Ask anyone who works in a gym and they’ll tell you that commercial treadmills are one of the most popular types of equipment on offer. This is because they provide a straightforward and efficient cardio workout, which makes them a great choice for beginners and experienced people alike. As with any exercise equipment, however, treadmills offer a range of advantages and disadvantages that it is important you are aware of.
There are a number of advantages associated with the use of commercial treadmills to reach your weight loss and fitness goals, including:
- It is a relatively easy piece of equipment to use, making it perfect for beginners and even those with limited mobility.
- It has a predictable surface that is much easier to negotiate than the sidewalk, curbs or trails. The risk of tripping over is significantly reduced.
- All aspects of the workout can be controlled by the user, including the speed, incline, warm up period, cool down period and energy spend.
- Users can, generally, custom design a workout program to fit the time that they have to exercise in.
- Multiple users can use the treadmill without the need to adjust its structure – just jump on and begin your workout.
- Some models offer special features (such as step counters and heart rate monitors) so that your progress can be tracked.
- Running on a treadmill generally burns calories faster than most other forms of gym exercise (such as cycling).
- Users are able to multitask (such as watch television or even read), which can help to keep exercise interesting.
It is important to keep in mind that there are also a number of disadvantages associated with the use of commercial treadmills, including:
- It can be expensive. Some models are known to cost as much as $2000 or more, but gyms treat them as an investment.
- Even the cushioned surface of the machine may still inflict too much of a jarring impact on the back, hips, knees and ankle joints.
- It can take up a lot of space. This is not normally a problem in commercial gyms, although you do have to ensure you have space.
- Like any equipment that contains computerised programs and motors, the maintenance on treadmills should be carried out by a professional.
- Some machines have loud motors that can interfere with other people trying to work out nearby (it can be distracting).
- It provides a limited kind of exercise (walking to running), so some people can actually find them boring after a while.
Whilst there are certainly a handful of disadvantages that might be associated with commercial treadmills, it is important to also keep in mind that there are plenty of advantages, too. If you are unsure whether the treadmill is the ideal choice for your exercise routine, we recommend speaking with your doctor or a personal trainer. They will be able to make a recommendation based on your fitness goals and own health restrictions.