Health and Fitness

Advantages and Disadvantages of an Electric Treadmill

If you are considering buying a home treadmill or want to replace your current treadmill with one of a higher quality, an electric treadmill can be an excellent choice. A good quality treadmill has many advantages over treadmills that use belt-driven machinery: It's easier to keep up on both calorie intake and output, it's safer, quieter and more convenient than other types of treadmills. But choosing an electric treadmill can also be confusing, especially if you're not sure where to start.

To determine whether an electric treadmill is suitable for your needs, you need to look at how it works. A manual treadmill is simply a piece of metal with a running belt that moves via the force of user foot movement. Since it lacks electronic components, it's less safe and requires less maintenance than its belt-driven counterpart. More popular than the belt-driven treadmill, however, is the electric treadmill, which usually features a small motor that rotates around a pre-set speed, much like your typical walking treadmill.

Compared to a manual treadmill, an electric model offers several benefits: It offers constant exercise, no need for stopping for rest, and only moderate impact on ankles and knees. Also, since there's no physical contact involved, an exercise like jogging on a manual treadmill can be done more easily and for longer distances than on a treadmill with a belt-driven mechanism. And since an exercise using an electric motor uses no moving parts at all, it's a much healthier choice for everyone's bodies – even when compared to workouts on a bicycle or stair stepper.

However, an exercise using an electric treadmill still requires some degree of moving parts, such as the motor and the trolley. Electric motors differ from manual ones in several ways, most significantly in the absence of a clutch. The clutch in a manual treadmill functions only if you stop at a precise point. When you stop, the motor will stop, too, but only until you replace it with a new one. With an electric motor, the only thing that need replaced after each session is the battery and the same can be said for the trolley, which must be changed every few months, depending on your use.

Another major difference between the two types of treadmills is their design. Electric treadmills have their motors in the base of the machine, whereas manual ones have them on wheels. An electric treadmill has neither front nor rear wheels; it just moves along an inclined surface. This allows for both vertical and horizontal motion, which means that you can do a combination of walking, running or stair climbing on one unit. Meanwhile, a manual treadmill has to be balanced on both the front and rear wheels so that it can support both walking and running.

One of the most obvious disadvantages of an electric treadmill is that it is dependent on electricity. However, compared to the damage that walking or running could cause, the price is certainly a worthy sacrifice. The disadvantages of an electric treadmill also include lack of portability and the fact that the console and other features do not display information like speed and distance. On the other hand, many users have commented that they do not notice a difference in performance when using a treadmill that has a Magnetic console. Also, the lack of portability may put some off buying a treadmill since they cannot take it with them when they move to a gym or other location.