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Start running in the comfort of your home with a treadmill

If you want to lose weight or stay in shape while sacrificing as little of your free time as possible, the best option is almost certainly to start running. Sprinting or jogging outside, with the right shoes and apparel, can be a fun and rewarding activity. However, not everyone lives in a sunny climate, meaning the trek outside can sometimes be both uncomfortable and, if icy, snowy, or dark enough, downright dangerous. The alternative is to try out a treadmill, either through your local gym or you could buy one for home.

So what should you look for when buying a treadmill? First of all, it's important to make sure you're using quality equipment. If you're purchasing used treadmills, make sure they keep a steady momentum (the motor should be able to produce 2 horsepower at a continuous rate), and that the track isn't so worn that it could present a safety hazard. If you live in an apartment or condo and need to save space, folding treadmills are a good option, and most can fit under a bed or into a small closet.

Looking for a reliable brand name? Star Trac treadmills have been around since the mid-1970s, and are known to last longer than many of their competitors. Remember that when buying a treadmill, as with most other equipment for your home, you usually get what you pay for. Check out treadmill reviews to see if the brand you're interested in has a worthy reputation.

Advantages of Treadmills

The obvious advantage of a treadmill is that it mimics running outdoors in the comfort of your home or inside a safe and warm gym. Because few physical activities feature the calorie-burning potential of running, those who can stick to a regular regimen of treadmill exercise and weight training should see substantial results in their figure after only two to three months.

Disadvantages of Treadmills

Although most treadmills boast shock-absorption features than can limit the impact on your joints, using treadmills can still put considerable strain on your feet, knees and hips. Make sure you use proper running shoes and replace them every six months (depending on the regularity of your exercise). If your joints start to hurt, try briefly switching to an elliptical machine or stationary bike.

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