Saving Energy In Exercise Habits- Treadmill or Trail?
We have become a society where we go round and round in parking lots, running our vehicles at 10 mph, (which is extremely inefficient considering fuel consumption), to save walking a few steps to the door of grocery store. And then we hop on a 2 HP treadmill to burn calories. We use energy to be lazy and then we use energy to do exercise. How smart is that? All our habits are designed to consume, consume and then consume even more.
When we are exercising, we are actually consuming energy. People are experimenting how to harness this energy to produce electricity. Still it is in experimental stage and even if it is made possible, it will not be appreciable amount of energy. However it will certainly tip the balance a little so it is always welcome.
Coming back to our treadmill consumption. This page tells me that the energy consumption of a normal treadmill is around 2HP, so 1500 Watts (1 HP = 750 Watts). Normally people use it for about half hour, so 1.5 x 0.5 KWH = 0.75 KWH every day. If two people are using it, then it is about 1.5 KWH per day. Costs of electricity for this consumption accounting for taxes will be about 20 cents. So in a month, you are spending about 6 $ for running treadmill. So if you bought a treadmill for about $200-225, then within 3 years you are spending as much money on electricity as on treadmill. No, we have not yet touched the subject of saving about 2 lb of CO2 escaping in air per day.
When we use treadmill, all the time we are just at one place, which is dull and boring. So we put a television there, which goes on consuming about 100 Watts more. The treadmill, the television and our body is consuming all this energy and converting it to heat. So our air conditioner is working extra, consuming a lot more energy.
Does this have to be all this complicated with twenty bulky instruments around before we move our foot? Does this have to be so burdensome on nature? Can’t we just pick up an I-pod and shoes and get to the nearest park?
Bar those days when it is too cold or too hot outside. Still there are plenty of days in a year when you can walk or run on road and actually lots of people indeed do it. It is worth it. It is worth it for the smell of fresh air. It is worth it for the sake of environment. It is worth it for the sake of friends we make when we jog on trails. And most of all, it is worth it for the sake of money we save over a long period of time.
Not buying a treadmill – 225 $ saved
Not paying for treadmill electricity bill for 3 years – another $200 saved.
Not paying for extra air conditioner load and taxes on all of these – $25
Keeping blue sky blue – priceless.