Manual Treadmills: Human Powered

A continuously revolving belt is the idea behind a treadmill. But the belt need not be powered by a motor. It can be human powered, moving based on the motivation of the person on the treadmill. What helps keep it going is a large flywheel attached to the belt. A flywheel is a free spinning wheel that helps preserve momentum which can be accessed by a clutch or some other mechanism. Most manuals are inclined so that the movement of the operator can move the belt and get the flywheel spinning. Also the walker must normally hang onto the rails and help push the belt. As one frequent user stated, "Manual treadmills are tough to use, provide a more intense workout, and require getting used to." Using a manual treadmill then, is not like taking a walk or jog.

Healthy Heart Treadmill JoggerEven so, there are several advantages to this type of treadmill. First, a manual treadmill is generally much lighter than a standard treadmill. Because of this it is more easily stowed and moved. Of course, this is offset by the fact that it is not nearly as stable as a heavier motorized version. Another big advantage of the manual is that, because it does not need a motor, it also does not use power. The average motorized treadmill does not generally create a huge drain on the power system, but a little bit of energy savings with the manual treadmill is also nice. Another great savings is in the price; manual treadmills are often less expensive than their motorized brethren. Yet this can also be a drawback as well. The old saying that you get what you pay for can apply here as well. Because manual treadmills are less expensive, they can also be made from cheaper materials, meaning that they can breakdown more readily due to wear and tear. They often have far fewer bells and whistles and few electronic gadgets to track speed, heart rate, or calories burned. On the other hand, they are generally a fairly quiet machine, allowing the user to listen to music or to watch television during the workout without turning the volume above normal.

Ultimately, manual treadmills are for the ecologically minded, who want a good convenient workout.

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Interesting Fact:

Manual treadmills can give a more intense workout that regular treadmills.


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