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When many people think of gym equipment, one of the first things that they will associate with this term is the treadmill. One of the reasons that many people so readily associate a Jogger with the gym is that it’s been around for so long…

The history of the treadmill

It has been around for longer than you think! William Staub designed the first treadmill that was used by consumers in the 1960s. Dr. Robert Bruce and Wayne Quinton invented the forerunner to the commercial treadmill at the University of Washington in 1952. The purpose of their machine was to diagnose heart and lung disease. Today, the Jogger is still used by cardiologists and pulmonologists in their treatment of patients.

Treadmills and fitness

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Essentially, it is a conveyor belt that runs at a certain speed and forces the person running or walking on this to up or lower their speed depending on how fast it is going. Thus the faster the speed of the treadmill is set at, the faster that your cardiovascular system has to work in order for you to keep up with the pace. In this way, working out on a treadmill helps you to increase and maintain your cardiovascular fitness. In addition, when walking or running on this you’ll constantly be engaging your abdominal muscles. This means that you will be working out our abs while getting a cardiovascular workout.

Also, working out on a jogger helps you to burn calories – fast.  Running on a treadmill at about 8 mph for 20 minutes can burn 200 to 300 calories. This obviously depends on your particular body composition. However, the drawback of a treadmill workout is that it can be quite heavy on your knees and ankles. One of the most common complaints that runners have is shin splints. This means that to avoid this – if you still want to be a runner on a treadmill (or off) – you need to wear good shoes that cushion.

The elliptical: an alternative to the treadmill

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According to trifocus fitness academy another cardio machine which is great for building cardiovascular fitness and incinerating calories is the elliptical machine. Very often, you’ll find these near to the treadmills and they provide you with an upper body – as well as the lower body – workout. This is because these machines have poles that you can move, backward and forwards, during your work out and in time with the movement of your feet in the paddles.

Many people prefer this machine above the Jogger as it gives lower-impact cardio work out while – at the same time – providing all the cardio benefits that a treadmill does. It’s also less strenuous on your joints. It also provides you with an upper and lower body workout at the same time. Depending on your age and weight, you can burn 250 – 300 calories in half an hour using the elliptical machine.

So, which one is better?

The answer to this really depends on you and comes down to what you enjoy doing. Remember that in order to get the best out of your training, you need to vary it because if you constantly do one particular type of training your body will get used to it and – as such – will stop reaping the benefits that this has to offer. Whatever type of training that you do decide to do – whether it be walking/running on the treadmill, working out on the elliptical or both – get the advice of a personal trainer or gym instructor so that you can be assured that you’re doing the exercise correctly.

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