An Introduction to Treadmills

An Introduction to Treadmills

What is a treadmill?

A treadmill is an exercise equipment that allows its user to walk, jog, or run while staying in place. The machine makes this possible by providing a moving platform comprising of a wide conveyor belt driven by a flywheel or an electric motor. Consequently, treadmills are a popular exercise equipment that many people can install in their homes so that they can do cardio exercises conveniently.

A little history about the treadmill

The first treadmill was created in the year 1875, and unlike the modern treadmills today, the earlier treadmills were built to harness power from animals to operate devices like water pumps, spinning wheels, and butter churns. Many different farm animals were put on the treadmills, from horses to cows.

During that time, people were also using the treadmills, albeit for a much different purpose. Instead of the exercise machines they are today, treadmills then were used to reform inmates in prisons – the early treadmills were 20 foot paddle wheels with 24 steps around a 6 foot cylinder, prisoners were made to work on these machines for more than 6 hours everyday. Yikes!

It was not until 1952 that a doctor name Robert A. Bruce, thought of a more humane application for the treadmill – to use it as a stress test to diagnose patients with various heart problems.

From there, the treadmill gradually made its way out of the hospital and into gyms and homes after the machine underwent several iterations that made it more of a fitness device, rather than a hospital equipment. During the early 1960s, as the treadmill rose into popularity, people see the device as a symbol of a futuristic life, thanks the media and pop culture, like The Jetsons, where George Jetson would be running on the treadmill with his dog, Astro.

The Treadmill Today

Fast forward to the year 2012, where we’re now living in the age of smartphones, social networks, and an increasingly fast pace of life – is the old treadmill still relevant in these modern times?

Well, the answer is most certainly a ‘Yes’! Despite many significant changes in people’s lifestyle, behavior and habits, the treadmill still holds a place in many people’s lives, more so than ever before, as their lifestyles get increasingly busy and a focus on health is becoming ever more important – a convenient way to keep fit is something most city folks desire – especially after a hard day at work – being able to return home for some exercise is a luxury, and a healthy habit. People who wish to work out in the privacy of their own homes would find that a treadmill is an indispensable equipment in their home gyms.

Treadmills and Singaporeans

Aforementioned busy lifestyles are very true of Singaporeans and internationals who make a living here – they work hard for a better life because the cost of living in Singapore is high and many people won’t be able to live a comfortable life without a good salary.

In their pursuit of better jobs, promotions, and money, Singaporeans are susceptible to neglecting their health – a significant number of them find that they have to time or mood outside of work to engage in exercises. Lugging a bag to the office for a visit to the gym after is also not an appealing option.

For these people, the treadmill would be a great way to get them started on healthy cardio exercises – they’d be able to return home after work, in time to catch their favourite TV shows, and since they’ve a treadmill at home, they’ve got no excuse not to do a little jogging while watching an episode of ‘The Noose’.

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