Treadmills are the #1 type of fitness equipment sold in North America today – but what exactly do you know about them?
Here are some interesting facts on the treadmill itself that I thought you’d enjoy!
Treadmills 101 – What Are They?
Treadmills are a type of fitness equipment that allows the use to run or walk indoors. While we all know what these machines look like today, in the past however, this term referred to a kind of mill operated either by an animal or by man in order to grind the grain.
The same system used on mills is used for sport equipment, the belt solution is similar in applications on both electrical engines and flywheels. Treadmills come in two forms: the more economical version that doesn’t have a motor and the band moves only when somebody walks on it as it acts only to oppose motion.
The other more expensive range of models have a motor that helps the user exercise easier and with much more enjoyment.
History of the Treadmill:
Treadmills were used for the first time in 1817 in prisons as a way to reform troublesome prisoners (ironic that so many of us have them in our homes today!)
Later on they were developed specially for hospitals, an example would be the treadmills models used by Dr Robert Bruce who used them to diagnose heart and lung problems. In 1968 Dr Kenneth Cooper published a book about the improved health of treadmill users – which was the first scientific argument that helped to inspire future use of treadmills for the general population.
Modern treadmills today give a lot of feedback to the user including step counts, heart rate, calories burned, distance travelled and more.
Treadmills are used for everything from weight loss to injury rehab to help controlling blood sugar.
Another advantage of today’s home treadmills is that they let you workout regardless of weather conditions outside – whether cold or rainy. Also, these machines have better cushioning than walking on pavement – so they provide more protection for your joints and back.
The biggest hurdle with treadmills is that people tend to get bored over time and stop using them.
Today’s treadmill get around this by adding features like TV’s, web browsers, Internet connections, new workout programs and even specialized program where a personal trainer coaches you through your routine (See the Nordic Track lineup for the best ‘entertainment’ options).
With increased competition and more people buying a treadmill for their home (to save lineups and money spent at the gym), manufacturers are producing better models every year.
In fact, almost every manufacturer puts out new, improved models each year with better construction, design and new toys.
The newest additions lately have been the addition of web browsers (see the Nordic Track line), iPod docks with speakers and TVs (Smooth for example), and extra high incline and declines (Nordic Track X9, Lifespan TR2000).
The bottom line? Treadmills are better than ever – and you can easily find a high quality machine that will help you improve health, lose weight, tone up or control blood sugars!
For a list of the latest treadmill reviews click here.