Are you struggling to lose weight? You are not on your own, millions of people around the world search in vain for the “magic bullet” that will help them in their battle to lose some pounds. You have probably heard it said that losing weight is easy – “just eat less and exercise regularly”. If only it was that easy? In essence, however, that statement is a good summation of what you need to do in order to lose weight.
The importance of regular exercise in achieving and maintaining your ideal weight cannot be stressed enough. Aside from the weight loss benefits, the overall improvements in one’s health and well being from the simple expedient of a regular exercise routine can be enormous. But what kind of exercise is the most effective for weight loss? Most experts agree that cardio-vascular exercise when carried out on a regular and consistent basis is key to an effective weight loss program.
As consumers we are bombarded with advertisements proclaiming the merits of the latest fitness equipment that can be used in order to shed some unwanted fat, but one particular item of fitness equipment continues to dominate the market as the ultimate device for achieving a cardio-vascular workout and thus assisting you with your weight loss goals. This device is the treadmill.
Treadmills have maintained their popularity in the fitness equipment market despite competition from many new and novel types of exercise equipment. Many of these new devices are popular for a short period during which time they are frequently given exposure in magazines and infomercials . But there popularity soon wanes and they become yesterday’s fitness fad. This is not the case with the exercise treadmill which has retained it’s popularity with both the average family member who wants to lose weight and keep in shape and the professional athlete.
One of the reasons why fitness treadmills have retained their popularity is that they allow users to enjoy one of the most natural forms of exercise (walking and running) and let them carry out this exercise in a controlled environment. Walking exercises the whole body and doesn’t require any complicated training. It is “hard wired” into the brain and is one of the first things that we humans learn to do.
As a form of exercise though, walking and running can have some drawbacks. These are nearly all environmental and are taken care of by the controlled environment that the treadmill provides. These drawbacks include weather conditions which can be either too hot, too cold, rain, wind or snow. If you live in the city it may not be practical to run through crowded streets and there is always the issue of your own personal safety with the possibility of an attack from a stranger or stray dog.
Compared to other types of fitness equipment, treadmills are easy to use and don’t require you to move your body in an unnatural way, or restrict the natural movements of your limbs. They can also help to mitigate a lot of injuries that can be sustained by running on asphalt by virtue of their cushioned running surface.
Fitness treadmills have the advantage of being suitable for virtually any age group from children (with supervision) to the elderly and are often used in medical centers as a rehabilitation tool to help people in their recovery from injury. They are also suitable for any type of fitness level from beginner to professional athlete.
The cardio-vascular exercise that you engage in when using a treadmill is an excellent way to lose weight and studies have shown that you can burn more calories on the treadmill than any other type of fitness equipment including stair machines, rowing machines, stationary cycles or ski machines. For the many people who are using a treadmill in order to lose weight, however, the secret to success is consistency.
As with all exercise you need to establish a routine so that your treadmill exercise sessions become part of your everyday life. It is important to make your workout session a part of your daily routine until it becomes something that you do automatically without having to give it much thought.
Most people who own a treadmill have it set up in a room in their house or apartment where it is as easy to use for their daily workout as going into the bathroom to take a shower. The very nature of the treadmill with the quite, measured rolling of the walking surface, the comfortable room temperature and the safety provided by your home all contribute to the pleasant feelings you will associate with using a home treadmill.
A further benefit the treadmill offers is the ability to vary different parameters of the workout in order make the workout more novel and interesting. Most modern motorized treadmills offer the ability to vary the speed of the belt and incline of the running surface during the workout. These changes can be done manually during the workout, or be pre-programmed as part of a suite of programs built into the machine. Some treadmills also offer the user the function to design their own programs which can then be re run whenever the user wishes.
Many users look forward to their time on the treadmill, for in addition to the health benefits, they also welcome the special time they have to themselves, when they can ponder and reflect about events in their lives. But for people who are not so introspective many modern treadmills are fitted with music systems and even flat screen TV’s in order to keep the user entertained.
When using your treadmill it is a good idea to add some variety by introducing some interval training sessions into your workout. This should comprise of brief periods of intense exercise mixed in with your regular treadmill workouts. You may for example arrange to do a one minute interval of fast walking every for every five minutes of regular walking and repeat this throughout your session.
By varying between a steady, comfortable pace and brief periods of sustained effort you will be able to increase your aerobic fitness level gradually over time. What you are actually doing is pushing your anaerobic threshold, thus forcing your body to accept a greater intensity of exercise. This will in turn help you to achieve the weight loss targets that you have set for your self.
The treadmill continues to be the ideal choice for anyone looking for fitness equipment in order to shed some pounds.
Climb on, Power up, Lose weight!