Cushioning on treadmills is a debated topic. Some people swear by it, and others think it’s a waste of time. In this blog post, we’ll look at the top benefits of having cushioning on your treadmill!
Treadmills and Cushioning
Treadmills, and running in general, can be hard on the body due to their high impact. Cushioning is added to some treadmill models to help absorb some of this impact to make for a more comfortable run, jog, or walk. If you compare a cushioned model to one that isn’t, you may notice that the impact of each foot strike feels heavier or even sounds louder.
Types of Cushioning for Running
If you’re considering purchasing a treadmill with optimal cushioning, it’s essential to understand what’s available.
The Cushion Debate
While running on a cushion can feel great, many runner enthusiasts don’t like the effect on their outdoor running (since asphalt and trails don’t usually come cushioned). However, just like some runners prefer extremely cushioned shoes while others run practically barefoot, which choice is right for you depends on your specific needs. Let’s dive into the potential benefits below.
Top Benefits of Cushioning
1. Reduce impact. The force that the ground applies to your body, particularly the joints of the lower body and spine, can lead to overuse injuries or injury aggravation in some people. Reduced impact with a built-in cushioning system can help.
2. Comfort. Some treadmill runners simply like the feel of running on a more cushioned surface. As long as they are running with good form, they can choose a more cushioned option that fits their preferences.
3. Reduced noise levels. Treadmills can be noisy, particularly when they aren’t well cushioned (or the runner doesn’t have good form or muscle control). Keep your roommates, family, and neighbors happy with a cushioned option.
4. Better joint protection. While there are better low-impact exercises for joint protection, some people love to run and appreciate having this option. Anyone suffering from joint pain, arthritis, or an injury may be able to continue running when utilizing cushioning.
5. Potential increase in speed. When you run on a treadmill, the belt helps propel you forward. If the treadmill is too cushioned, this effect can be diminished. Conversely, suppose there isn’t enough cushioning. In that case, your body has to work harder to push off with each stride which can lead to fatigue- affecting your endurance and ability to tolerate a faster pace. The right amount of cushioning can help you find a happy medium for an efficient run.
Choosing the Right Treadmill and Cushioning for You
Cushioned treadmills can offer many benefits for runners, joggers, and walkers alike. If you’re considering purchasing a treadmill, test out the different types of cushioning to see which one is right for you! If you’re still unsure, buying a treadmill with multiple options built-in may be best.
As always, consult with a doctor or physical therapist if you have any concerns about how running or using a treadmill may affect your body.