Everyone these days is talking about how many steps they got. Checking our fitness trackers and steps, and striving to meet our wellness goals, has many of us obsessed with our stats – and our health, which is a very good thing.
Fitness trackers, like exercise groups and other friendly competitive fitness modes, can really boost your physical activity. The competition does help – whether that’s with others, as with the sharing capabilities of many fitness apps, or with in-person training groups themselves. While others can certainly help support us and give that boost to keep going when we might not see it through on our own – so the self-regulation and self-competition that can come from exercise tracking does.
I know ever since I started using FitBits and various apps last year, most days I check it constantly, realizing if I’m 2,000 steps under and consciously looking for ways to boost my steps. That feeling of accomplishment when you’re hit your goal, even if it’s simply a few thousand steps a day, is rewarding.
To accomplish my fitness goals, for several years I’ve belonged to my local YMCA and attended classes there. But in the last year, between my schedule and difficulty getting to the classes I wanted, and the horrifically increasing traffic in Austin, where I live, has made this more and more difficult. I would find myself spending more time getting to and from the Y than actually exercising.
So I began exercising at home a lot more after I bought those dumbbell sets, and have just about exclusively done that for nearly a year – occasionally supplementing that with an in-person class somewhere. I use a lot of online fitness programs and videos to give me a mix of cardio, yoga, pilates and other workouts.
But the walking is something I was really focused on as well. Trying to reach 10,000 steps a day is my goal – with a minimum of at least 7. I walk dogs a lot and that helps. But weather plays a big role in how pleasant it is to walk outside, for me. On a pretty day I can easily get those steps in with neighborhood or local trail walks, on top of my normal daily routine. But living in Texas, for long parts of the summer it is just plain miserable to walk. It’s not dark until 9 pm, and even then the temperature is easily still in the 90s. Walk outside for 15 minutes in a Texas summer, and you’re drenched with sweat and feeling pretty miserable.
Then too, there are the cold days and the flat-out rainy days, of which we’ve had plenty this week. And of course, many parts of the US and the world have much worse weather when it comes to cold, snow or rain.
So to supplement my indoor exercise routine, and give myself a way to get all the walking I want to in with no excuses, I decided to get a treadmill. Another great benefit of a treadmill in my home is I can also do things such as read a book, be on the internet or watch a TV show while walking, to help pass the time.
I spend a couple of evenings doing a lot of research online about the different treadmills out there, and their features and reviews. I ended up deciding on Nautilus, and the rep there hooked me up with their newest machine, the T618.
The name Nautilus is synonymous with gym equipment, and their 40-year history and reputation speaks for itself. The Nautilus T618 is a serious piece of equipment. I expected it to be solid, but it was even more so than my expectations.
And it’s fully up to speed with the modern world, which is way cool. Bluetooth enabled, this treadmill seamlessly transmits to smart devices so you can use most fitness apps and trackers; or Nautilus’ own free Trainer™ app. The whole Nautilus Connect system is way cool, allowing you to upload, analyze and track your workout data. This powerful fitness dashboard helps you keep track of the workout metrics you care most about and allows your to share them with friends & family.
In the last few weeks I’ve been using the Nautilus® T618, it has completely fulfilled my goals of complementing and adding to my exercise routine, and allowing me an easy way to get in all those extra steps and walk way more than I would have otherwise.
I find that it’s really easy to walk for a mile (which at about 2.8 easy MPH, takes me just about 15 minutes) for several times a day. It’s also a cinch to distract myself and have the time fly by because it’s so easy to check things on my phone, read a book, or watch a TV show or video.
I can watch something on my TV that’s in the room, and also the treadmill has a really great grooved edge shelf on which my iPad, laptop or a book can fit and be held securely for reading or entertainment while I walk.
The Pros on this amazing treadmill are easy. It’s extremely heavy-duty, a serious piece of fitness equipment just like you’d find in the most state-of the art gym. Once it’s delivered and assembled (I had someone assembly it for me in my home), it’s user-friendly and straightforward to begin quickly and just go.
For my typical use of quick workouts and just walking for 15-20 minutes at a stretch, I just get on and hit start, and use the manual cycle. This lets me just walk, and adjust the include and speed at the tip of a finger whenever I want.
However, there are a lot more really cool features available, such as settings and stored workouts for several different users, pre-programmed workouts for speed, distance, weight loss, etc. – and a really cool feature I love is the ability to compare yourself to your previous workouts. That is such a great bonus; with the push of a button you can see what your distance, speed and calories were compared to your previous uses.
And of course, there is the Bluetooth smart capabilities. With the ability to sync your Nautilus treadmill workouts into their own free app, or a multitude of other fitness apps, everything can be in one place and your exercise tracked within your other favorite places.
All in all, the actual use of the Nautilus® T618 is fun, easy, and technologically advanced.
There isn’t much to criticize, from my point of view. The main drawback to me is the folding/space factor. One of the things I was interested in was a treadmill that had a track that could be raised so that it took up less floor space, given that I have a fairly small, open loft. My idea was to lift/fold up the track when I wasn’t using it, and have it pushed further against the wall and more out of the way.
However, I found that in reality this didn’t work the way I expected it to. First of all, when you “fold up” or raise the track, it really doesn’t save that much room. It’s still pretty big either way. Secondly, even when I do raise the track, it’s so difficult to move that I don’t at all move it further toward the wall when I’m not using it. This machine is SUPER heavy – which is a great thing in terms of quality and durability. But once you fold up the track, you have to actually tilt it back onto the wheels to roll it, and I find this very difficult to do because the unit is so heavy.
So, if folding up and pushing around the treadmill is a top concern of yours, you might want to look at something more portable and lightweight (of course you will sacrifice the quality, in my opinion) or look at one of the elliptical machines. The only other complaint I have is that the cord could be longer; it’s about 3 feet long and for where I originally wanted to plug it, I would need an extension cord. No big deal and for some a longer cord would be a hindrance, I suppose, but I would prefer at least a 5 foot cord.
This treadmill folds up easily with SoftDrop™ capabilities, and is designed with an exclusive Rebound™ Deck cushioning system, which minimizes landing impact. The T618 also features Bluetooth connectivity, allowing users to seamlessly connect to the Nautilus Trainer™ app, with 26 built-in programs, and integration with the RunSocial app for a virtual reality training experience with friends and fitness enthusiasts around the world.