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Comparing Treadmills With Other Exercise Equipment

Wednesday, June 23rd

Comparing Treadmills with Other Exercise Equipment

Most Americans do not get enough exercise. Statistics on the lack of activity most American adults receive on a daily basis are startling. A reported seven out of 10 adults do not engage in any kind of exercise, and of the 62 percent who do, it is not on a regular basis.

Exercise is vital for maintaining good health. Roughly 300,000 U.S. deaths per year are attributed to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke - all of which can be greatly reduced through a regular exercise regimen.

If you are among the seven out of 10 adults who do not get any regular exercise, there are things you can do to make it easier for yourself. Even 30 minutes of moderate walking, five times per week can be enough to improve your health. One of the easiest ways to ensure getting a walk in that frequently - despite outside weather conditions - is with a treadmill.

If you do not have a gym membership, but wish to purchase a treadmill for use at home, there are a few things to consider.

First and foremost, do you have enough free space to accommodate a treadmill? Most non-folding treadmills are the size of a loveseat, so you will need at least that much space to adequately store it.

Even if you have adequate space, you may want to ask yourself if a treadmill is a better investment than any other piece of exercise equipment. Let's compare it with some other popular exercise equipment to determine if it is a good investment.

Treadmills vs. Elliptical Trainers

Treadmills and elliptical machines are two of the most popular pieces of exercise equipment on the market today. Both provide an excellent cardiovascular workout, but each has very different specifications.

The benefit of a treadmill is that it provides a hard-impact experience, which is good for maintaining bone density. Runners tend to prefer treadmills over elliptical trainers because they can get a more intense workout on a treadmill. If you are used to running, an elliptical will not provide a satisfactory experience.

The downside to a treadmill is the same as its benefit - it provides a high-impact workout. For some people who have knee or joint pain, a treadmill may prove to be a very painful experience. For these exercisers, an elliptical trainer would be best.

That brings us to the main benefit of using an elliptical trainer versus a treadmill. Ellipticals provide an intense leg and cardiovascular workout with minimal impact to the joints. Someone with bad knees would find an elliptical trainer very beneficial in that they would still receive a calorie-burning workout without stressing their joints.

Another big benefit to an elliptical is that you can reverse motion, pedaling "backwards" on it. Reversing the motion allows you to exercise your lower body in an entirely different manner.

Treadmills vs. Exercise Bikes

We've already discussed the benefits and drawbacks to treadmills. Let's talk about exercise bikes in comparison with treadmills.

There are two kinds of bicycles: stationary and recumbent. Stationary bikes mimic the kind of bike you would ride outdoors. They can be very stressful on the knees and joints, so for exercisers who need to avoid that, a stationary bike would not be ideal. They provide a very intense workout, so for those looking to burn the maximum of calories in a shorter period of time, a stationary bike is competitive with a treadmill in that respect.

Recumbent bikes are positioned differently than stationary bikes, taking the stress off of the joints in the lower body. For that reason, they may be more suitable to someone with arthritis in their joints or someone who has had prior knee injuries. Like elliptical machines, they provide low-impact workouts that still burn plenty of calories.

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Treadmill FAQ

As one of the most commonly-used pieces of gym equipment, treadmills are usually the first machine people think of when setting up a workout space at home. Whatever your level of fitness, a treadmill can help you make progress: from low-intensity walking to running intervals on an incline, the possibilities are endless (and they don't depend on the weather!)
It depends on the model you choose. Some machines allow you to fold the tread surface up towards the console, similar to a Murphy bed. But, with the higher-end machines that come with plenty of features like live-coached workouts or sky-high incline capabilities, you're likely to need a reasonable amount of floor space. Check the dimensions of any treadmills you're considering and compare them against the places you're thinking of keeping your machine.
You might be surprised to learn that you can get a basic treadmill for under $600. On the other end of the spectrum, you'll see prices in the $9,000 and up range for models exactly like what you'd use at a fitness center or gym. Fortunately, there are plenty of mid-range options that give you good features, top-notch tech and durability without breaking your budget.
Yes. Coverage varies, and most manufacturers have different timeframes of warranty protection for the frame, electronics, and any labor costs. You may also be able to add an extended warranty and/or maintenance plan, to keep your treadmill in good shape for longer.
How does "free" sound? Many retailers of treadmills give you no-cost delivery. Just be aware that if you return your treadmill, you're likely to be on the hook for the shipment costs to get it back to the store (and your refund may have their original shipping costs deducted from it!).
Check the retailer's policies. Many offer return periods of 30-60 days, but some provide none at all. You may have to pay restocking fees of up to 25% too, in addition to the return shipping costs (which could get expensive on such a heavy piece of equipment).
Yes, though not all retailers offer it as an add-on service with your treadmill purchase. Look for that option during the checkout process. Otherwise, the company might be able to recommend an installer in your area. If all else fails, it might be worth it to call a fitness center or sporting goods store near you to get the name of a professional they trust.
There's no better way to get the world's widest selection of treadmills - at the best prices. Shopping online makes it easy and even fun to check out all of the latest features and see what customers say about the machines once they're in home use. And, there's no need to rent a truck or try to fit your treadmill in the back of your car with so many retailers offering free delivery right to your doorstep.
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