In the ever-changing world of personal fitness it can seem like you are constantly being bombarded with newer, better, faster-working exercise routines and equipment.
But what if newer didn’t necessarily mean better? What if you didn’t need to be buying a fancy new machine with cables and crazy moving parts? What if your tried-and-true treadmill was suddenly the coolest kid on the block again?
No, this is not a dream. Your treadmill is having its comeback moment and it works to your advantage.
One major benefit of the treadmill is that you know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing while you’re on it. You don’t need to choreograph nine different movements and suddenly have a level of coordination you certainly weren’t born with.
You just walk, jog, or run. The one foot in front of the other routine is pretty basic, but still effective after all these years.
Your treadmill also allows you to get in your workouts in a safe environment, your own home or your local gym. You don’t need to venture out in less than ideal weather, or after dark, when pounding the pavement is simply the only thing that will do.
This comfort can play a key role in actually getting your workouts done. When you know what you need to do and there’s no learning curve, you tend to have more confidence in your ability. You know you can hop on your treadmill and get it done.
So, the question seems to be, why is the treadmill suddenly so popular again? What changed?
The answer lies not in the treadmill itself, which remains just the way you remember it for the most part. The frame, belt and motor still perform the same functions so there are no surprises there.
The difference is how it’s being used.
The treadmill has always been sort of a solitary machine. You didn’t see groups of people going the gym and getting on treadmills next to each other for their workout sessions. The treadmill was for the loners, those that put on their headphones, got on the machine and ran until they were done.
This isn’t the case anymore.
Do you remember several years ago when spin classes became the greatest thing since sliced bread, with every gym desperately making space to cram in as many bikes as they could? It took the fitness world by storm and millions of people were participating in group and online classes. This is exactly what we are now seeing with treadmills.
Gone are the days of solo treadmills and solo treadmill users. The treadmill is now being used as a group class machine and it’s changing the game.
While most of us know how to use a treadmill, we don’t always know how to best utilize them to actually reach our goals. This is where the classes make a huge difference, not only do you have an instructor to help you get where you want to be, they can help you set attainable goals outside of just extending the amount of time you can run.
Peloton, a name you may be hearing more often, is one gym that has embraced the treadmill as part of their core curriculum. As instructor Rebecca Kennedy says, “We’re taking the workload off your shoulders.”
For example, a typical class may have your instructor leading you through a series of meticulously crafted intervals and hills. They will tell you when to adjust your speed and incline while also giving you tips on your form and providing motivation to keep you going.
You don’t need to wonder if you’re doing the workout right when you have a pro telling you exactly what to do and when. Plus, you’ll be working out to a music playlist made specifically to keep you moving.
Another cause for the resurgence of the treadmill is technology. Just because you don’t have a fancy gym down the street from your house doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the benefits of an amazing group class.
iFit Technology – iFit technology, available on NordicTrack and ProForm treadmills, offers tech that keeps you in the loop no matter where your days take you. You can access video classes from the huge library available at your fingertips and find the perfect workout for you.
If you’re looking for something even more interactive, iFit also gives you the ability to join in a live class and feel the burn along with others from around the globe.
Downloadable apps – If you decide to dust off your treadmill that’s been acting as a clothes hanger for the last decade, you can also use new technology from your phone or tablet to make your treadmill the new place to be.
Apps from Nike, Peloton and Zwift are just a few of the treadmill running apps that can help you reach your treadmill goals from home.
Perhaps the largest factor that has people running to their treadmill is that these options all allow you to be part of a group. Running has often been viewed as a solitary sport, whether you were on a treadmill or not, but now the tables have turned and it’s a very powerful tool.
When you work out in a class setting you have an instructor pushing you and others around you to help you cross that finish line.
If you use an app you can watch your avatar on the map with others who are running the same route. When you’re done you can post about your success, get feedback from other runners and know you aren’t the only one feeling good about your accomplishment.
Whether you have past experience with a treadmill (good or bad) or you’ve never set foot on the belt before, now is the perfect time to give it a try. Look for a gym near you that offers classes, or join in a live class from your living room and remember why the treadmill is so great.
With New Tech, Treadmills Are Getting Trendy: Christine You; 2019