Ok, so back in June I shelled out $1200 for a premium treadmill (it was on sale, I AM a female after all) It was a huge decision and yes, there were the cheerleaders and the naysayers.

"That's great, that treadmill will really help you get in shape!" (how out of shape do I look?)

"You'll be able to exercise whenever you want!" (Is that REALLY a good thing?)

BUT:"That's a lot of money for something you'll use for the first week" (I won't tell you who said this but they are not, I repeat NOT married to me)

"Treadmills are famous for breaking down...and really expensive to repair!"

This of course, jogged my insatiable curiousity as to who would be right. Before I tell you my conclusion, I'll lay out the benefits and the not-so-great things about having a treadmill, so that you can decide for yourself if they are REALLY worth the money.

The Not-So-Great:1) Treadmills DO break down (one note: you have to USE them to encounter this problem) and the repairs can cost you (not as much as my friend said, but they could cost you something) One way I got around this was buying the treadmill on sale with a two year warantee included. I also get it serviced once a year, no charge. So I personally haven't spent any cash on repairs.

2) Once you have the treadmill always available you might not use it. This is always a danger. I have a friend who bought an expensive infomercial exercise machine (I don't exactly know what it's called but it swings you around in the air and nausea usually follows). She now uses it for a clothes horse. One way to get around this: if you don't LIKE walking or jogging as a form of exercise, DON'T BUY A TREADMILL. I personally like walking and hate swinging around in the air, hence my decision to buy a treadmill. (I do use it)

3) Lack of ability to cross-train. This could be a problem for the die-hard training people. However, many treadmills come with inclines and weight benches built in, so that can be a big help

Ok, so the Benefits:1) CONVENIENCE. CONVENIENCE. CONVENIENCE. You can exercise WHENEVER you want, no matter the weather, or what time it is. You can also wear WHATEVER you like (although going totally nude is not recommended, trust me). Thus the likelihood that you're going to work out can actually increase.

2)You have the opportunity to get into AMAZING shape. This is because you have the option of doing mini-workouts (10-20 minutes) if you need to. Going to the gym for ten minutes just isn't worth it, you know? But with a home treadmill you can do ten minutes in the morning, ten at lunch and ten minutes after dinner and still reap the benefits of a 30 minute workout. This increases the likelihood that you WILL exercise!

3) Outside-snow, Inside-warm. Need I say more? (This one's for those of us in northern climates!)

So there are my top advantages and disadvantages of owning a home treadmill. Is a treadmill REALLY worth the money? Well, for those people who are looking for exercise convenience, don't like to walk in the snow, and want to be able to fit exercise in at their selected time and in their choice of atmosphere, they are more than worth the money.

In any case, however you choose to exercise and get healthy, make sure you find a good and FUN fit for you! Isn't that what it's all about?

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