We all know that Christmas is the season to be jolly. Though after weeks of excess eating and drinking and the resulting weight gain it seems like the post Christmas period is the season to be Jelly for many. Which is why many of us head for gym memberships and home gym equipment in the new-year, post resolution rush, and why not? It’s cold outside so you don’t want to run in the rain and bitter wind, so an indoor workout seems the perfect way to get your fitness back on track.
And this is where a treadmill comes in handy.
A treadmill is a great way to keep a fitness program at home, whatever the weather. You can workout in comfort, watch your shows, and even chat to your friends or spouse (though you may want to plug in your tunes and have some ‘me’ time too).
Here are 10 reasons why a Treadmill is useful the whole year round.
Rain or shine you can run anytime
The most obvious benefit of having a treadmill at home is the absolute flexibility you have to hop on and run.
Whatever the weather, no matter how much time you have, you can jump on for a quick ten minutes before your morning shower, a full-on workout when the drive to the gym is too much to handle or a weekend workout in between watching the game and hitting the town.
Regular running will build your stamina
And once you build a habit of putting your treadmill to use you will experience a fairly rapid uplift in your overall stamina, giving you more physical energy and mental focus than you had before.
Just three 20-minute runs a week will soon raise your staying power and benefit all other forms of activity and exercise you do.
There are programs for all your needs
You don’t have to be an expert to achieve your exercise goals. Good quality treadmills come with a choice of programmes for all levels of fitness, all timeframes for exercise and all workout goals.
Fat burning programmes will move you slower for longer and keep your heart rate a little lower, agility programs will up the speed on an easier incline and get the blood pumping while endurance programs will offer more mixed sequences of speeds and inclines.
Inclines are great for the butt
Although using a treadmill is considered a primarily cardiovascular pursuit they can help strengthen and tone the legs. Get up to 5-7% incline and you’ll be toning your gluteals, hamstrings and lower core muscles.
You can train for an event
More and more people are participating in organised events covering anywhere between 2K to a full marathon. Ofcourse it’s unwise to turn up and compete without some kind of training beforehand
It’s said even an unfit person can prepare for a marathon in 7 weeks, So if you’re planning on competing use the treadmill to prepare by taking advantage of a program that most closely resembles the event you’re training for.
As well as getting you fitter it will also help you to determine what time you can realistically expect to finish in and so set a sensible pace for you to keep you safe and reduce the chances of injury.
It can warm you up before a weight session
The treadmill, as great as it is, does not cover all aspects of fitness training which should include strength and stretch work too. So, on the days these are your focus, it’s a great tool to get the body warmed up and ready for other types of exercise.
You can HIIT the ground running
The trend for High Intensity Interval Training is not going away. It is popular because it exercises you at intensity and you can get a genuinely effective workout completed in 30 minutes.
If you’re short of space or ideas for a HIIT program at home there’s bound to be one already programmed into your treadmill that you can use. Or you can simply use the treadmill as a station in a circuit of HIIT exercises.
Walking backwards trains you harder
Studies have found that walking backwards on a treadmill raises the heart rate higher than walking forwards at the same pace – suggesting it is a harder workout and so requires more calories.
In addition the benefits to the body are different, walking backwards can help relieve lower back pain, improve hamstring flexibility and build core strength as it requires better balance.
It’s also a good mind workout since it requires a great deal of concentration so next time you’re on the treadmill give it a try!
You can mentally multitask
Walking or running on a treadmill has additional mental benefits. Because the movement is simple and repetitive many people find it is also meditative and if you’re able to run or walk at a steady pace for over ten minutes you should find you’re able to enjoy greater focus in the mind.
While you may not be able to write or read you can mentally multitask. Often if you step onto the treadmill with a professional or personal problem you will step off with the solution.
Get an intense workout without the impact of outdoors
The treadmill’s platform absorbs shock and because of this it protects your joints in a way that the hard pounding of a run outdoors cannot do no, matter how good your running shoes are.
Also the surface is smooth so there is no ice to slip on, no tree roots to trip over and no uneven surfaces to twist your ankle on.
The treadmill’s platform reduces the risk of injury making you more confident to try a higher speed than you might attempt outdoors