treadmill?

HIIT and incline training is a great workout for losing weight and toning leg muscles.

Which treadmill is the best?

There are so many to choose from, but a top competitor is any NordicTrack treadmill, especially their 32-inch Elite Treadmill.

How do I not get so bored on a treadmill?

If you’re someone who enjoys technology then getting a treadmill like the NordicTrack models with the iFit system that has a full library of pre-made workout sessions from professional trainers might be your best bet. That way, while you’re exercising you’re staying engaged and you’re less likely to get bored and give up.
Many health gurus and professional trainers tell you to walk and run on the treadmill, but have they ever told you why? You might think it’s something as simple as it’s just good cardio, but we’re here to tell you it’s more than that.

About Jordyn Snyder