The home treadmill is one of the most popular machines when it comes to home exercise equipment sales. This is not surprising, considering that walking is a natural activity for us. Walking and running are a great way to keep in shape. Walking requires less gear than getting set up to engage in other exercise activities (although you can spend a fair amount on hiking boots, clothes and other paraphernalia). A brisk daily walk burns calories and strengthens the body's cardiovascular system. For people with osteoporosis, hypertension and chronic back pain it is probably the only exercise they can still safely engage in. We all know how to walk. It's the easiest way we know of to maintain and improve overall health and fitness. The home treadmill adds to this overall appeal.

According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, over 40 million consumers purchase treadmills each year and the number continues to grow.

Why Buy a Home Treadmill?

Convenience - Just imagine being able to exercise whenever you like. You can go for a run before having breakfast, you can go for a walk even when the weather is bad. You don't have to line up at the gym. You can even run in the buff...

Multi-Tasking - You can read, watch TV, talk with friends, or listen to music or audiotapes while you exercise on a treadmill. You can keep an eye on your kids, wait for files to download, take care of dinner or the laundry and even meditate, think through problems or make grocery lists.

Privacy - Some people just don't like to work out in a public gym. Exercising in the privacy of their homes is ideal in this situation. Also, in some areas and neighborhoods, walking or running exposes one to traffic, muggers or vicious dogs. These hazards are avoided by using a home treadmill.

Ease of Use - You don't have to work too hard on your treadmill exercises to see real results. Just twenty minutes a day is all that it takes to accomplish something - lose some weight, look better, feel better. Modern home treadmills have built-in workout programs and features such as power incline adjustments so you can enhance the effectiveness of your workouts. User friendly control panels and heart rate monitors let you target your heart rate for maximum effectiveness.

Maximum Calorie Burn - According to recent studies done by the Medical College of Wisconsin and the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, treadmills provide maximum calorie burn in the shortest period of time. The average treadmill user burns 705-865 calories per hour compared to a calorie burn of 637-746 on a stair machine, 606-739 on a rowing machine, 595-604 on a stationary bike and 595 to 678 on a cross-country ski machine.

Clearly, the home treadmill provides numerous advantages compared to walking or running outdoors. Treadmills are easier to use and often less expensive than other types of fitness equipment. And they compare very favorably to other machines when it comes to calorie burn.

What About Elliptical Machines?

The majority of elliptical trainers come with those upper body handle bars that let the user work the lower and upper body simultaneously. But that's not the only difference. Elliptical trainers provide a smooth motion and since your feet rest on the foot pedals there is no impact on the bones and joints. If you have joint problems or chronic conditions, the elliptical trainer might be a better choice. But remember that the impact you get when running builds or helps maintain bone density which in turn strengthens bones and prevents the loss of calcium.

Home Treadmills Build Bone Density

Treadmills are one of the few types of home exercise machines that help build bone density. Doctors and fitness pros agree that the bouncing and jarring associated with walking or running is essential to keep bones, muscles and joints working properly. Modern home treadmills keep the impact to your joints at an acceptable level with cushioned decks and suspension systems. As with any type of exercise, it is a good idea to check with your physician first if you have health conditions that may make it difficult or unwise for you to participate in certain activities.

Let's face it, most of us who exercise do so because we know what's good for us, not because we actually enjoy doing it. Motivation can always be an impediment to regularly engage in any type of exercise, even though you know you feel good after your workout. If you are going to put in the time, you might as well use a machine you know will help in achieving your goals. The home treadmill provides the means to an effective workout in the shortest period of time. So go ahead and try a treadmill. It should be at the top of your list when it comes to shopping for home exercise equipment.

Author's Bio: 

About the Author:

Kevin Urban is the editor at the web's most popular treadmill buying guide providing in-depth reviews and tips for treadmill workouts. The site recommends the best treadmill buys for 2007 in five different categories.