Benefits of Treadmill Exercise
Personally, I love all forms of working out–yoga, hiking, cycling, HIIT, strength training, running, and the list goes on. I believe that variety is the key to a well-balanced fitness lifestyle, but I have always held a special place in my heart for running.
It was my introduction to distance running in high school that really ignited my passion for health and fitness. I loved everything about running. I loved it made me feel strong, that it made me feel accomplished, and I loved seeing myself improve in distance and speed. One of the biggest things that impacted this love of running was when I got my first treadmill at home. It was a game changer and put me on the trajectory of being someone who values health and fitness for the rest of my life.
There are so many benefits of treadmill exercise, whether you own one like myself or you simply have access to one at a local gym or school. Either way, incorporating treadmill workouts into your exercise regime will bring the following 7 benefits and so much more…
Increased Cardiovascular Health
According to John Hopkins Medicine, aerobic exercise plays a huge role in improving your cardiovascular health. Aerobic exercises come in many forms, but the most popular of these is brisk walking and running, both of which can be accomplished on a treadmill.
The reason that walking and running improves your heart’s function is because these movements increase your blood flow throughout your body. As your heart rate increases, you are improving your circulation while also helping to lower your blood pressure and resting heart rate.
On top of this, if you consistently exercise aerobically, you are lowering your chance of heart disease and other cardiovascular issues in the future. Because treadmills are an easy way to get in a good 20-30 minute jog or brisk walk, it will eventually increase your cardiovascular health.
Along with improving your overall health, another benefit of treadmill exercise is that it could help with weight loss. Cardio workouts are always a great way to burn calories and help lose a few pounds, but treadmills could help even more with some of their cool features and controls.
For example, you could do some high-intensity training (HIIT) on your treadmill thanks to the speed settings. Doing these forms of workouts helps people burn more calories and get more out of their workouts in shorter amounts of time.
Another way that treadmill workouts can help with weight loss is their incline feature. So, not only can you alter the speed to burn more calories, you can also burn more calories by walking uphill and changing your incline.
These are just a few of the many ways that treadmills can help you change up your routine and help you with your fitness and weight loss journey.
Increased Muscle Tone & Strength
Most people may see treadmills as a piece of cardio equipment. Very few people associate cardio with muscle strength and muscle toning. So, this may be one of the most unexpected benefits of treadmill exercise you’ll see on this list!
With regular use, treadmills will tone your legs and the lower body naturally. But, if you want to increase your strength and toned physique, you can easily increase incline to target your calves and glutes. Some treadmills even have a decline option, which would add even more targeted muscles to tone!
Increased Mental Health
In general, exercise has been proven to decrease signs of depression, anxiety, and other mental health struggles. It does so by releasing endorphins, improving your sleep, boosting your energy, and more. It only makes sense that one of the enormous benefits of treadmill exercise is that it increases your mental health, considering it is a tool used to exercise. However, there might be even more reasons for treadmill workouts to help your mental health even more.
Foremost, a treadmill is in a controlled environment. For some, working out in public is a big source of anxiety. If you feel nervous about running or walking outside or in public, working out at home where you feel comfortable could make you feel more confident and at ease. Thus, you will be more willing to workout and reap all the benefits. Not to mention, you will focus less on the judgment of others and more on your self-improvement.
Another reason treadmill workouts may help even more with your mental health is that they can save you a lot of time. If you are already stressed about everything that you have going on, it’s hard to make yourself and your fitness a priority. If you own a treadmill at your home, you can save time with a commute and go workout whenever it’s convenient for you.
Even if you do not own a treadmill, you can always incorporate an HIIT treadmill workout like I mentioned above, which will save you time and allow you to still prioritize yourself. While this may not seem like a big deal to some, squeezing in a quicker workout with a treadmill can definitely help your mental health. It will relieve some stress while not taking so much time that it makes you worried you will not get all the other items on your to-do list completed.
A really important benefit of treadmill exercise for many people is the fact that it will have less impact on their body than running on roads, sidewalks, or trails. Because of the cushioned decks, treadmills absorb more of the force on your joints and knees that naturally occur when walking or running. Some treadmills even have shock absorbers for added support!
As I’ve said above, the great thing about treadmills is that they are in a controlled environment. With treadmills, you don’t have to worry about uneven terrain, naturally occurring hills, or even rocks and roots if you’re running on trails. This steady running/walking environment will not only have a less impact on your body, it could also prevent the injuries that occur when running outdoors like tripping, rolling your ankles, and more.
Running on the treadmill is simply more convenient–especially if you own one in your home. If you’ve ever considered investing in a treadmill of your own, it will amaze you at how convenient it is. No matter if your price point is on the lower end or you’re looking to spend more for a long-term investment. No matter if your space is limited or you have a whole room to dedicate to it, you can always find a treadmill that is right for you. For me, personally, investing in a treadmill did wonders for my workout routine and way of life.
I absolutely love running outside. I love being out in the fresh air and enjoying the sunshine, but there are lots of times when the sun isn’t shining and running outside is an inconvenience. For example, in the winter, when the weather is too cold and I’ve waited until dark to get my workout in, I’d rather just jump on my treadmill. Or maybe it’s the heat of the day in the summer and my children are napping, it wouldn’t make sense to go outside and run. In either of these situations or a myriad of others, it’s much more convenient to head downstairs and get a quick run in on my treadmill.
Even if I didn’t have one at my home, treadmill runs are more convenient because they aren’t contingent on the weather, the time of day, or other outside conditions. If it’s pouring down raining, going into the gym to get a quick run in sounds a lot more convenient than trudging through puddles soaking wet.
Because running on a treadmill has a lower impact on your body and is exponentially more convenient, it’s inevitable that you will see a big increase in your consistency. Once you see this increase in consistency, you will also see an enormous increase in the other benefits listed above–weight loss, mental health, and more.
Speaking from personal experience, I can say that one of the best benefits of owning a treadmill and/or having access to one is the increase in consistency. With a treadmill, there are no excuses. I found that the weather and time of day no longer stopped me from my workouts. I could squeeze in smaller workouts even when I was pushed for time. The thing with consistency is that any run, no matter how small, is better than no run, and that is what I could achieve when I started incorporating treadmill runs into my workout regimen.