Treadmills have long been popular pieces of exercise equipment, and justifiably so, as the benefits of a treadmill as a fitness tool are substantial. Treadmills offer a compact and safe indoor running option, which can be very helpful during colder winter months. Using a treadmill for exercise also allows for impact to be incorporated into a workout, which has certain fitness advantages. The wide array of options for entertainment and types of workout that are incorporated into most modern trainers also allow for a more varied exercise experience, which can improve both results and motivation.
The ability to exercise indoors, in safety and comfort, is one of the most important benefits of a treadmill. Treadmills are fairly compact and can be accommodated easily in most basement spaces. If this is not an option, they are available in most gyms and health clubs. This ease of access ensures that runners can exercise in controlled indoor conditions at any time of the year and minimize their exposure to harsh and potentially dangerous weather conditions, ranging from ice to summer heat. Furthermore, the regular nature of exercise on a treadmill limits the risk of incurring an injury during the course of a workout.
Low-impact workouts have become popular and have certain advantages. The human body was designed to endure periodic impact stresses, however, and impact stress that is not excessive can improve fitness and strengthen bones. Like most systems in the body, bones respond positively when moderate demands are placed on them. One of the notable benefits of a treadmill is that it can facilitate the addition of a controlled amount of impact stress into a workout in order to encourage the skeletal system to become stronger.
A key factor in any exercise program is compliance. Typically, variety and entertainment are helpful in maintaining interest in a workout program and enhancing compliance. Another of the benefits of a treadmill is the inclusion of sophisticated electronics designed to improve motivation. Many modern treadmills include built-in entertainment systems that allow users to watch television or listen to music. A number of treadmills are also designed to interface with other personal electronic devices, such as heart monitors or personal computers, to allow for the tracking of progress over time, which can also enhance motivation.
Modern treadmills offer a wide array of different workout options as well. Most include many different workout programs that are designed to simulate walking or running along different paths, ranging from flat racecourses to steep hills. This variability is another of the benefits of a treadmill, as it allows both for more interesting workouts and for workouts that improve different types of muscle performance.