Talking about a mini treadmill makes me remember the very first time that I stepped foot on one 8 years ago in a little gym in the west of Singapore. It was my first time in a gym, it was the first time I was trying a fitness machine of any sort, so it was really daunting.
Running on it was acute uncomfortable. I've never been a person who would run at a constant pace, and I like to change tempo as and when I felt necessary. You could imagine how difficult it was for me to focus on my workout. I think I was spending more time adjusting the speed and incline of the machine than focusing on my breathing and posture.
What was worse was when I finally gave up running on that thing and got off. Being on solid ground after being on that treadmill for half an hour took its toll. My head was spinning and after a couple of minutes, I ran for the toilet, slammed the stall door shut and had my head in the toilet seat for a good 15 minutes to let the nausea subside.
You would think that because of my horrid experience with a treadmill, I would be nasty and tell you never to consider getting a mini treadmill for your own personal use. No. On the contrary, I'll still be unbiased and give you various considerations for you to take into account if you are thinking of getting one for your home.
What I like about the treadmill is that you have the option of inclining of your treadmill. This is really effective and simulates what fitness experts call "hill intervals".
This term basically refers to a particular workout whereby you start out by running really quickly uphill for a set duration of time (say, 20 seconds). After which you would do a light jog on even ground for maybe another 10 seconds. This is considered one set and one would typically aim to complete 5-7 sets depending on how fit you currently are.
Hill intervals became really popular because it was one of the fastest ways to lose weight. A few years back, weight loss experts only suggested normal intervals, basically running fast then slow on normal ground. Then hill intervals became popular and in order to remain competitive, fitness brands starting incorporating this feature into their exercise equipment, and the mini treadmill is no exception.
Therefore, it is very crucial that if you are serious about improving your stamina, your cardiovascular endurance or to lose a couple of pounds of body fat to make your muscles shine through, then be sure to use some incline during your workout.
I believe that some models of the treadmills even come with preset routes that auto adjust the incline for you. Be sure to ask your sales representative to find out exactly how to use a treadmill.
What if you also like to run at varying speeds? Does that mean that you cannot get a treadmill?
You definitely can. I know of one company that produces a free treadmill running belt. Basically, this belt has no speed control whatsoever - you just run at whatever pace you like, and the belt glides along to match your pace! It's really good for individuals like me who find that they don't like to keep to a fixed constant pace.
At the time of this writing, I'm still trying to get the contact information for this particular company. I'll update this page the moment I get hold on the sales representative that I've worked with before. Of course, if you are dying to get a fitness equipment, and cannot wait for this particular model of the mini treadmill, what you could do is to opt for another machine, like elliptical exercise machines for example.
If you are not sure what kind of runner you are, try to go for a runner's clinic. These are programs done by sports brands like Nike and Adidas where they let you run on a test treadmill and track your running performance. If you can't find the time to head to one of such clinics, the other best (and easy) alternative is to find a running partner.
Ask him or her to pace with you and note your running speed. A third party is always best when it comes to making such observations. It may take both of you a few runs before knowing for sure, but it's definitely more convenient than to head to a runner's clinic. Plus, I believe some of them might charge you for the test. It depends, really.
Or if you cannot get anyone, just go to a gym, wear something comfortable, get on board a treadmill and start running. Try to notice how you feel while running. If you get constant urges to hit the button to adjust the pace you are at, chances are, you're a runner that doesn't like consistent rhythm.
Remember, that there is nothing wrong with running at a varying pace. Everyone runs differently, trust me.
This might seem like a lot of work, but it is worth it especially since a mini treadmill is quite an expensive investment and you should be absolutely sure before making the purchase.
I don't like how even a mini treadmill model takes up so much space. It's another reason why I prefer elliptical vs treadmill. Of course, some people argue that treadmills now are a lot better than their predecessors.
If you feel that space is not an issue, and your experience at the gym using it was good, then by all means.
This review about the mini treadmill was hard for me to do because of my poor experience with such a fitness equipment, but I did it with you in mind. I provided my objective views on this particular product and gave you the pros and cons.
The ball is now in your court. Don't be too hasty to get one, but don't keep procrastinating either. If you like it, you've done your research, take a deep breath and buy it. As long as you keep at it, you'll reap what you sow. It's the law.
You reap what you sow.
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