Home treadmills are becoming increasingly popular as people look for ways to get fit and stay healthy without leaving the comfort of their own homes.
Recently, I purchased a home treadmill. Due to external factors that temporarily kept me away from swimming, I needed an alternative form of home exercise to maintain my swimming fitness. A home treadmill seemed like a good idea.
At first, I was reluctant. As I am a swimmer and not a runner, my biggest concern was that my treadmill would gather dust after the initial enthusiasm wore off.
However, three months on and I am still enjoying the treadmill and have learned to take advantage of the practicality of having it at home.
In my opinion, home treadmills are a good idea for swimmers. I would recommend a home treadmill as an easy way to maintain or improve your cardiovascular fitness. Whether it’s running or walking, using a home treadmill can provide a convenient home workout.
In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of owning a home treadmill and how running on one can help improve your swimming fitness, covering:
- Is having a treadmill at home worth it?
- What are the disadvantages of using a treadmill?
- Is running good for swimmers?
- Can you lose weight with a home treadmill?
Is Having A Treadmill At Home Worth It?
For weeks, I struggled with the decision to purchase a treadmill for my home.
Like millions of others, I am guilty of purchasing lots of home gym equipment that is now sitting in a drawer or gathering dust.
My biggest hesitation when it came to buying a treadmill was the fear of wasting my hard-earned money on something that would take up valuable space and end up being left unused.
Thankfully, after three months of owning and using the treadmill, I am more than content with my choice. I have no regrets.
Here are some of the pros that I have found which make having a treadmill at home worth it:
1. It Is Convenient
With your own treadmill, you don’t have to worry about leaving the house and can get in a good workout any time of day or night that works for you. You’ll also save time since you don’t have to drive to the gym or find somewhere to run outside.
In addition, you do not have to dress up or put on special clothes to use a treadmill at home. I have found myself taking a stroll in my dressing gown with a morning coffee or running in my pyjamas when I didn’t have the motivation to change into running gear.
It makes exercise more accessible with fewer barriers, as it is so convenient.
2. The Weather Does Not Matter
I always use the weather as an excuse and a barrier to exercise. It is either too wet, too cold, too windy, or too hot to run.
As I am a swimmer, I don’t particularly like running around outdoors. The pool is definitely my home.
With a treadmill at home, however, I find I can no longer use the weather as an excuse. Like my local swimming pool, my running conditions are now consistent and not weather dependent.
3. It Is Safer
I often find that I get the motivation to exercise and run either early in the morning or late at night. Right now, that would involve running in the dark here in the UK, which is not safe, particularly in the city where I live.
I feel safe running on my home treadmill, as I do not need to leave the house and no longer have to worry about meeting strangers or facing the bright lights of cars.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Using A Treadmill?
Having used my treadmill for over three months now, there are some disadvantages which I have found from a user point of view, which may not be obvious to new owners.
1. Loud Motor Noise
One of the drawbacks of using a home treadmill is the loud motor noise.
Many treadmills are engineered with a powerful motor to provide a smooth and consistent running experience; however, this power often leads to an extremely loud noise that can be distracting, especially in a small room.
When you are using a treadmill in a busy gym, you may not notice the loudness of the treadmill. However, in a quiet environment, even the smoothest treadmills are noisy.
Additionally, if you place your treadmill in an area with thin walls, or near other living spaces in your home, it can be a source of annoyance to roommates and family members.
2. Space Limitations
Another disadvantage of using a home treadmill is the space limitation. Depending on its size, a treadmill may require a lot of room for proper operation.
If you do not have enough space for this, it may be difficult to use your treadmill efficiently and safely.
Although some treadmills are designed as lightweight and compact to “pack away” I honestly do not believe that this is practical.
I purchased the most lightweight and space-saving treadmill I could afford and it is still large and cumbersome.
If you are considering a home treadmill, I highly recommend having a dedicated spot for it where it is not in the way and you do not need to pack it away between use.
Is Running Good For Swimmers?
Running is a great way to supplement swimming workouts, as it is an excellent aerobic exercise that can help swimmers improve their endurance and overall fitness. [source]
Running helps build muscular strength, proving a great leg workout which we can feel the benefit of when we swim.
Running is a great way to improve our overall fitness stamina; again we will feel the benefits of this when we swim.
Ultimately, running is a great complement to swimming fitness and can have many beneficial effects on overall performance.
However, runners often suffer from tight or inflexible ankles. [source]
As we know, ankle flexibility is essential to fast swimming, therefore it is important to maintain flexible ankles as a swimmer.
To learn more about the importance of ankle flexibility for swimming, I have covered this in greater detail in this article, Is Ankle Flexibility The Secret To Swimming Faster?
Can You Lose Weight With A Home Treadmill?
Running on a home treadmill can be an effective way to lose weight. By running for a predetermined amount of time each day, you can burn calories and gradually lose body fat.
One of my goals, when I purchased a home treadmill, was to lose weight and not just improve my swimming fitness.
Recently I hit a plateau with my swimming, where I was not burning many calories or getting a good aerobic workout despite swimming a mile a day. It felt like my body hit a certain level of fitness and without turning up the intensity; I was not getting any fitter or swimming any faster.
I wanted to incorporate the use of a treadmill to ensure that I met my fitness goals and lost some weight.
With running, I can get a much more intense workout than swimming (for now), as my body has not yet adapted to my new running routine. It is a fun way to mix things up and ensure I get a good workout.
It’s important to remember that in order to reach your fitness goals, you must also regularly adjust your diet. This means eating healthy, nutritious food and avoiding processed or junk food.
If weight loss is your goal, research has shown that adjusting your diet can be far more effective than increasing physical activity levels. [source]
For now, I am loving my home treadmill and it is a purchase I am happy I made. My cardiovascular strength has improved, which will translate to better swimming stamina in the pool.
At the end of the day, to improve your swimming fitness or swimming times you could argue it is best to just swim more, however, dry land exercises such as running can help to keep things interesting for the recreational swimmer.
If you are unsure and like me, terrified that your home treadmill will turn into a cumbersome dust collector, then I recommend checking out cheaper second-hand treadmill options first so you can try the experience of having a home treadmill without risking too much money.
In conclusion, running on a home treadmill can be an excellent way to supplement your swimming workouts and help you reach your fitness goals. Running is also a great way to kick-start a new weight loss journey or breakthrough exercise plateaus.
Happy swimming (or running!)