Advantages and Disadvantages of Treadmill Use for Exercise and Pain Relief

Using a treadmill is one of the most popular exercises for people trying to get or stay in shape. But before you hop on the treadmill and turn it up to full speed, consider these advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Treadmill Use

  • Treadmills are relatively easy to use if you are capable of walking.

  • Treadmills can offer a variety of intensities from lower stress walking, endurance building jogging, or high intensity sprinting.

  • The risk of tripping on an uneven sidewalk or road is reduced due to the track on the treadmill.

  • Most treadmills are fairly intuitive to control, including the speed, duration, incline, warm up, and cool down.

  • There's no putting weights back on the rack once you're done with the treadmill and it's simple for another person to start right after.

  • Most treadmills offer custom programs or functions to fit their time available and workout desired.

  • Some treadmills even offer additional monitoring abilities such as heart rate, step counter, and estimated calories burned.

  • To pass the time faster, most people can watch television or listen to music while on the treadmill.

  • Some treadmills offer extra cushioning to help reduce wear and tear on your joints from running.

  • Jogging or running on a treadmill will burn more calories and get your heart rate up faster than most other types of exercises.

  • If you are only interested in using the treadmill, almost every gym will have them available, even the less expensive gyms.

  • If you want to purchase a treadmill for your home, they don't take up an inordinate amount of space, only about the footprint of a 2-seater couch.

Disadvantages of Using a Treadmill

  • Treadmills can be expensive if you decide to purchase one. New treadmills can range in prices from approximately $200, for one with few extra functions, all the way up to $3000, for top of the line models.

  • Even if your treadmill has extra cushioning, the high impact from jogging or running can still cause joint pain in your ankles, knees, or hips. If your joints start to hurt, slow your pace or stop altogether. You should also consider icing the particular joint and giving yourself a couple days off from the treadmill to recover.

  • Treadmills require regular maintenance and can be difficult or near impossible to repair on your own, often requiring you to hire a trained professional if yours breaks down.

  • The noise from treadmills can be loud, potentially disturbing others if it's not in a gym. The motors, rotating belt, and the noise from you running can all contribute to the noise from a treadmill.

  • Some people find treadmills boring since they provide a limited type of exercise.

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