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Manual Vs. Motorized Treadmills
By: Kathryn ONeill

When people go to purchase a treadmill, one of the first questions they ask is ďDo I want a manual or motorized treadmill?Ē

Whatís the difference between the two?

The Basic Difference:

With a manual (or non-motorized) treadmill, you push the belt with your feet. The action of your feet against the treadmill moves the belt.

With a motorized treadmill you keep pace as the treadmill motor moves the belt for you at a pace you set electronically.

Advantages & Disadvantages:

Manual treadmills:

Tend to be cheaper (since youíre not paying for the motor) and can range from $200 to $600.

They also tend to be smaller, take up less space and are easier to move (since they arenít as heavy as a motorized treadmill).

Some people have theorized that manual treadmills burn more calories than motorized treadmill since you supply the power to move the belt.

This is unfortunately NOT TRUE.

Because you supply the power, unless you are in top athletic shape, you will tend to move slower and get tired more easily. This results in LESS calories burned on a manual treadmill.

Plus, the action of getting the belt to move initially and keep it moving can cause a strain on your joints.

Itís also difficult to run on a manual treadmill so if you want to start a jogging program or train as a runner, a manual treadmill would not meet your needs.

Motorized treadmills:

Tend to be more expensive and can range from $800 up to $8000. However, they tend to last longer and are built to take more of a beating.

Also, because the belt moves for you at varying speeds, this motivates you to keep up and actually results in more calories burned (vs. a manual treadmill).

You can easily adjust the speed and incline on most motorized treadmills, usually while still on the machine. This makes it much more convenient and saves the strain on your joints.

A final advantage to the motorized treadmills is that they tend to have more options and features (iFit compatibility, numerous built-in workout programs, scrolling information consoles). This makes your workout more interesting and possibly even enjoyable as you can watch your progress.

This means that you will probably USE the treadmill more often which again results in more calories burned and a better body achieved.

The Final Conclusion:

Unless youíre in extremely good physical shape, a manual treadmill is not recommended. Choose a motorized treadmill for maximum calorie burning and exercise convenience.

The biggest motivation to choose a manual treadmill is the low cost. However, you can find a quality motorized treadmill for a relatively low cost if you know where to look.

Regardless of what you choose remember to have fun and commit yourself to a better, healthier you!

Kathryn O'Neill is the chief editor for Treadmill Review

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

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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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