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What is a Manual Treadmill?

It is treadmill with no motor! The belt is moved solely by the movement of its user. But that is not as crazy as it may seem; this is the way elliptical trainers work.

On treadmills with motors, the user chooses the desired speed by pressing buttons on the console and then tries to keep up with how fast the best is moving. Such motorized treadmills are the choice of serious runners, in part because the motor makes them keep a pace they decided is right for them. Indeed, the most expensive treadmills have motors. Dedicated exercise buffs often scoff at manual treadmills as cheap, or even worthless, because they can’t run on them.


It is true that manual treadmills are much simpler and much less expensive than motorized treadmills. In fact, healthy young treadmill masters likely feel very superior to people who buy manual treadmills because the manual treadmill user probably can’t run the same 10 miles a day that the runner can. These critics have likely not thought it important that a large number of treadmill users simply cannot afford $3,000 for a top-of-the-line home treadmill. Nor did they likely consider that many people are elderly, frail, injured, or otherwise do not fit the profile of the usual treadmill buyer. Nor did it likely occur to them that many folks are unable to even leave their homes or that, for these people, any exercise is good exercise.

Manual treadmills are designed for these untypical users and it is these buyers who are most likely to buy them. Inexpensive manual treadmills can provide a lifeline to a healthier lifesyle. Manual treadmills allow their user to walk as vigorously as they desires in the safety and privacy of their own home.

Healthy and young runners will not always be healthy and young. Someday they may be very happy just to move their body weight on their own treadmill a little better than they did the day before.


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