In the field of Fitness today, technology has given us various modalities of training. But the basic principle or physiology of the human being remains unchanged. One such modality of training or rather mode of targeting our Cardio Respiratory and Muscular Endurance (Two of the most important Fitness Components, will come to their precise definition later) is a Treadmill, it is a tool which can be easily kept in a club premises for member usage. Treadmill can easily be located or identified by majority of people, in fact majority of people love being on a treadmill for a significant amount of duration.

Treadmill is basically a motorized machine with a belt attached to it, as the motor rotates so does the belt and rotation of belt causes the movement of the user of treadmill, in the form of walking, jogging, running or sprinting. In a Treadmill, user can vary the intensity (effort) of his activity via the speed control panel whilst monitoring the motor/belt speed, as motor speed increases or decreases so does the activity level of the user. Treadmill is good for the users, who want to perform an activity like walking, jogging, running, sprinting at a specific speed or intensity and specific time period. It is measurable, like you jog for 30 minutes today at a speed of 8 km/hr; next time you may increase the intensity like 40 minutes jog at the same speed which makes it measurable to calculate the progression. It is not like we can’t measure our work output on a skill mill or any activity performed on a natural surface, but treadmill just gives us handy measurable numbers and may give us a fixed target to keep going to hit that number (time period and speed), as long as the belt moves we keep moving, right?

Skill Mill on the other hand is a motor less version of a treadmill. Its belt is not electronically operated; the movement caused in a skill mill is a manual effort by the user. Skill Mill may be said to mimic actual turf or ground human movement. A treadmill forces you to stay constant at its particular entered speed unless you press the stop button on the other hand a skill mill stops when you stop, similar to any ground movement you stop covering the ground when you stop moving.

Any activity when tracked and measured for effective progression yields results and improvements in specific domain, make sure that you measure your distance covered in a specific time period while performing on a skill mill and know how to progress further. So it doesn’t matter which modality you use to improve above mentioned Fitness Components, as long as you are progressing in your efforts from the last time.

Any human activity is caused due to musculoskeletal system, in order to measure how much of this system works in a treadmill oppose to a skill mill is tough to analyze and is of no significant relevance. Do an EMG activity test, if you wish to calculate musculoskeletal system involvement in a Treadmill and a Skill Mill. But how will that benefit you anyway?

Any continuous movement performed for longer than 3 minutes is said to be an Aerobic activity. There are various modalities for Aerobic activity e.g. swimming, jogging, walking, rowing etc. The target or the reason for performing any Aerobic activity is to improve Cardio Respiratory Endurance and Muscular Endurance.

Cardio Respiratory Endurance: It is the ability of heart and lungs to supply oxygenated blood to the working muscle for a longer duration without getting fatigued.

Muscular Endurance: It is the ability of the muscles being used in any particular activity, to contract for a longer duration without getting fatigued.

Above is a very precise definition of two very important components of Fitness. Don’t think too much about a treadmill or a skill mill, just train to improve your above 2 fitness components. The above two components can be improved with any Aerobic activity, whilst Muscular Endurance is more towards being activity specific. Have a training log, always jot down your progress in that training log and visit the gym or park to improve your daily life performance. Fitness will help you fight against degenerative forces of ageing. Stop thinking and start doing, you will not regret it.

PS: Running, jogging or sprinting is repetitive and force generating movements; for sure go ahead and do them but always remember there is a very thin line between effective usage and over usage. Hence, train smart, have quantifiable and measurable goals. Don’t forget to improve Musculoskeletal Strength along with above components, more on this later.