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Benefits of Treadmill Exercise

by
author image Jae Allen
Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.
Benefits of Treadmill Exercise
Treadmill exercise can benefit your heart, muscles and bones. Photo Credit Barry Austin/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Treadmills provide versatile, indoor exercise options which can provide a venue for either running or walking. Most treadmills measure your speed and distance as you work out, which can increase your motivation and efficiency in exercising. Treadmills are also a suitable form of exercise if you are recovering from a physical injury, as the ability to use hand rails while walking on a smooth surface may enable you to exercise when you couldn't do so outdoors. The health benefits of treadmill use are wide-ranging.

Cardiovascular

As with any form of aerobic exercise, running on a treadmill has cardiovascular benefits. The action of treadmill running requires you to repeatedly move the major muscles in your legs, hips and arms. In response to this physical effort, your breathing and heart rate increase, and blood flow increases between your lungs and muscles. In the long term, aerobic exercise will strengthen your heart, and lower your resting heart rate. Your resting circulation will improve, and your arteries will be kept clearer, reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke

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Bone Health

Weight-bearing exercises, such as running or walking on a treadmill, can increase the density of your bones. Increased bone density strengthens your skeleton, and reduces the risk of bone-thinning diseases such as osteoporosis. A 2008 study reported in the "Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism" found that regular endurance training on a treadmill had significant benefits for the bone quality of growing rats. The results of this study do not necessarily translate directly to human benefits, but indicate that treadmills specifically have a role to play in developing healthy bone material.

Mental and Emotional

In addition to its physical benefits, treadmill training offers several benefits relating to your mental health and emotional well-being. Aerobic exercise prompts the release of endorphins, which provide an overall sense of well-being. Treadmill exercise can therefore help alleviate they symptoms of depression and help you to relax. If you contend with anxiety and mental tension, treadmill exercise at an aerobic level of intensity can often reduce these symptoms.

Motivation

In comparison to a hard, outdoor surface the running surface of a treadmill can provide a lower-impact option for running and jogging workouts. Low-impact walking workouts can easily be designed and implemented using a treadmill. If you have health concerns that make unsupervised outdoor exercise unsafe, including heart disease, seizure disorders or morbid obesity, a treadmill allows you to exercise in a safe, supervised and indoor environment. The ability to control speed, incline and climate during a workout may increase your motivation for treadmill workouts and lead you to do more exercise overall, with all the associated increase in health benefits.

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