by Corey Springer
NarkSide: December 2009
Hey guys… Here we are, at the end of another year. We had a great run didn’t we? It’ll be Christmas in a short while and, as I was making out my own Christmas wish list, I thought I’d make a suggestion for the ultimate stocking stuffer: A treadmill.
You heard right. I’m going to get myself one… and I think you should as well. 🙂
We’ve discussed the benefits of cardio to great lengths. Still, I know most of you blanch at the thought of waking up at an ungodly hour to road-walk or hit the gym for
cardio. There must be a solution though… right?
There is. It’s called “a treadmill”. 🙂
I think having a piece of equipment at home is vital. But, let’s talk about the options for a minute:
- Stairmasters/Stair-steppers cost too much (and they’re unsuitable for people just starting out, as they’re easily misused)
- Stationary bikes are VERY uncomfortable (especially around the crotch area… You know what I’m talking about)
- Rowing machines take up *way* too much space
Treadmills happen to be cost-effective, stable, easy to use, and especially safe for beginners. I mean, what could be more natural than walking?
4 reasons why I think everyone should have a treadmill:
1. You don’t have to worry about getting wet.
However, when you’re outside you do. Road-running/walking means exposure to the elements, as well as exposure to the exhaust fumes from vehicles.
It also means having to deal with uneven gradients, too-hard surfaces, and sometimes wet and slippery surfaces.
2. You can control the pace
…and you can push yourself a bit harder than you would if you were on the road by yourself.
Admit it: How many times have you been out on the road literally dragging your feet behind you? For me, I’ve lost count of the number of times.
Truth-be-told, if I don’t have a running partner with me, my ‘run’ looks more like a jog. That’s the honest-to-God truth! On a treadmill however, you can’t automatically slow down when you get tired. The automated pace requires that you keep up… thus taking the work-out to a higher level of intensity.
And while we’re on the topic of intensity:
3. You have control over the level of intensity
“Up the incline!”
“Up the speed dammit!”
“Set it to a random program!”
Sorry… the cardio-addict in me came to the surface for a minute. 🙂
There are multiple ways via which the intensity of a work-out on the treadmill can be manipulated. Personally, I like to mess around with the inclines. I’ve found that higher inclines really target the butt and hamstrings (which, incidentally, are problem areas for most people)… Also, I’ve found lower inclines, coupled with longer strides, great for the muscles of the core.
Additionally, most treadmills offer you the option of programming in a pre-set work-out. These programs are great for interval training (and fat-burning)… Another benefit is that they allow for a warm-up and warm-down period, thus preventing injury.
And while we’re on the topic of injury prevention:
4. You can prevent injuries
As previously mentioned, running outdoors means exposing oneself to uneven, and overly hard terrain. These conditions frequently hasten wear and tear of the joints. But that’s not all. Running outdoors also usually means dodging obstacles like potholes. The spontaneous changes in gait and other adaptations made to prevent falling are out of question for people who already have joint/motility issues… and also for the overweight.
On the flip side, the treadmill’s surface tends to be even… and a number of them are padded, thus reducing stress on the knees and ankles even further.
- We can avoid getting wet.
- We can eliminate the need to leave home at ungodly hours in order to get our cardio work-outs in.
- We can prevent injuries
- We can control the pace, incline, and duration… thus controlling the intensity.
- We can burn fat and get lean and sexy.
I mean really… what are you waiting for?
Get yours today. 🙂
– Corey “Narkissos” Springer
Owner of: “The NarkSide” Fitness Forums,Apollo Fitness Barbados, & NarkSide Apparel.