When it comes to treadmills as fitness equipment, the most common question people have is why bother running on a treadmill. After all, the road is free, why not just run on that? First let’s look at the benefits of running in general, then look at the benefits of a treadmill.

First, running is an excellent cardiovascular exercise. Not only does it exercise your heart, but it works you muscles as well, from your legs in propelling you to your arms in balancing you and your back in stabilizing you. Going up hills can give you an even better workout in all of these areas.

I don’t suppose I need to list the mountains of research that show why cardiovascular and muscular exercise is a good thing. And to be fair, there are other ways you can do these exercises that won’t result in as much stress on your joints.

But the human body was engineered to walk and run. It’s how we are built. Elliptical machines create unnatural movements that are meant to mimic natural movements but without the stress on your joints. Biking is lower impact but puts your body in a slightly unnatural position which isn’t great for your posture. Swimming is probably a better workout for you but it requires a pool which not everyone has access to.

And so running has always been America’s preferred exercise. But why a treadmill? There are a couple of reasons. First, no matter where you live, you can always run. If it is 140 degrees outside or -140 degrees, you can still go for a job. And with neat features like iFit you can feel like you are running anywhere in the world.

Many complain that a treadmill is boring or running in place on a moving belt is bad for your hip flexors. These arguments have some merit, but who said that’s how you have to use your treadmill? Just check out this guy.

Treadmills can enable you to do some pretty extreme and unique exercises otherwise unavailable. So running is good, running on a treadmill is good, and using your treadmill in other creatives ways to exercise is good too. Think about all that the next time someone rags on a treadmill.