In this article, we’re talking extensively about the main treadmill benefits. Ever since their invention, treadmills have become a cornerstone of modern fitness. Despite new cardio machines popping out every so often - promising bigger, better, and faster results - treadmills have stood the test of time and remain a favorite in the best gyms and workout regimens.
But what does a treadmill do to your body and how does walking and running improve your physical and mental health? The fascinating details are coming in a second, but first, a brief answer.
Using a treadmill benefits you physically and mentally. Improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, and mood regulation are just some of the benefits of treadmill running and walking. Treadmills can provide a safe, controlled, and low-impact workout from your home.
8 Benefits Of Exercising On A Treadmill
So, what is a treadmill good for exactly? We can refer to various studies and personal experiences to find out. Treadmills have been around for a long time now and, as they say, the results are in. Here’s what they say:
✅ Cardiovascular Benefits
Treadmills utilize walking and running to conduct your exercise. As such, one of the most significant benefits of using the treadmill is the ability to regulate various aspects of your cardiovascular health.
For example, regular walking on its own has been shown to increase our aerobic capacity (our body’s ability to intake and use oxygen) and lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. This alone lowers the chance of contracting common cardiovascular illnesses, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancers, etc. Running carries these benefits as well, while also lowering your resting heart rate and increasing lung capacity. Other studies observed a decrease in cholesterol levels and the chance of hypertension, among other benefits.
✅ Weight Management and Fat Loss
Many people ask, is treadmill cardio exercise good enough for weight loss or do they need a more intense machine. Walking and running are popular and effective methods of losing weight and staying in shape. If there was any doubt about that, studies have observed these effects extensively.
According to research, the two best ways to burn calories using a treadmill are moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) training. In other words, if you plan on losing weight, use your treadmill for fast walking and running variations for the best effect.
That said, before you jump on your treadmill and start vigorously running for hours on end, it’s important to understand how weight loss actually works. To actually lose weight, it’s not enough to just exercise, you must enter what’s known as a calorie deficit. What this means is you need to spend more calories than you consume through food and drink, ideally on a daily basis.
✅ Joint-Friendly Exercise
Among the many advantages of treadmill machines is the relatively low-impact and joint-friendly exercise they provide. Of the popular cardio machines, the only one with noticeably lower impact is the elliptical. This makes the treadmill highly accessible bar extreme cases.
People without outstanding lower-body issues can safely train on them with full confidence that they’re not hurting themselves by doing so. Meanwhile, people with chronic pain such as inflamed joints or active injury can use treadmills to get in their daily cardio pain-free. For this reason, treadmills are highly recommended by physical therapists.
Walking on a treadmill is especially good for seniors, since our musculoskeletal system tends to deteriorate as we age, making exercising harder on our body as we grow older. Not only does it provide them with much-needed daily cardio, but walking on treadmills just 7.5 miles per week (1 mile per day) is shown to increase bone density and slow down bone loss.
Moreover, cardio machine manufacturers understand the importance of exercise comfort, which is why modern treadmills have their decks and belts equipped with advanced cushioning systems. This makes exercising on a treadmill noticeably more comfortable than walking or running outside on hard surfaces like pavement.
✅ Convenience and Accessibility
On top of being easy on the joints, treadmills are a very user-friendly cardio machine. Since they utilize basic daily life movements in walking and running, the barrier to entry is low and there’s no learning curve associated with them. In other words, you don’t have to be a fitness aficionado or dedicate time to learn how to use them - most people can use them straight out of the box.
Having a treadmill at your disposal can prove an invaluable way to get your much-needed daily workout in. Our natural daily exercise has already drastically fallen compared to previous generations thanks to our sedentary lifestyle and jobs, and this is even more true now when more and more jobs are moving into our homes, providing even less incentive to move in our spare time.
Not being exposed to outside factors - such as weather conditions, time of day, and general safety, as well as access to suitable terrain - are just some of the advantages of treadmill exercising over walking or running outside. Moreover, studies have found no major difference between an outdoor VS treadmill run, noting that key components like muscle and joint activity and body kinetics and kinematics were nearly identical. One of the very few treadmill disadvantages compared to working out outside is the lack of natural wind resistance. However, this can be compensated for by simply adding a 1% incline.
✅ Customizable Workouts + Workout Variety and Versatility
Most motorized treadmills come with adjustable speed and incline settings. These two options by themselves already make the treadmill highly versatile among cardio machines. Simply put, with one machine you can engage in walking, jogging, running, and everything in between. Moreover, you get to choose the terrain steepness, which can make the exercise more intense and mix up the targeted muscles.
Motorized treadmills are equipped with control consoles from which you set your exercise. Many of them come with pre-programmed workouts for goals such as cardio development and weight loss. These programs automatically adjust the treadmill for you, allowing for a hands-free experience. Some treadmills even allow you to create custom workouts.
In recent years, we’ve also seen the introduction of smart device functions into treadmills. Some treadmill consoles are equipped with or can be paired with a dedicated fitness app. These apps can do everything from tracking your progress to fully controlling your workout Moreover, they use AI learning to process the information they gather and create workout suggestions and custom workouts to help you train more efficiently and achieve your goals faster.
✅ Safety and Control
One of the important safety benefits of using the treadmill is it allows the user to fully control their workout conditions. Between the speed and incline settings, the choice of workout intensity is all up to you. Moreover, most treadmill models have easily accessible handrails you can use for balance and support and non-slip side covers which you can step onto for a quick rest or stop.
In the event of an emergency, most treadmills Motorized treadmills have a large and noticeable (red) emergency stop button placed in a visible and convenient location. Most models also have a safety clip or key which you attach via string to yourself. In the event that you drift too far back or fall off, the string will pull the clip/key and immediately stop the machine.
✅ Monitoring and Tracking Progress
Treadmills come equipped with a control console where you can track your progress and adjust your workout. The type of console you get usually varies by price and between brands. Even the basic LCD monitors on cheaper treadmills display essential information like time, speed, distance, and calorie consumption, which are enough to get accurate data on your progress.
Moreover, newer treadmills are often compatible with a smart app either found on the machine’s advanced touchscreen displays or paired with your smart device via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. These apps can serve a variety of purposes, including more advanced result tracking, interactive features like leaderboards or achievements, daily/weekly/monthly challenges, and more.
✅ Mental Health Benefits
Regular exercise comes with a plethora of mental health benefits, sparking a much-needed debate over using it as an alternative to medication.
Feeling tired throughout the day? It may not be because you’re physically exhausted, but rather because our sedentary lifestyle is forcing our bodies to work in “idle” mode, lowering our energy. A simple walk can stimulate your blood flow, increase oxygen intake, and release hormones that will restore your energy level and increase your awareness.
Feeling down? A simple run may be all you need. Research has shown that running can have significant mood improvements, lowering symptoms of depression and anxiety and improving self-perception, with recorded long-term benefits for active runners.
Having trouble sleeping? Even mild treadmill exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce symptoms of insomnia.
How to Choose the Best Treadmill
So, are treadmills worth it and how do you choose the best one? We’ve already discussed how a treadmill can benefit you both physically and mentally. If you plan on getting one, some of the factors you should consider include intended use, comfort features, console features, and build quality and warranty. Furthermore, whether or not you should get a treadmill may depend on your budget and available space.
Refer to a treadmill’s dimensions to see if it fits and remember you need to leave some space behind it and, if possible, to your side for safe mounting and dismounting. The manufacturer-set user capacity is reliable, but note the number should be respected, else the machine can break and the warranty can be void.
Luckily, there are high-quality yet affordable home treadmills, such as the one we recommend:
Treadmill We Recommend – ProForm City L6
The ProForm City L6 is an affordable and compact treadmill for home use. Using innovative ProShox™ cushioning, it minimizes joint impact and enhances overall comfort. Thanks to its precisely balanced non-flex rollers the belt operates seamlessly and silently. The control console boasts an easy-to-use interface and an LCD monitor to track your workout and is compatible with the iFit app via Bluetooth. This treadmill can be folded horizontally when not in use, allowing for efficient storage or transportation when not used. Other important specs include:
photo by @homegymsupply
- Speed: 0-8 mph
- Dimensions: 29” W x 70 L x 44.5 H
- Weight capacity: 250 lbs
- Workout surface: 17.5” W x 45” L
- Warranty: 10-year frame & 1-year parts and labor
Is Treadmill Good for Losing Belly Fat?
Yes, studies have shown that exercising on a treadmill can reduce waist circumference AKA cut down belly fat. Moreover, the same study suggests higher intensity exercise like treadmill running benefits this to a greater effect.
Is 30 Minutes of Treadmill a Day Enough Exercise?
Whether or not 30 minutes of treadmill exercise per day is enough can depend on factors like age, health, and fitness goals. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 150-300 minutes of moderate or 75-150 minutes of vigorous exercise per week for adults.
Treadmills can be used for both training methods. For moderate exercise, try fast walking or using a medium incline (3-7%). For the best vigorous training methods, utilize interval training (mixing between running and walking) or uphill runs.
Is It Ok to Use a Treadmill Every Day?
Whether or not it’s good to use the treadmill every day will depend on other factors such as your fitness level and lifestyle as well as the type of exercise you plan on doing. If you’re in at least moderately good health, walking on a treadmill is a low-impact, low-risk exercise that won’t push any limits. However, repeatedly doing high-intensity exercises like incline runs can lead to exercise fatigue and an increased risk of injury.
This concludes our article on treadmill benefits and uses. As you’ve seen, simply walking and running shouldn’t be underestimated as a means of physical activity. It carries valuable health and fitness benefits such as cardiovascular improvements, weight loss, and mood regulation, on top of being convenient and accessible.
With that in mind, one of the main advantages of treadmill machines is their ability to simulate both walking and running in a controlled manner. If that motivates you to get one for your home, we highly recommend the ProForm City L6.
We’d like to hear from you as well. Which information you learned today you found most useful? Have the advantages of treadmill machines motivated you to try them for yourself?
Leave a comment letting us know and remember to follow our social media pages for more valuable fitness content.
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Author: Ihor Shymechko
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My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.
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After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.
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C&J - 240 kg
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