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Is A Treadmill The Right Exercise Equipment For You?
By: Kathryn O'Neill

The #1 fear people have when buying a treadmill is that they won't use it. (That's the #1 fear when buying any piece of exercise equipment).

They know that a treadmill can help them lose weight, get fit, burn extra calories and reach their fitness goals.

But that's only if you use it. A treadmill is a large investment to make and you want to be sure that it is the right piece of exercise equipment for your needs.

How do you know if a treadmill is right for you? How do you know if it's suitable for the kind of exercise that fits your lifestyle?

If you're thinking about buying a treadmill, here are 3 ways to tell if a treadmill is the right piece of exercise equipment for you:

#1 Do you prefer to exercise alone or in groups?

Walking on a treadmill is not a group activity (it could be - but that's a little dangerous). If you prefer to exercise with other people, say for example in a group sports situation, a treadmill might not be the best choice for you.

Of course a treadmill can add another side to your exercise options if you do get most of your exercise from social or group sports. But if you absolutely hate exercising by yourself, don't buy a treadmill.

On the other hand, some people enjoy exercising on their own - it's a sort of getaway from the constant social buzz surrounding them every day. A treadmill would be great for someone looking for this kind of exercise 'retreat'.

#2) Do you prefer to exercise outdoors or indoors?

Some people prefer to exercise outdoors. They take hikes to enjoy the beauty of nature or rollerblade down the sidewalks to take in the fresh air. If you prefer to be outdoors to exercise then a treadmill may not be for you.

And if you live in all-year-round sunny, warm weather, you may not need a treadmill (then again, you may prefer a cooler, air-conditioned workout.)

However, if you happen to live in seasonal climates where it rains, snows or both, a treadmill can be a handy tool to maintain your fitness regimen during the bleak weather months. Exercising on your treadmill can help you fight winter weight gain and even stave off those nasty winter blues.

#3 Do you enjoy walking, jogging or running?

Walking is an exercise that everybody can do. It's simple, doesn't require heightened coordination, and can be a great way to clear your head and deal with stress. Anyone can do it, regardless of fitness level - from absolute beginner to elite athlete.

There are also people who enjoy the rhythm and routine of jogging or running. Running or jogging is also one of the best all-round ways to burn fat. Again, it's fairly simple to do and doesn't require complex coordination.

While the benefits to walking, jogging and running are numerous, some people just don't like to exercise this way. They like the challenge of a box-aerobics class or mastering a complicated martial art. If you fall into this category, a treadmill will not meet your exercise preferences and it may not be the right machine for you.

If you do like walking but still want a challenge or even a distraction, there are easy ways to get this with your treadmill.

Treadmills are growing more sophisticated all the time offering numerous built-in workout programs, upper-body workout arms and even built-in stereo systems for you to plug-in your favorite CD's.

There's also the magazine rack so you can read your latest Time or People magazine. And of course, the most popular option: setting your treadmill up in front of the television (or buying a mini-television to mount above your treadmill).

You can always make your workout more interesting with your home treadmill - but if you don't enjoy walking, jogging or running, you might want to steer clear of the treadmill.

So those are 3 ways to tell if a treadmill is right for you. With our busy lifestyles and lack of time, the home treadmill also offers several other unique benefits, which you might want to consider before buying:

#1) Exercise Convenience

With a home treadmill you can jump on it at any time day or night. You don't have to waste time driving to the gym. You don't have to work around your gym's hours or schedule your workout around those 'peak times'. You don't have to rush to sign up for a treadmill at the gym. It's all yours. Workout whenever you want - and for however long you want.

With our jam-packed schedules these days, time is at a premium. While you may not have a long period of time to carve out for exercise, experts tell us that 'mini-workouts' give us the same benefits as long workouts. So instead of doing 30 minutes straight, with your own treadmill you can do 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night.

There's a third convenience to having a home treadmill - you can wear what you want. No worrying about if your hair is staying under your baseball cap. No rushing to find the right T-shirt for the gym. While this may seem trivial - it can actually make a difference in how much you exercise!

#2) Exercise Comfort

With a home treadmill, you can exercise in the comfort of your own home. No worrying about the rain, snow or sleet that's pouring down outside. You can jump on your treadmill with your favorite sports drink, turn on your favorite show and burn away those calories.

No worrying about winter weight gain or holiday pounds - because you have the tools at your disposal to easily work off any extra calories.

#3) More Calories Burned, More Weight Lost = Better Body Achieved

Because you can exercise when you want, for how long you want, regardless of weather or even busy schedules, you'll use your treadmill more frequently. And when you exercise more, you burn more calories, lose more weight and achieve a better body. This is always a benefit!

Home treadmills continue to be the most popular exercise machines with buyers today. They offer convenience, comfort and more opportunities to enjoy getting in shape.

If you decide that a treadmill is right for you, know that you'll be investing both in a great exercise machine and a better, healthier body!

About the Author

Kathryn O'Neill is the chief editor for Treadmill Review a consumer based website focused around treadmill reviews.

For more buying tips, treadmill brand reviews, and best buys visit Treadmill Review

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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape


Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.

Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:

Dave Snape

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