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How Treadmills Work
By: Jennifer Dennis

How Treadmills Work

Have you jumped on a treadmill machine lately? When you want a great workout,
the treadmill is one of the finest ways to tone your lower body in an exciting
and rewarding fashion. Day after day, you can work various muscle groups as you
run, jog or walk your way to better fitness. Run on an incline, run at a faster
speed. But have you ever wondered, as you were running, how it all works? How it
all fits together?

A treadmill is essentially a machine that gives you a multi-terrain experience
from the comfort and privacy of your own home. You can walk, jog or run in a
variety of environments—all on a belt that is specially designed to give you the
highest level of aerobic exercise possible. With a frame that surrounds a
cushioning belt, powered by a matching motor and array of features, such as
speed and incline, the user can get a multitude of fitness programs and an
overall versatile workout each time he or she jumps on board.

The platform and the belt are essential components to the treadmill. A treadmill
has been shown to last a long time because the exercise mimics our natural
movements. The platform and belt are important parts to ensure you have a
smooth, comfortable exercise. A good belt should be no less than 18 inches wide
and 48 inches long; a very tall person should have a belt no less than 20 inches
wide and 54 inches long.

The motor – variable speed is an important part of your workout. Altering the
motor speed can help you work out to your own pace—in a comfortable, yet
challenging manner. The basic treadmill will have a minimum rating of 1.5
horsepower. The workout on a minimum 1.5 will give you a poor workout and
frequently suffer breakdowns. This minimum rating cannot hold up well to the
repeated use of the treadmill day after day. A good treadmill has a 2HP
continuous motor and can withstand year after year of abuse.

Incline is an important part of the overall treadmill experience. Incline can
give you an intense calf workout as well as a higher cardiovascular routine.
Incline provides an increased resistance as the machine rises in varying levels.
The higher the level of incline, the higher level of aerobic exercise and
increased fitness activity. A superior
machine can quickly and adeptly raise and lower the machine
without disrupting a user’s exercise experience. A lesser machine has to be
raised manually or causes the runner, jogger or walker to have a shaky, unsteady
exercise as the machine adjusts to the new level of incline during the workout.

The monitors on a treadmill measure the user’s outout throughout the run. For
example, heart rate monitors on high-end machines can help an individual
maintain a particular targeted heart rate for optimal fitness workouts. In this
way, a person can work out smarter, not harder to obtain the results he or she
needs. Monitors placed on the panel in front of the treadmill will control your
speed, incline and give you an output on time, calories and more.

These monitors not only provide accurate and important information throughout
the exercise, they are significant motivating factors throughout the entire
length of the workout.

In short, as you are working out and giving it your hardest, there is a lot of
factors going on underneath you. The better the machine is that you are running,
jogging or walking with, the better your overall workout will be—year after
year. From the incline to the speed, monitor reading and more, your treadmill
machine provides a variety of options and information for you at every moment.
Next time you are running along, getting the workout you want, give a mental
pause to all the factors that go into obtaining a great, rewarding workout.

Purchase the best. Measure all of the factors that affect your workout before
you buy.

About the Author: Jennifer Dennis is a successful author and regular
contributor to - a fitness and treadmill industry resource that features treadmill reviews,
guides, product descriptions and articles.

About the Author

About the Author: Jennifer Dennis is a successful author and regular
contributor to - a fitness and treadmill industry resource that features treadmill reviews,
guides, product descriptions and articles.

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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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