This post could also easily be entitled "why exercise at home?" because most of the points apply equally to exercise bikes, rowing machines, and other home gym equipment. Nonetheless...
Having sold thousands of treadmills, and dealt with the customer each time, it's interesting to recount people’s motivations for buying a treadmill (and whilst this list might seem a bit like a marketing spiel, I can assure you these are all points customers have raised with us over the years!).
Benefits of a treadmill, over running outside, are;
- Safety - no muggers or cars or potholes
- Weather - there's no rain, hail, wind, or lightning in your living room
- Light - you can run at any time (eg. night)
- Child friendly - you can put the baby down in the nursery and go for a run without getting arrested for parental negligence ;-)
- Multi-Tasking - you like “X Factor” (or any TV show) - don’t run for an hour, then sit on the couch and watch TV for an hour. Do them at the same time!
- No travel time - ie. don't travel 30 minutes each way to a nice place where you can do a 15 minute run. Just do the 15 minute run at home and invest that hour into something more productive!
- Knees - there’s extra cushioning in a treadmill deck which you don’t get on the road.
- Free personal trainer - with so many programs in treadmills, including user-definable programs and programs that control your heart-rate, it’s almost like you have your own Personal Trainer altering the pace and incline as you run.
- Run overseas - this is a bit of a stretch, and frankly isn't implemented as well as the marketing would have you think, but some treadmills now interact with Google Maps and allow you to run anywhere in the world - pictures show up on the screen in front of you, and the treadmill goes up and down as hills appear on the maps.
- "I've paid for it" - Once you've spent $1000 on a piece of equipment, it's going to sit there begging you to use it. I've honestly had people buy a treadmill because they know the mere act of investing in it will drive them to use it!
- Privacy - Jogging is the number one way to burn calories. It doesn't matter how silly you look when you run, you don't have to worry about the neighbours or that guy from work seeing you and poking fun at you!
I hope that helped give you some insight into what other people have said!