The importance of staying fit and active is appreciated more today than it has been in decades. With rates of obesity on the rise and concerns about infectious and chronic diseases at the forefront of people’s minds, more and more people are looking for ways to get fit and shed some pounds.
This sounds great in theory, but the reality can be very different. Finding the time to exercise in a busy schedule can be hard and there is inevitably a financial cost associated with gym memberships and joining sports clubs. For many people, the answer has been a home treadmill. So, what are the benefits of this type of exercise for the individual?
Home treadmills – the basics
NHS advice is clear that we should all be exercising. Any exercise is always better than none. The advice specifies that adults aged between 19 and 64 should be carried out either at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity every week.
Brisk walking is classed as moderate activity and you can do this on a treadmill. Jogging or running are classed as vigorous activity and these can also be done on a treadmill. In fact, some early research has suggested that energy expenditure and metabolism is different when using a treadmill to walking on the ground. There may therefore be a benefit to mixing both types of exercise but further studies are needed to clarify this.
The versatility of home treadmills
Home treadmills are a highly versatile piece of exercise equipment. For example, you can get manual or motorised treadmills, compact or large treadmills and fixed or folding treadmills.
A folding treadmill can be a great option if you do not have a lot of space. You may even be able to secure them out of sight in a wardrobe or cupboard when they are not in use.
Treadmills come with a range of different features to suit the way you like to exercise.
Improving your health with a treadmill
If you have decided that now is the time to take charge of your health and make regular exercise a part of your life, here are the main health benefits that a home treadmill can bring.
Any exercise will burn calories but with a treadmill, you can control how much effort you put in. When you want to burn more calories, you could increase the speed or increase the incline. Both require more effort and will burn more calories in a shorter period of time.
Bones are designed to bear weight. Using your legs to walk or jog puts a force on the bones of the legs and this helps them to stay strong. Stronger bones mean that you are less likely to suffer from fractures when you are older.
Regular walking will help to tone up the muscles – not just in the legs. Put plenty of effort in and it becomes a full-body workout. If you set the incline to the max, you will give your glutes great work out too.
De-stress and relax
When you have a home treadmill it can be a fantastic relaxation aid. If you are feeling tense, you can use it for a quick 20-minute work out without having the added stress of getting to the gym and back. Exercise is one of the best things you can do to destress and will benefit your overall well-being.
Overcoming barriers to a healthy lifestyle with a home treadmill
Whilst most people know that they should be exercising more for their health, they are very good at finding excuses not to. With a home treadmill, it is not so easy to find an excuse and you are therefore much more likely to exercise regularly. Here are some of the top excuses for not exercising.
The weather provides a perfect excuse not to exercise. It’s too cold, too hot, raining, snowing – the list is endless. With a treadmill in your home, it is always dry and you control the ambient temperature.
Exercise is time consuming if you have to travel to a gym or sports centre and back. With a home treadmill, you can do a quick workout whenever you have a spare 20 minutes.
Too much to do
You can multi-task when you have a treadmill. Set up your laptop and catch up on your emails, listen to a podcast or just use the time to think through a problem and plan your next move. Many people come up with their best ideas when walking or jogging on a treadmill – it helps to focus the mind.
Whatever method of exercise you choose, the important thing is that you do it regularly. Spend more time exercising and less time making excuses not to!