A treadmill is a machine that let you walk (or run) remaining still in the same place.
Treadmills were originally used as a way to exploit the animals power. For example, a mill was moved by an animal to grind grains. Later, treadmills were used to punish people confined to hard labour in prison.
Nowadays treadmills are used in two ways: as exercise machines and as medical devices. In fact, the forerunner of exercise treadmill was designed by Dr. Bruce and Quinton at the University of Washington in 1952 to diagnose heart and lung disease. But the year 1968 was the most important for the commercial evolution of the home and gym treadmill as an exercise machine; in fact, Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s researches demonstrated the benefits of aerobic exercise and prompted people to walking, running and biking to gain better health conditions.
Since then treadmills pervade in rehabilitation centers, sports clubs, hospitals, physiotherapy clinics, universities, test facilities and training rooms of police and army, Olympic training centers, and even gyms. But today prices are so low that everyone can own a personal treadmill at home.
Unlike first treadmills, who requires the user to power the device, modern machine provides a moving platform with a conveyor belt driven by an electric motor or a flywheel. The belt moves to the rear requiring the user to walk or run at the same speed of the belt. Obviously the belt speed can be controlled by the user.
There is two types of treadmill: the electrical motor-driven treadmill and the manual one. The latter is cheaper since it passively resists the motion. The motor-driven treadmill is more expensive and usually it has electronic functions that the manual doesn’t have. For example, some treadmills also have the reversing of a running belt to simulate the downhill loads.
If you plan to run at high speed, larger and stable treadmill is needed; in this case treadmill must have security enhancements to prevent the risk of falling such as a fall stop unit.
For this reasons the price of a good treadmill can be very high.
Check this guide to get all the informations you need to choose the right treadmill for you!