The Popularity of Treadmill Gadgets
Admitting weaknesses is not something we generally do easily, but when it comes to gadgets I’ll readily admit that I’m a bit of a junkie. In general, the more technology something has, the more it catches my eye. When it comes to treadmills you can definitely find some with a lot of gadgets these days. Sure, the most basic ones generally only include a simple LCD screen that displays your basic vital information, but the more expensive ones have a whole host of different gadgets.
These days you can find treadmills with built-in sound systems, dozens of different workout options that simulate real terrain, the ability to plug your own gadgets into the machine to entertain you during your workout, and Wi-Fi integration, to name just a few. Some people may find all these gadgets just a little bit too much of a distraction, but for the rest of us they really enhance the workout experience.
Have To Have Some Tunes
One of my favorite features found in some top-quality treadmills is the built-in stereo speakers – I love a little music when I work out and there’s no better way to enjoy it than in full stereo sound. If you want a machine with built-in speakers you can expect to pay in excess of $1000, and likely a fair bit more. The vast majority of machines with these types of built-in speakers include an auxiliary port in which you can plug in your smart phone or MP3 player. You can, of course, simply plug in your ear buds, but the wires can get a little awkward as you run. In my opinion, being able to hook up your smart phone or MP3 player to a treadmill’s built-in sound system is a much better option.
iPad Compatible & LCD Screen
Tablet Integration and USB Functionality
Another great feature you’ll find included in the best-quality treadmills is the ability to plug your tablet directly into the machine for entertainment purposes. These machines usually have a slot right above the basic LCD screen where you can easily connect your tablet for viewing videos while you workout, and they also allow you to plug your tablet into the built-in stereo system to enhance your experience. If you’re like me, your tablet has probably become the main way you surf the Internet, and being able to do that while you work out is a big plus.
There are also machines that include built-in USB ports, which are a great way to charge your phone while you’re working out. With this little extra feature you don’t have to worry about draining your battery as you pound away the miles on your treadmill. It might not be an essential feature but, it’s sure nice to have this as an added option.
HD Screens and Virtual Workouts
At the higher-end of the treadmill spectrum you’ll find machines that include built-in HD screens which allow you to use them to enhance the enjoyment of your training through the use of virtual workouts. These screens display videos that travel down trails through rugged scenery, or some of your favorite urban destinations, as you move forward on your treadmill. It simulates the experience of actually running through that environment. Again, this isn’t an essential part of a workout but it’s a great way to add extra motivation to keep you interested in working out more consistently.
Another feature you’ll find in higher-end treadmills is the ability to link the machine to your home network via a Wi-Fi connection. This functionality allows you to use the machine’s built-in screen for surfing the web while you work out, and it also allows you to upload your workout statistics to fitness apps designed specifically for the machine you purchased. Being able to track your progress over time is another great motivating factor and a good reason to consider one of these higher-end machines.
It’s Hard to Live without the Gadgets
Deep down inside I know the gadgets we’ve mentioned above are not essential features that I need in a treadmill in order to get a great workout. But I’m definitely leaning towards saving my pennies and holding off buying a treadmill until I can afford one of these machines with all the bells and whistles. As I’ve already mentioned, I’m a sucker for the gadgets.