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Right after reading a book called Aerobics, by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, the birth of the first home
TREADMILL was conceived.
The developer of the very first affordable home use treadmill, William Staub, had read about the physical benefits that are associated with running for at least 32mins in a week. And so, he went ahead and developed the PaceMaster 600 and sold his new toy, in the 60s, to the first home users.
There are several advantages to this development and technology.
To mention, but a few is the fact that you can be in your room and run miles and miles on a spot without having to go outside the doors. This kind of cut off the possibility of being attacked if you were to run in a dangerous neighborhood.
Furthermore, a well-cushioned treadmill reduces the risk of wear and tear done to the joints, which is very likely to happen if you were to be running on hard grounds.
In retrospect, a treadmill is no more what it used to be. There has been advancements that have gone into it and a lot of improvement since it was first developed.
You can create the effect of running up a hill from a plain, and then back up a hill right on your treadmill, by engaging a technology on the device called Automatic Incline.
To make this device what we all want to have in our homes today, various parts were put together, working as a unit to make it what it is.
In this article, I will give a brief description of the parts that make up the treadmill and their importance in the unit. For more details check out the Body Gear Guide on best equiptment.
The frame of a treadmill is one of the most important components of the unit. It is the structure that holds the whole unit in place.
The frame is made from either steel alloy or aluminum. The aluminum frame was recently introduced and it promises to be equally good for the purpose.
There are sections on the frame called the Bars (Rails or Grips).
The treadmill bars are only to be used by the trainer for balancing as the treadmill kicks to start and when it rolls to a stop. The bars can also be used to monitor or measure the heart rate by gripping them (for treadmills that have heart monitor).
The Deck and The Belt
These two parts are also very important parts of the treadmill.
The belt is the space on your treadmill you run on. It comes in sizes that are measured in Ply, depending on the thickness.
The running belt thickness ranges from 1ply to 4ply, however, the 1ply and 2ply belts are the most common.
It is advisable to get, at least, a 2ply belt for durability and comfort. A 2ply belt is quieter than a single ply belt The running belt is always affixed to the deck.
The Deck is the space on the frame where the belt is attached, on the treadmill.
There are basically three types of deck, all made from woods; Plyboard, Phenolic Board, and Laminate.
A good deck is well cushioned, and can sometimes be adjustable to absorb shock, and lower the risk of straining and wearing out the joints, and help build stamina during a workout.
The deck also hold the Incline mechanism. The incline can be either automatic or manual.
The incline is used to adjust the level of the track to aid intense workout. It helps burn out calories faster as a result of the uphill feel it replicates. The incline automatic option does this with the help of another important part of the unit called the Motor.
In treadmills that have automatic incline on board, two types of Motor are required for full functionality - the incline motor and the motor that powers the running belt.
The incline motor helps change the level of the running board at the push of a button. Although this comes with an extra cost, it is worth the extra, since you will not have to climb down the treadmill to readjust the incline.
The motor that powers the belt is the most important part of the treadmill.
Motors are generally measured in horsepower, and not how bulky it is. The higher the horsepower, the better the throughput. There are two types of a motor; the A.C motor and the D.C motor. The D.C motors are commonly installed on treadmills because of their lower power consumption.
The best option for a motor is a Continuous duty. It is consistent and durable.
The roller is what keeps the running belt in check. It is also very important that the rollers have a good bearing and wide diameter between 2" and 3". This will prevent the belt from slipping off. The rollers help to keep the belt rolling smoothly.
A good roller will reduce the strain on the motor.
These days, most treadmills come with a console installed on it to control the workings of the compartment.
Some of the features that are commonly seen on a console are as follow;
Heart Rate Monitor
Most of the sophisticated treadmills in the market now come with the heart rate monitor to help you stay within your bound.
This is a top notch technology that wirelessly connects you to the internet. With membership plans, you can download a personal workout scheme and workout videos. The iFit google map can also help you make a choice of terrain and give you the feel of it, right on your treadmill.
Some treadmills come with T.V, iPod and speed monitor.
A good treadmill will run for several years depending on the handling and maintenance.