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What is a Compact Treadmill?

Micki Elizabeth
Micki Elizabeth

A treadmill is a piece of exercise equipment that allows the user to walk or run in place. Compact models that are light, portable and easy to store are available for an individual’s home or office use. A rotating belt allows for constant movement during which speed and sometimes incline are controlled by the user. Doctors and fitness experts agree that walking and running on a treadmill may have numerous health benefits. While a compact treadmill has several advantages, there are also drawbacks one should consider.

A compact treadmill is able to fold in half for easy storage; most models are less than 12-inches (30.5 cm) high when collapsed and can be kept horizontally under beds and other pieces of furniture or vertically in closets or against walls. They are lightweight and portable, so an individual can feasibly move the treadmill from place to place. A compact treadmill is generally much cheaper than full-size treadmill models and usually comes fully-assembled. Treadmills are preferred by some walkers and runners because they can offer a lower impact on the joints than running on concrete and other materials found while running outdoors.

Woman exercising
Woman exercising

Walking at a moderate to heavy pace three to five times per week for half an hour is said to have significant health benefits. Cardiovascular and musculoskeletal strength are two major areas that can be improved by introducing walking into an exercise regimen. An individual may begin to see visual changes such as weight loss and muscle tone. Some people walk and run to maintain low blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while still others believe the exercise boosts their mood by increasing production of certain chemicals and promoting circulation.

Depending on the specific model, a compact treadmill may have a wide array of bonus features to aid the user during a workout. Readouts of time, distance and speed are standard, and more advanced treadmills may allow the user to incline the belt. A heart-rate monitor is not included in all treadmills, but it may be useful in determining the level at which one is exerting himself.

Some users report that compact treadmills can have drawbacks. In order for the equipment to be lightweight, the belts are not as long or cushioned as they are on full-sized treadmills. The motors are smaller, delivering less horsepower and, thus, the speeds typically top out around 6 miles per hour (9.6 km/hour). Compacts are, therefore, suggested only for walking or light jogging and not running.

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