Apart from the weight machines, some of the most effective machines in a gym are the walking, running and climbing machines. Walking and running machines include steppers and treadmills, while climbing machines have pedals that you push with your feet, making it feel like you are climbing stairs.
The reason these machines are important is that they exercise our leg muscles, which are some of the most useful muscles in our body, but at the same time some of the weakest. After all, we are descended from apes, who didn’t walk upright – in evolutionary terms, we’ve only just started walking, and our legs aren’t all that great at it yet. Building good muscles in your legs will help you stay on your feet and go for long walks, hikes or runs without feeling tired quickly, like so many people do in this age of the car. Once you get started, you might even want to take up walking as a hobby, and the more you walk, the better your leg muscles will get.
But in that case, why not just go for a real walk, or climb up and down real stairs? Well, you could do that, but you’d be leaving yourself open to the weather on the walk, making it difficult to have a regular walking routine, and while you could just walk up and down some stairs for half an hour each day, people would probably look at you a little oddly.
Within a few weeks of using walking and climbing machines, you should start to feel more energetic – it is surprising how much of how much energy we feel we have comes from the strength of our legs. Even if we don’t realise it, we are on our feet for a lot of time every day – yes, even if you work in an office and drive to work – so strong leg muscles really can make a world of difference.