What it does: The most popular machine, you can use it for brisk walking or running. Running on it can burn even more calories than an elliptical trainer, since it works more muscles.
Advantages: Weight-bearing. Easy to use. Belts have cushioning, so the impact is lower than walking or running outdoors, but not as low as an elliptical trainer or a stationary bike. Easy to increase speed and sometimes incline. You can swing or pump your arms for additional calorie burning and aerobic benefits.
Disadvantages: Not ideal if you’ve had an ankle, knee, or leg injury. If you have a balance problem or feel uneasy on a moving belt, compensate by holding onto the bars – you’ll still get a good workout. If your balance problem is severe, don’t use a treadmill.
Tips: Start at an easy 3-mph pace; speed up gradually. Hold the side rails until you get used to the speed and motion. Maintain good posture. Don’t look down at the belt or drift sideways or backwards. Familiarize yourself with the stop mechanism in case you need it quickly.