While the treadmill has some derogatory nicknames like “human hamster wheel,” “the dreadmill” and “Satan’s conveyer belt,” many people actually prefer treadmill running to other alternatives. You know these types — they will wait for their turn on a treadmill in lieu of running on an indoor track, running outside or doing some other form of exercise. Who are these people, and why do they do it?

Despite perhaps making you feel like you want to poke your eyes out from boredom, there are actually some major advantages to running on a conveyer belt.

  1. You always have a bathroom nearby. This convenience is especially helpful for those with tiny bladders, cranky gastrointestinal systems and/or women experiencing that time of the month.
  2. There is no wind, snow, slush or ice on the treadmill. There are also no cars, vicious dogs or catcalling construction workers.
  3. Unlimited TV-watching!
  4. You don’t have to worry about other people getting in your way like on the indoor track.
  5. The elliptical might be the one thing worse than the treadmill.
  6. You can set the machine on a certain miles per hour and keep a steady pace without thinking about it. Therefore, you can do #3 more effectively and mindlessly.
  7. It is always an option to secretly race the person next to you. Racing is harder to do on an indoor track or outside unless you want to be a victim of runner rage.
  8. Since the treadmill actually propels you along, some people find it easier to run on it than outside on the roads or on a track.
  9. Technically, the surface is softer and more forgiving, so some runners use the machine for injury-prevention purposes. It also provides a nice and even surface for running — no tripping on uneven sidewalks and curbs.
  10. Speedwork is made very easy on the treadmill. Crank up the miles per hour for your interval and go. No need to worry about trying to keep a consistent pace. It keeps you honest!
  11. People-watching can be a favorite pastime of treadmill runners at the gym. You can gawk at the pick-up artists, the beauty queens (complete with makeup and perfume), the texters and the grunters.

Are you a treadmill lover? Why or why not?

Featured Image credit via Flickr: Make Lemons, license