Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Treadmill - Treadclimber - Is There Really Any Difference?

Treadmill - Treadclimber - Is There Really Any Difference?
By [] Kathy Hildebrand

Are you in the market for a treadmill? If you're like most people, you want a treadmill with an incline, or elevation. Incline on a treadmill used to be considered a bonus feature. These days, most motorized treadmills include an incline option. The difference between models is apparently in the amount of elevation available.

If you're looking for an economically priced treadmill, or under $1,000, you'll probably find that most treadmills only come with a 10-12% elevation. That might be enough for most people, especially those new to treadmill exercise. The mid-priced treadmills ($1,500+) have elevations of 12-15%. Most premium treadmills have inclines of 15%.

What kind of fitness condition are you in? If you're in tip-top shape and are looking for a challenge, then you'll probably want a 15% incline. However, if you are looking for a treadmill just for gentle walking, 10% might suit you perfectly.

The mother of elevation treadmills is the incline trainer. This is a treadmill that gives you much more incline than regular treadmills -- up to 30%.

You may have heard of another new entry to the treadmill market. How about the Bowflex climber? The Bowflex Treadclimber is a hybrid stair climber and treadmill. Treadclimbers have two separate, smaller treadmill belts (one for each foot) for you to walk on. These individual belts also move up and down, to meet every step you take.

Lest you think Bowflex is the only option in this market, be aware that Nordic Track also has an incline trainer available, the Nordic Track X5. This machine has only one treadbelt however, like a traditional treadmill, and offers elevations of up to 30%. It's really not the same as a treadclimber at all, but it is an option for someone who might all the features of a Bowflex treadclimber.

Bear in mind that the elevation offered by an incline trainer is way more than most people need. But if you want to burn as much as 500 calories in 20 minutes, it can be done with one of these machines. The downside is the price. While they're excellent for burning calories, they cost upwards of $1,600 for basic models. These units are primarily used in commercial settings like gyms or office fitness facilities.

Why are treadmill inclines desirable? The elevated slope can help super-charge your caloric burn. Twice or even 3 times as many calories can be burned by walking on an incline vs. walking on a level surface. Also, if you're looking to build intervals into your workout, walking on an incline for 30 seconds to 2 minutes can the perfect way to interval train and boost your post workout calorie burn.

So, it is great thing for a treadmill to come with an incline. Whether your treadmill has elevation or not, wear high quality walking shoes and have fun with your workout!

Kathy Hildebrand is a [] professional writer who is easily bored with her "day job" assignments. So, she researches anything and everything of interest and starts writing. Writing about an extremely wide variety of subjects keeps her skills sharp, and gives her food for thought on future paid writing assignments.

More of her research and articles can be found at [] and other sites around the internet.

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