Positive and Negative Aspects of the Treadmill

The treadmill is among the latest exercise trends, both in the gym and at home. If you know the pros and con, you'll be able to plan your exercises more efficiently.
Positive and Negative Aspects of the Treadmill

Last update: 25 May, 2019

The treadmill is one of the most used fitness machines in both gyms and homes. They’re usually found amongst cardio machines such as ellipticals and statics bikes. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of treadmills will offer you a broader view when it comes to deciding how much you should exercise.

Regulars at the gym and runners alike use treadmills as an indoor workout when the outdoor climate is too hostile.

However, there are a few myths that circulate around the treadmill that keeps people away who are not accustomed to the fitness world. The truth is that, similar to any other gym equipment, this machine requires specialized advice before starting.

Positive aspects of the treadmill

First of all, we must clarify that the treadmill can also be used for walking. This means that people with poor mobility can exercise safely in their living rooms or at the gym. It can sometimes even encourage those who don’t feel comfortable running to give it a try.

A walk on the treadmill can be an effective way to burn calories. However, this machine also allows for several types of training. A runner knows that running for half an hour on a treadmill is not the same as doing the same outside.

Outdoors, runners face resistance such as wind, terrain and other factors and obstacles that makes running more strenuous. On treadmills the speed is continuous, therefore, the calories burned are not as much as running outdoors.

Treadmills allow for the use of inclinations in order to increase resistance. This can improve endurance performance. Keep in mind that adequate running shoes should be worn whether you are running on the asphalt or on the treadmill.

Couple running on treadmill

Negative aspects of the treadmill

Seasoned runners can immediately tell that the treadmill inhibits the use of muscles such as the glutes. The treadmill also moves in the opposite direction of the person and this prevents it from being a complete exercise since it limits joint movement.

Therefore, discomfort and injuries are more likely to appear. The hips, lower back, and tibial areas can be affected due to excessive use of the treadmill.

On treadmills, the support points are limited even at low speeds. Since there’s less movement, we burn fewer calories on the treadmill than we do outdoors.

Experts recommend spending no more than 30 minutes on the treadmill per day. If that time span is exceeded there is more risk of damage to the joints.

Within the 30 minute span, the treadmill can be an effective way to maintain optimal physical condition, even when the climate outdoors is hostile. Moderate and periodic use of this machine maximizes its benefits.

How to use the running machine

Proper use of this machine includes warming up prior to exercising. As we previously mentioned, it can be used to tone and improve cardiovascular functions.

Being able to control the speed and intervals makes this machine a great ally when it comes to fitness. Inclined treadmills also help prevent injuries.

Woman exercising

Using the treadmill is as close as it gets to running outdoors. Keep in mind that it’s important to stretch before and after using the treadmill in order to prevent injuries. As with many other fitness machines, it’s wise to start training gradually.

Finally, in order to take full advantage of the positive aspects of the treadmill, ideally, it should be combined with running on other surfaces. This will assure that all of your muscles will remain active either completely or alternately.

However, if you find that your joints are always stressed while using the treadmill, this may lead to injuries. Simply keep in mind that it’s important to carry out exercises moderately and in the right way to prevent complications.

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