Treadmill. Fitness equipment. If you think about it, the two words are almost synonymous. But what if I told you that there is an emerging group of fitness enthusiasts who don’t like treadmills? They hate them. And they have good reasons to do so.
The most common complaint against treadmills has been their use in rehabilitation programs. Most rehabilitative facilities utilize a standard motorized treadmill with a belt and resistance pads. The problem is that these machines require patients to walk on a moving surface. As a result, many rehab centers have had to build their own custom-designed treadmills. These machines often have large gaps between the belt and the floor. This leads to unstable walking patterns which may cause injuries while training.
This is not the only issue that people have with treadmills. Many believe that they are boring compared to more active exercise machines such as elliptical trainers or cross trainers. It’s true that they’re much quieter than other types of cardio equipment. However, they’re also less exciting because of the lack of variety in movement.
Now we come to the crux of this article. Are magnetic treadmills bad for You?
A Brief History of Magnetic Treadmills
Magnetic treadmills were developed by Dr. Bruce Litzinger in 1991. He originally conceived of this machine to help patients recover from spinal cord injuries. He recognized how difficult it was for patients to get around on conventional treadmills. So he built one with a large steel grid that ran across the entire length of the treadmill. A magnet was placed at each end of the grid and patients could move along the surface by pushing themselves forward with the palms of their hands.
Over time, magnetic treadmills became popular with recreational users. Then, several companies started selling models specifically designed to be used for running. The results were amazing. Users reported feeling a sense of freedom and control when using magnetic treadmills. Since then, these units have become popular with runners, cross country enthusiasts, and even triathletes who prefer to run outside but want to stay safe when racing.
Despite the great success that magnetic treadmills have had, there are still some who believe that they are dangerous. In fact, some health experts claim that they can actually lead to heart attacks when used regularly.
Is Magnetic Treadmill Use Dangerous?
The concern is that magnetic treadmills use a type of magnetism known as diamagnetism. When magnets are brought together, they repel one another. Diamagnetic forces occur when two materials with opposite magnetic poles attract one another. For example, iron and nickel will attract, whereas copper and zinc will repel.
Some research indicates that diamagnetic forces can also occur when magnets are brought close together on a treadmill. The force of attraction causes the user to lose balance. This can lead to falls and serious injury. If someone uses a magnetic treadmill without proper safety precautions, they might also experience dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
Other studies show that magnetic treadmills can increase blood pressure in users. This effect has yet to be fully explained. Some believe it occurs due to the change in blood flow and hemodynamics that take place during regular exercise. Others believe that it’s caused by the electromagnetic fields created by the magnets.
Regardless of the exact reason, some people believe that the risk of using magnetic treadmills outweighs its benefits. There are several organizations that promote the dangers of magnetic treadmills in order to promote safer alternatives. They include the American Heart Association, the National Safety Council, the American Medical Association, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
So Should You Avoid Magnetic Treadmills?
Before answering that question, let me remind you that it is always your choice whether or not to use a particular piece of equipment. If you choose to use magnetic treadmills, there are things you can do to make sure that it doesn’t harm you.
First, use only certified magnetic treadmills. All models sold today should carry a certification stamp. This means that the manufacturer passed rigorous tests to ensure that the unit produces no harmful effects.
Second, wear shoes with non-ferromagnetic soles. Non-ferrous footwear includes rubber, plastic, canvas, and leather. Ferromagnetic shoes include steel, aluminum, and stainless steel, which all contain iron.
Third, buy only those models with a magnetic field strength below 25 gauss. This measurement represents the amount of force per square inch that any object would feel if it were pulled toward another magnet. Anything above this level is considered too strong.
Fourth, avoid using magnetic treadmills while pregnant or nursing. Research shows that magnetic treadmills can cause severe birth defects and miscarriages in women who are pregnant. Also avoid using these devices while taking medications or supplements that affect the body’s nervous system.
Finally, if you use a magnetic treadmill, always follow the directions included with the machine. Never push yourself beyond the recommended speeds or distances. Doing so could lead to serious injury.
Should You Run With Magnetic Treadmills?
If you’ve decided to give magnetic treadmills a try, you’ll need to decide whether or not you want to run on them. Running on magnetic treadmills is similar to running on other forms of cardio equipment. Like any machine, it takes practice to master its use.
But there are some advantages to using magnetic treadmills over other forms of cardio. Because they are stationary, you won’t have to worry about falling off of a slippery treadmill. This makes them ideal for people who are afraid of heights and have poor balance.
Also, since magnetic treadmills don’t require a moving belt, they’re easier to clean than standard treadmills. That’s a big plus for anyone who enjoys working out indoors.
There is also nothing wrong with using magnetic treadmills in a home gym. Many people use them as an alternative form of exercise when they’re unable to go outdoors. If you suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, or chronic pain, you might find that magnetic treadmills offer a more comfortable way to train.
Magnetic treadmills aren’t just good for health club members. They’re also a great addition to homes and offices where space constraints prevent the installation of traditional treadmills.
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Have you ever tried using a magnetic treadmill? Do you use one now? Tell us about it! We’d love to hear from you!