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Treadmills Ė Keep On Running
By: Martin Smith

There are benefits to the use of treadmills as part of your exercise program. A treadmill provides a wonderful cardiovascular workout for your heart, your lungs, and your circulation. There is low impact on your joints, which makes it easier and less painful to workout. This is an excellent workout for pregnant women. Because it is low impact and cardio-vascular in nature it builds endurance which no doubt helps during labor.

Treadmills are easy to use and they are not that expensive especially the lower end models. The use of a treadmill will help you lose weight and body fat. A non-physical benefit of a treadmill can be that they donít take up a lot of space. Oh there are some that could use a whole room but if space is the issue then you can find manual treadmills that are powered by your movement only that fold. Really do some research and talk to professionals about which one might be appropriate.

It is best to compare different models. What kind of features are you looking for on your treadmill? Here are some things to look at when you are comparing various models. It can be overwhelming because all you really want is to work out. The type of motor is important as it can affect the size of your machine. The belt trackers are the most important things to look at.

It is the placement of the running belt and the type of movement of the belt as you work out. You want a belt that moves smoothly over the rollers as opposed to being jerky. Did you ever see a check out belt in the market that starts and jumps and then starts and jumps again? If the movement on your treadmill is like that there can be more impact on your joints than necessary and injury can result.

The length and width of the belt is something else to look at. A belt that is not long enough can cause you to Ďrun-offí the end of the belt. A belt that is too narrow will not necessarily support your stance. Try out the machine if possible or one very much like it if at all possible.

The type of incline and the percentage of the incline will affect your workout and the impact on your joints. Many treadmills have adjustable inclines so that as you progress you can increase the slant to where you are walking like you would on a steep hill. The speed, how fast the belt moves, should be adjustable as well. What is the minimum and maximum speed? Knowing this will help you plan your workout and make it more effective.

One of the features you should look for on your treadmill monitor console is a heart rate monitor. You can make your workout more beneficial if you know your resting heart rate and your target heart rate is the highest number you reach to get maximum benefits from your work out. The console should also display your speed, your time and the distance you have covered.

It is imperative that you learn to properly run your treadmill before attempting to use it. The control panel should be easy to read. Can the control panel be used without the software program? You do not want a noisy treadmill. While there will be some noise, you donít want the noise to be overwhelming.

Is the noise level acceptable for you? How thick is the belt? A thin belt could wear over time so you would want a belt that is thick enough to last for a long time. Some belts will begin to stretch. In order to help make your treadmill last be sure you regularly check that the belt hasnít stretched or cracked anywhere. Make sure the monitor is functioning properly.

Other things to consider are how heavy the machine is. Some delivery companies will only bring it to your door, itís then up to you to get it in the house and set it up. How it looks is important because if you donít like how it looks in your home you will be less likely to use it. Will it be easy to store when not in use? Most likely it will occupy the same space when itís not in use so you may want to consider (before you bring it home) if this will be acceptable.

Your treadmill should be placed away from walls to prevent injury from falls. It should be about eight feet away from any ledge, wall, or windows. All wires and the power supply should be out of the way of walking areas or taped down to prevent someone from tripping when getting on or off your treadmill.

Here are a few tips on using your new treadmill. Before you get on the belt straddle the belt and make sure it is set at the proper speed. Keep your eyes forward as your eyes will follow your feet. Be sure to stay in the center of the belt to prevent some slips and falls.

(c) www.1st-4-fitness-equipment.com

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About the Author
Martin Smith is a successful freelance writer providing advice for consumers on purchasing a variety of Home Fitness Equipment which includes Home Gyms, Exercise Bikes, and more! His numerous articles provide a wonderfully researched resource of interesting and relevant information.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/


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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
shocks.

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
speaking.

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

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

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:
http://tinyurl.com/6c6kq
 

Dave Snape

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