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Going Nowhere Fast: The Benefits of Treadmills

By Keesa Dupre

It's hard for some people to see the benefits of treadmills. You aren't actually going anywhere, and what's the point of walking in place?  But in fact, treadmills have some excellent health benefits and even better weight loss benefits.  Don't be quite so quick to dismiss them. 

A treadmill's first benefit is its proximity

It's right there, in plain view, reminding you to use it. Train yourself to think of the treadmill's presence as a gentle nudge, rather than a frowning despot reminding you of all your past failures.  Learn to be okay with what you didn't do yesterday; it's what you're going to do today that matters. 

The treadmill's second benefit is its stability

You move, yes, but the treadmill never goes anywhere. This makes it perfect for watching a movie or carrying on a conversation, if you can talk while you walk. Treadmills make it easy to ditch those couch potato habits by letting you enjoy your favorite shows while burning calories. No potato chips allowed. 

And, finally, the treadmill's third benefit is its usability

It certainly is possible to get treadmills that have more buttons and features and bells and whistles than the QE2.  But it isn't necessary.  Your main goal when hunting for a treadmill should be to find one that you 1) know how to turn on, and 2) know how to turn off. 

In order to get the most out of your treadmill, you have to…well…use it. This is the hard part for many people, because they try to do too much, too soon.  Commit to using your treadmill for 5 minutes every day. 

That's it!  Just 5 minutes, and no more.  Set a timer to remind you to stop when 5 minutes are up. If you're willing to commit to 5 minutes a day,  you're building a habit that will last you for life. 

When your favorite show is on, turn on the treadmill with the TV.  Eschew the couch, and head for the treadmill instead.  (Be sure when purchasing your treadmill that you get a quiet one; some treadmills are loud enough to wake the dead, and you couldn't hear your spouse if they screamed, let alone a television.) 

But be careful: you don't want to get into the habit of turning on the television every time you turn on the treadmill.  It should be the other way around; turn on the treadmill every time you turn on the television.  For your daily 5 minutes, the television should most definitely be off. 

Set attainable goals, and be careful to stick to them.  This is the way to get the most out of your treadmill. 


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