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Pros and Cons of the Treadmill

If you enjoy walking or running, sometimes exercising outside just isn't an option, so the treadmill is your saving grace. It's one of the most common pieces of gym equipment used, so check out some of its benefits and disadvantages.

Pros Cons
  • Rain, sleet, snow, blazing sun, and pitch black can't keep you from using the treadmill, so no matter what the weather or time of day, you can always get in a workout.
  • The terrain is always free of rocks, trash, dog poo, and ice, so you don't have to worry about where you're stepping. You can count on it being smooth and safe, which can help you avoid injury.
  • If you don't belong to a gym, treadmills aren't cheap and you'll end up spending between $1,500 and $4,000 for a good one.
  • Treadmills require power, so they're not exactly the greenest type of exercise. Running outdoors only burns calories, not electricity.

To see the rest of the pros and cons,


Pros Cons
  • The surface of a treadmill is more forgiving than pounding concrete or asphalt, so it's easier on your joints.
  • It's a safe way to burn calories if you're afraid to exercise outside in your neighborhood.
  • You can work out using an incline, which burns more calories and effectively tones your legs and booty.
  • Newer treadmills have a variety of programs so you can do several interval workouts that replicate outdoor terrain even though you're inside.
  • Since you can control the speed and duration of your workout, you can customize the intensity to meet the needs of your fitness goals. It's great if you're doing speedwork and need to run at a specific pace for a certain distance, but it's also great if you need to do an easy run for muscle recovery the day after a hard run. Just set the speed and hop on, and it'll prevent you from running too fast.
  • The readout keeps track of your workout data including time, speed, distance, and calories burned, so you can monitor your progress.
  • You can watch TV or read while on the treadmill, which is especially great for passing the time on long runs or walks.
  • The moving belt propels your legs, so you're not working as hard as you would running the same speed outside, which translates to fewer calories burned.
  • If you're training for a race, you'll be missing out on training in extreme temps, wind resistance, blaring sun, precipitation, and on an uneven surface.
  • The treadmill belt may be too narrow or short for your body, so you'll compensate by running with a shorter stride and not swinging your arms as freely.
  • The monotony of the treadmill can be so boring that you exercise for less time.
  • If you're not paying attention, you could misstep, fall, and get propelled backward.
  • The readout on the machine may not be as accurate as other devices, like specialty heart rate monitors and the Nike+ Sportband.
Image Source: Getty
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