Why a Treadmill Keeps Me in Shape, but Not My Dog!

Fred Waters

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Although it was my profession to promote and market treadmills for a number of years, I still prefer running outside. I love getting out at the crack of dawn and hitting the trails with Max the dog. But there are a number of days in the course of the year where it just sucks running outside.

Sizzling Summer in the South

In the south it is the summer and in the north the winter. Having lived in both areas, and being a fanatical runner, I can attest to that fact. Summer in the south means running in hot humid weather, and having a swarm of deerflies constantly bouncing off your head. By the end of my run my clothes are so soaked with sweat I can wring them out. And once again, this is at first light. I can’t imagine the discomfort running during the mid day. There is something about running in the hot, humid weather where my legs feel like lead, and it is hard to catch my breathe.

Sucky Winter in the North

Now let me tell you about running in winter in Chicago. Of course if you want to run before going to work, that requires running in the dark. I generally do not run when it is 10 degrees or below. I am concerned about my physical health. I usually ran on a trail in a nearby park. If it recently snowed, after several days the trail becomes a hazardous path of frozen and icy footsteps. The alternative is running on the street in the dark and dodging the cars. It’s hard to motivate yourself under these types of conditions. You would rather shut off the alarm and go back to sleep.

So it is for these reasons I own a treadmill. There just comes a point where running outdoors gets ridiculous. If you want to keep up a steady regiment of exercise you have to have the options of exercising indoors.

With a treadmill there is no variation in temperature. No deerflies buzzing my head. I can switch on the lights, and I don’t freeze off my butt. I don’t get caught in rain, or worse, a thunderstorms. There is no ankle twisting terrain. The bottom line, I am more likely to get up and exercise in the morning if I have a choice between either the beauty of the outdoors or the climate controlled indoors.

Of course, the drawback is not being able to exercise Max the Dog. Sorry Max. maybe tomorrow.

Fred Waters worked in the treadmill industry for a number of years and is author of the Treadmill Rating and Review site. Check out the latest reviews on over 75 of the most popular treadmills, and get important buying tips from his Treadmill Buyer's Guide.


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