Treadmills, Podcast Ep. 9

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DANI: Hi, there! It’s Dani, and I’m here with Katy again. Today we are talking about treadmills. Lots and lots of treadmill questions. How’s it going this morning, Katy?

KATY: It’s good. I’m not standing on a treadmill.

DANI: I’m not on a treadmill, either!

KATY:   Weird.

DANI: So that’s a great way to start this show. This July, you had an article – well, you didn’t have an article, but you were quoted in an article in the Chicago Tribune.

 KATY:   Yes.

DANI: About treadmill desks. It was kind of about treadmills, but more specifically, it was about treadmill desks, and you mentioned before in our conversations that one of the things you’re kind of known professionally for is your stance on kegels being the be-all end-all of pelvic floor health and how that has kind of – well, you haven’t said it set you apart, but it definitely has set you apart. And I kind of have a feeling that your stance on treadmills is going to do the same thing.

KATY:   “Stance on treadmills” is kind of funny.

DANI: It is!

KATY: It’s punny.

DANI: It is punny! You’re a punny person. But you are the first and only person that I’ve ever read or heard say, hey, this isn’t such a great thing for your body.

KATY: Yeah, or saying more like, there’s a longer pro and con list than you may realize.

DANI: Right. Can you tell me, is there any difference between walking on my treadmill and walking outside on the ground?

KATY: Yeah! There is the evidence – heavily researched difference. That article that you’re talking about in the Chicago Tribune was by James Fell – if anyone wants to read it they can search for “Chicago Tribune, James Fell treadmills Katy Bowman” and you’ll get to read it. But there is a difference. There is a difference, measurably so, so that’s – that’s my biggest point with treadmills is that when you have something that’s recommended like walking, right? Everyone’s told you – we’ve, in fact, probably told you – that you need to walk more, right?


DANI: Right, and that’s all the buzz. The statement is that walking is the super food of the fitness world. That just keeps popping up. That Reuters article just went crazy. It’s part of the conversation now, which is very cool.

KATY: That Reuters article, as they say, had legs.


KATY: The woman that does some of my PR and outreach was like, I just wanted to type that.

DANI: No, that’s good.

KATY: That piece has legs! The walking piece has legs! But yeah, so we know. We say walking is something you should be doing, you just kind of figure, walking is, what? My arms and my legs moving at my shoulders and hips? Me moving over the ground and that’s walking. But walking is really a category of things that aren’t necessarily the same. And so if you’re a long time follower or reader, then you know that the nitpicky stuff that we get into is, how does what you choose to do with your body transfer down to a cellular level, to the adaptation to that motion? So if walker ground is not the same as walking on a treadmill, then, what do we need to be concerned about? Or what do we need to add to our list before deciding, “should I hop on my treadmill that’s right here in my living room?” or “Should I go outside?” “Should I drive to the gym to be on the treadmill?” or “Should I plan my day around a hike?” So that’s really – although it might make me unpopular as a whole, is really just trying to get people to have a more thorough assessment before they choose what they’re doing.

DANI: And that’s good, I wouldn’t want you to be unpopular.

KATY: I’m not. But I meant, um.

DANI: No, I know. It’s – it is going to for some people, just that – what do you mean, just that question of the treadmill. That’s a big deal. So –

KATY: Right, and a lot of those questions are like, “but what if I can’t, if it’s the only thing to do, should I do it?” It’s like, yeah, if it’s the only thing that you can do, do it. But is it really the only thing you can do? That would be my follow up question.

DANI: Which is a great question. I get that a lot – I get “that’s the only thing I can do,” because I live in a really extreme weather place, and I’m sure you hear that argument a lot with people. Well, it’s icky outside.

KATY: Yeah. Yeah. And I fully understand not wanting to go outside when it’s icky outside.

DANI: What is the actual – I mean, if there is a difference, can you just give us a little bit of what is the difference?

KATY: Yeah. And it’s differences, so when you’re researching something, you can really only isolate one difference at a time. You’re comparing them for similarities, and so the list of differences depends only on what you’re measuring. In the case of research of over ground walking vs. treadmill walking, the reason people have even put money towards research such as that has been traditionally for the purpose of figuring out: is a treadmill a good therapy tool? So treadmills – when you’re doing research on movement, you’re usually using cameras. You’re using cameras, or you’re hooked up to some machine, so it becomes very impractical to do research on walking or running – which there’s a lot of, because it’s something that we all do or should do – if the person’s actually moving away from the research lab as you’re trying to collect data

DANI: Yeah, it’s kind of hard to carry a feedback machine with you, so.

KATY: Right, right right! If you’re hooked up to an EMG it’s like, “hey!”

DANI: It’s messing my gait up!

KATY: yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So the research – so there’s all this research on walking and running that’s happened in a lab, but then there’s always other research studies going on to look at – so when we’re looking at walking or running on a treadmill, how applicable are those to the actual scenarios to make sure that conclusions that we make about walking or running on a treadmill are not very – are not – how are they skewed, I guess? Trying to quantify. So then there’s all this separate research going on going, what’s the actual difference? Because mathematically or speaking physics-wise, there’s a difference between the two: figuring out how the mathematical model correlates to the actual biological goings-on as something that they’re trying to quantify. So they’ll do studies like, hook four or five muscles up to an EMG machine and then have you walk on the treadmill and run on the treadmill to see how – what’s the different muscles that are active during the two things? Again, it becomes a little more challenging to do that kind of stuff when you’re comparing over ground vs. treadmill because again the person is always moving away from you. So any study that really strives to look at – um, what’s the best way to say it? – the small stuff, the invisible goings on. It’s difficult to do, because what measures the invisible goings on usually requires some distance from the machine which is impossible to do, since the machine is connected usually to the sensor doing the reading, so. So the studies are limited to, um, stride. Like, how many strides per minute. Something that you can film someone on a track, or that would be gross, meaning large enough that you could quantify.

DANI: Right. Okay. So you can’t really get the minutiae between the two.

KATY: Right. Minutiae is such a good word. The minutiae – and that’s what I talked about in Move Your DNA, which is like, the things that I’m really talking about are the minutiae. That all being said, in the in just the big old gross treadmill vs. over ground walking stuff, they know that the angles of hip flexion are different. There’s more of a hip flexion in walking on a treadmill than over ground walking, which means that there’s less hip extension in treadmill walking vs. over ground walking. They can look at the number of strides per minute that you’re taking shorter steps because – and also that people’s natural pacing that they would walk is affected by the treadmill, meaning that if you’re going to walk a certain distance, there would be a cadence. There would be a number of steps and the pacing of those steps that would occur if I said, “Hey, Dani, I’m going to go walk one mile, and I’m going to quantify the way that you walk one mile in those types of ways that I was talking about. How many steps and how fast are you taking those steps, your stride, you know?”

DANI: Right.

KATY: But if I put you on a treadmill and say you’re going to go one mile, the treadmill itself is the environment now. So on the over ground, you and your mind are setting a rhythm or a pace. It’s your rhythm. On a treadmill, it’s the treadmill’s rhythm. So your body is forced to adapt to the treadmill, so that they know that there’s those differences as well as just the mechanical differences in what muscles and what joints are being deformed and performing the work. There’s also this rhythm of walking that differs between the two, and you can go slower or faster depending on if you – you know, slower speed the treadmill or go up, but that even in those cases, the way that you would naturally speed or slow up is different than what’s being created by when you’re on the treadmill. So there’s those which I find interesting because of the trickle down effect of the way you use your body is the way your muscles, you know, adapt, and therefore what your joints are stabilized and how your bones are held in place at rest. So it’s like, okay, well, a lot of people, as I mentioned in the article, a lot of people are going and currently seeking therapy for things like not enough hip extension or too much hip flexion. So.


DANI: And I would just – can you just clarify for those that may not know the flexion and extension of a hip?


KATY: Yeah, so if you stand up and you lift one leg out in front of you, that’s flexion of that hip. And if you reach that leg back behind you, that’s extension of the hip. So flexion is closer – like you’re sitting in a chair, and extension is, um, not sitting in a chair. Ice skating! Roller skating, you know, pushing your leg behind you.


DANI: Okay, carry on, thank you.


KATY: Um, umumumum, I don’t know what I was saying, but. Go ahead, do you know what I was saying?


DANI: You were talking about the amount of hip flexion and extension when you’re moving over the treadmill vs. that setting your own pace of


KATY: Yeah, and going to physical – you know, like,


DANI: Yeah, the therapy usage.


KATY: Yeah, that’s a problem for a lot of people that they have gait patterns that include this flexion and then they’ve got the weaknesses in different muscles because they don’t have very much load activity, and they go to the therapist and they are trying to craft the motor program for extension yet they will partake a particular exercise – treadmill in this case – in which the way that they’re trying not to walk is the only option available to them to walk. So that’s kind of why – the blogs that I write and the content that I write is usually directed towards a particular person asking a question, so there’s a lot of the treadmill use stuff comes up in people who have psoas issues, who have diastasis recti, who have pelvic floor issues, and I’m saying, hey, while treadmill and over ground walking “looks the same” as far as metabolic output, you know, we can say that they’re the same fitness or endurance makers, but they are not the same musculo-skeletal result makers. And because of these very particular ways that the treadmill requires you to walk, those go hand in hand with the muscle weaknesses that go hand in hand with the issues that you are having. I think that it’s great that you’re walking 3 or 5 or whatever miles per day, but walking is not walking is not walking. This means that if you’re consuming your walking in a way that is exacerbating or not supporting one issue of your health – well, contributing to other issues of your health that maybe you would want to make a different choice. If not, whatev. But if so, like, a lot of people are like, I had no idea. I was just told to walk. No one told me that it was different.


DANI: Sure.


KATY: I’m like, I’m that person. I’m that person to explain that difference. You are that person who gets to make the choice. So that’s structural. But here’s something else that was really interesting, too. What I found most interesting about – maybe not most interesting – but what I found interesting about treadmill walking is that it’s very similar to the effect that’s now more heavily researched with virtual reality.


DANI: Right


KATY: Virtual reality, remember those 90s movies where everyone had a thing on their head and was walking down a hall and opening doors like sci-fi movies? I love that. So the thing with virtual reality, what they realized is that the person, according to the data going into their eyes, is moving, so you’re walking down a hall, there’s feedback going past your eyes. Your mind knows that you’re plying a game, but your brain doesn’t. To your brain, there’s data streaming past your eyes. And it becomes very confusing to be standing still and having data go past your eyes, because usually –


DANI: They go hand in hand.


KATY: Well, they’re reconciled, right? Or in the way – being a sensory input object, which you essentially are, you have systems that are reconciling the sensations that you’re creating yourself so that you understand what’s external to you. So I could do a whole talk on just that. But you know, if you’re a sensory input box, and you’re just sitting still, then you know that anything that happens to you, you did yourself. But once that box is moving, just moving is going to create input, right? So like, if you have wind going past you, is it windy outside, or is it windy because you moved relative to the air? So you have this really great system that is measuring – that is monitoring external input and internal input to reconcile to become aware of what is happening outside of you, and what is happening inside of you to better assess your environment. So virtual reality plays with that system because now there is moving input that you’re not moving, and so it just starts to kind of mess with the body a little bit. It’s kind of the same with driving, right? Or flying – like, you’re sitting still but things are going past your eyes. It’s kind of like; they understand it has something to do with the motion sickness phenomenon that arises as some sort of mismatch. I don’t think anyone knows about it more than that – but it’s kind of moving – it’s weird, it’s weird for the body.


DANI: So is that when you talk about your sort of optic flow, is that?


KATY: Yes. Yes.


DANI: Okay. I would love another show to talk about that, because that is also, I think, very interesting.


KATY: Well, I’m talking about it right now!


DANI: Well, okay.


KATY: That was my lead-up to optic flow.


DANI: Well, all right. Let’s dive into it, because it does get short shift on treadmill walking.


KATY: So this is the second component, which is – so that’s how all that works. So now you’re on a treadmill, and your arms and legs are moving, but nothing is going past your eyes. So it’s another mismatch of going, well I just created all of this movement, and I went nowhere! So it’s again it’s problematic because your brain has to make an adjustment to what you were doing on the treadmill. Meaning, the brain has to kind of – it has to let that monitoring go, so to speak. Or it has to make a conclusion about what you’re doing. So when everyone gets off the treadmill, and all of a sudden they have those 20 seconds of feeling like you’re walking really weird.


DANI: Right, and some people get, like, dizzy. They get kind of motion sick and dizzy when they do that.


KATY: Right, and that’s – so that’s the phenomenon was researched or began to be researched in the ‘90s when virtual reality was much more prevalent. But now they’re doing all those same tests on treadmills and they’re finding that as you use treadmills longer, as you are older on treadmills, that the period of time when you get off of the treadmill and when you go back to how you feel normal before you got on the treadmill becomes longer and longer. So you’re playing with your mind.


DANI: Wow.


KATY: Your brain. Like, it’s changing your brain; it’s affecting your brain. So for those reasons alone, I wouldn’t put treadmills into the ‘healthy’ category. That’s why I put them kind of in the ‘junk food’ category – which isn’t to say that they don’t have lots of benefits in certain ways. It’s just not a whole body/whole health-making thing. So that’s all I really mean by, you know, know the full picture.


DANI: That’s good, and I’m going to link to that blog post. That’s still out there right? The junk food walking?


KATY: Yeah.


DANI: We’ll do that in the podcast, and try and link to the Chicago Tribune article, too. This reminds me, I read your article a couple months ago and then I re-read it the other day and um, and then something came up when I was researching about this and the Chinese – one or two of their cities have been experimenting with texting lanes for pedestrians so that people may be walking from Point A to Point B, wherever they’re going in their business sort of lives, but they don’t have to look up. They’re specific to – they’re experimenting with these texting lanes. It’s kind of like the same thing, their brain is seeing one thing while their body is in the forward moving motion.


KATY: Walking. Walking, okay, I thought


DANI: Walking


KATY: I thought you were talking about driving lanes


DANI: Oh, no!
KATY: Or texting lanes, I was like, wow, that is progressive.


DANI: Thank God not yet. That is so not progressive! You have to look where you’re going when you’re in a car. Yeah, I thought that was really kind of the same. They’re still kind of getting that short shrift on that optic flow. Maybe they’re getting air moving past them because they are outside walking, and noises and stuff like that, but still their brains aren’t taking in all the stuff they need to take in.


KATY: Yeah, well, that’s interesting.


DANI: It is kind of weird, isn’t it? There’s a whole bunch of different kinds of treadmills out on the market. There’s a kind that are curved, there’s a kind that you power yourself, like I remember my grandparents had one that you didn’t plug in, they just had rollers.


KATY: Right?


DANI: Do you remember those? You just, you rolled on them. Is there a difference between using one of those and the electric one?


KATY: Yeah, well,


DANI: Like, mechanically?


KATY: Yeah, I mean, a treadmill is not a treadmill is not a treadmill. So specifically the treadmills that are used in the literature that I have read, which I believe is almost – I think I’ve read everything published comparing the two. It’s always your motorized treadmill, where the belt and the movement of the belt backward is coming from the treadmill. So the self-powered ones, of course, would be different because if you are moving the belt with the way you’re walking, then those would be more in line with walking over ground. There would still be a stillness issue, but as far as the musculo-skeletal firing and needing to catch up to the belt, which is what you do on a motorized one, those would not be happening. So if you were stuck inside all winter like you might be in Montana – are you inside all winter? Do you get to go outside ever?


DANI: I – I go outside in 20 below weather just because walking has become my – it’s my multivitamin, it’s what I need. Not everybody does that, so just say I’m stuck inside.


KATY: Ok, so you’re stuck inside, maybe after you’ve taken your walk, and you’re like, I want to walk some more but I’m slightly frostbitten. So getting a self-powered treadmill would be a way to make the treadmill category a bit more nutritious, because you get to push back on it, right? That’s what’s missing from the other ones.


DANI: So there’d be more hip extension


KATY: Yeah, it’d be more like natural, over-ground walking.


DANI: I should mention I have 3 dogs, too, so I don’t think they would dig that. They want to go out. I’m stuck! I’m stuck outside.


KATY: I think that’s great. You know, it’s interesting, though, that people understand that their dogs need to go out in all weather but not their kids.


DANI: Yeah.


KATY: It’s like, oh, my dog’s got all pent-up and it’s like, in our house, if people haven’t been outside for more than 2 hours, it’s pandemonium, It’s like dog fights, chomping at the bit, there’s drooling. There’s some foam at the mouth.


DANI: Is there any peeing on the floor?


KATY: There’s so much peeing on the floor in this house, it’s crazy. But everyone’s potty trained now! So it’s more rare, but yeah. It’s potty central around here.


DANI: No, everybody needs to go outside if you become accustomed to it, it just feels good. Have you ever seen anybody walking backward in a gym or whatever?


KATY: Yeah. So I have been working on a blog post about that and remind me to put it on my blog post list because I’ve been thinking about it for a couple years. You know, when we talk about hip extension, and how good it is for the butt and the sacral balancing, which in turns translates down to the pelvic floor function while walking, is going yes, so I was given this corrective exercise by whomever to walk backward on a treadmill. So walking backward on a treadmill, yes, if everyone stands and goes, ok, I’m going to take a step backward now, there is an element of hip extension, right? Which we’ve talked about is lifting one leg back behind you. So you are lifting one leg back behind you and coming down. So in that way, there is hip extension. However, it’s not the same loads – the loads are what is more important than joint action. So if you’re looking at someone who is walking over ground and it looks real similar to me as when they’re on the treadmill and they’re lifting their leg behind them, the difference between the two is your hip muscles as you’re walking over ground are holding the weight of the body as they push back. This means that the load that they have to create is equal to the weight of the rest of the body, minus that leg, moving that forward, right? Does that make sense?


DANI: Yeah, it does.


KATY: Okay, so if you imagine that the work being done by those muscles is equal to moving the weight of your body forward, and then you compare it to when you’re on a treadmill, what you’re lifting behind you is just the weight of the leg. So it’s unloaded. So while the joint action is the same, the adaptation result is very different, because in one case you’re lifting the weight of that leg, and in the other case you’re lifting – or moving – the weight of all of your body minus the leg.


DANI: Okay. In that line of loads vs. joint action, what about incline? If it were in an incline, is that – and this is actually a two-part question. If somebody has osteoarthritis in his or her knee, does it help take that load off the knee if it’s on an incline?


KATY: Yeah, so, walking is not walking is not walking is not walking. Treadmills are not treadmills are not treadmills.


DANI: I’m going to get that on a shirt for you, by the way.


KATY: Yes! Yes! And then – walking on one treadmill is not walking on that treadmill is not walking on that treadmill is not walking on that treadmill, because it all depends on what the incline is doing. So the incline – incline in general – so for the flat dwellers, the flatlanders, which are pretty much all of us, right? The level landers, those who consume almost all level walking – you’ve got all of these other muscles that should have been taking you up and down hills your entire life. So over time, what we experience because we are shod, we’ve worn shoes, we’ve sat down the bulk of our lives and we’ve walked on flat and level the bulk of our lives, is our legs are essentially collapsing inward. The thighs are collapsing inward, which turns the lower leg outward. So that is our – to reference an old podcast, or Move Your DNA – that’s our floppy fin. It’s the result – it’s a bony structure result of the way we have and have not used our muscles over our lifetime. So walking on level ground is especially on a treadmill causes quite a bit of medial – which is the inside of the knee loading – and so medial knee loading and osteoarthritis of the knee are correlated, meaning that medial knee loads, that medial moment which is a certain lever system that happens when your foot is planted but your knee kind of goes in – so if you were to take a step up, if you have steps, if you walk up the steps and you look down and you see that your foot is going straight forward but your knee is inside of that, then that distance – it’s a little bit more complicated –but generally you can think of the more your knee is inside of your foot when you’re walking up or you’re going forward, the greater medial moment you have. It’s a length. And the more medial moment you have, the more risk you have of knee osteoarthritis. So just like I’ve been telling everyone, you cannot consume flat and level that by going up and down a hill over a lifetime, your muscles would be more robust just to keep that medial moment at bay. That your knee would always be tracking in the way that it should, to not cause medial knee problems. And a medial knee problem would be like a medial meniscus tear or an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear – those are your most common medial knee issues. It’s if you go up hill. You just have to add hills. You have to go up and down, and it helps if you therapeutically know how to correct yourself in the exercises to make that more feasible. So what they’ve noticed in treadmill work is that people trying to stabilize or repair ACL post-medial knee issues, pre-osteoarthritis or maybe already have osteoarthritis, or maybe you’ve had a knee replacement, that walking on a treadmill on an incline is better at keeping this medial moment at bay because it uses more muscle. So when you use more muscle, then the bony position of your body changes because your bones only go where your muscles do or do not take them. So adding in some incline to your flat – I mean, I’m sorry. Adding incline to your diet, whether it be your over-ground diet or your treadmill diet is helpful, because it is essentially a nutrient that you’re missing. So if you’re stuck inside and you’re on a treadmill, then if you can do the self-powered one, that’s great, but even if you don’t have a self-powered one and you’re like, look, if I go outside, I’m made of brown sugar and it’s raining and I will melt, go on your treadmills, please. I don’t want to be responsible for half of your face sliding off, but then crank that incline up – and you do not have to go fast. And you shouldn’t be holding on to your treadmill. If you’re holding on to it, thar’s – thar –


DANI: Tharrrr-harrr


KATY: I’m not sure if – was that a pirate?


DANI: Yeah, and you’re like a month late on that. It was International Talk Like a Pirate Day last month.


KATY: Arrrrgh


DANI: We’ll get you up on that next year, but


KATY: Wow, I don’t know where that came out of, but – yeah.


DANI: It was pirate passion you had tharrr.


KATY: Thar! I was just so excited, like that’s a way that you just have to look and go, how am I walking right now? Am I only concerned with my cardiovascular rate, where I want to slam, I can hear myself pound-pound, I’m holding onto the bar, because the incline is so high that I tumble backwards because I don’t have the strength to deal with this incline. It’s like, slow that puppy down. Think of it as going hiking: if you’re going to use a treadmill, treadmills are great. How can I stress more that my job here is to tell you how things work and not what to do? And that there’s always a situation in which something is great, and there’s always a situation in which something is not great. So you just figure it out, and you look at your experiences. But that all being said, if you – if I was, you know, stuck on a desert island and I was in a box and I couldn’t go anywhere, and all there was was a treadmill, you’d be damn sure I’d be using it, you know what I’m saying?


DANI: Absolutely. And then I was going to call you a pirate name, but I couldn’t think of one quickly enough.


KATY: Swashbuckler? Hook, right?


DANI: Yeah.


KATY: It was the hook. So I think that incline – if I were going to use it every day, I would use my treadmill to supplement my over ground walking. So this hip extension phase that we’re talking about that’s nutritious, it really comes with more level. So that hip extension isn’t as pronounced as you go uphill. So you would be more nutritiously on board if you use the treadmill to supplement hills if you don’t have any, and it should be like, I’m going to pretend like I’m going hiking right now.


DANI: So just slow and steady, swinging your arms.


KATY: Slow, steady, not holding on, not doing it for cardio, like how fast can I get out of this? Just – just kind of using it in the most natural sense. It doesn’t take care of the optic flow, and if you have balance or issues that are already in that realm, that neurology, then I would say that would not be a good thing for you. You have to look at where you are in every sense of the word and then figure out how you’re going to consume your movement. So.


DANI: That’s excellent advice and an excellent way to look at it. If you have to, you know, it’s a great supplement.


KATY: Yeah. I mean, if you have to, you have to. But I always follow up with, check how much you have to. Before you go with, well, I have to, great, I feel vindicated or whatever – uh, not vindicated. What’s it called when you take your ticket in? Validated.


DANI: Yeah, that’s validated.


KATY: My word recall is horrible. Yeah – I want – you should always feel validated, but that really looking at your life and going, ok, so I know that there’s going to be holes in my nutrition. Is there any way, if it can’t be in winter, then that treadmill doesn’t come on at all when the weather is good. And you don’t get in the habit of always using a treadmill just because 10% of the time you have no other option, you know? Evaluate every day.


DANI: That’s sound advice. I just have a quick question about that hip extension and being stuck inside: what about the old, remember the NordicTrack ski machines that everybody bought in the ‘80s and ‘90s and then they all end up in garage sales? I mean, I see one in a garage sale, like, every week. And they’re self powered –


KATY: Mm-hmm


DANI: And you’re pushing back – well, you know what I mean. The motion –


KATY: I do.


DANI: There’s a lot of hip extension and not as much flexion because your feet are anchored onto those little straps of wood, those strips of wood.


KATY: Yeah, it’s like cross-country skiing.


DANI: yeah, thank you. Thank you. I couldn’t remember – see, my recall’s no better.


KATY: See, we should just get a third person on here.


DANI: Arrrgh, we need somebody to swab the deck and remind us of our words here!


KATY: You know, a parrot’s all, “Validation! Squawk!”


DANI: “Vindication’s the wrong word choice! Awk!”


KATY: “You’re a verbal moron, squawk!”


DANI: (laughing) Do you have the same take on that, with those?


KATY: Yeah. I mean, I love – out of all the sports, I would say that cross-country skiing is my favorite thing. There is a lot – there’s actually a lot of hip flexion –




KATY: –in cross country skiing, right? Because the ski’s gotta get in front of you and it’s weighted, so it’s actually more hip flexion, greater loads of hip flexion in cross country skiing than there is in walking because you are pulling not just the weight of the leg, but the weight plus a ski. That being said, you do this kind of push down, push the ski down to the ground and you slide it, friction-free, forward. So it’s not a natural movement, per se, however, you know, if you’re living in this world and enjoyment matters, too, you know, and you like cross country skiing, as I do – what’s so great about it is that it has this really big component of hip extension, meaning that there’s a lot of nutrients that you’re missing that can come about. So – can you cross country ski where you live? Could you go out your door and go cross-country skiing for miles?


DANI: Uh, not – well, it depends on the snow, but yeah. We could.


KATY: (sighs) My god, can I come and visit? It’s my dream – not to live where you can do that, but to visit someone one time where I could do that, because I wouldn’t want to deal with all that snow.


DANI: Anytime. Just make sure your vocabulary’s in order and you can come anytime.


KATY: Oh, well, then I will never be there. I’ll never be there. Thanks a lot.


DANI: Squawk! That’s okay; we’ll let you slide!


KATY: So, um, those machines are a great way, again, if you’re stuck inside – can you pick it up at a garage sale for $25?


DANI: Well, I actually just did, because I figure there were a couple of 30 degree – 30 below days when the dogs couldn’t go out or their faces would freeze off, and there was no amount of bundling that we could get outside and walk, but I just wanted to – I still wanted to stretch my hips, and you kind of get into that rhythm of walking and so I did pick one up for actually $30 at a garage sale and thought, huh, I wonder. But I haven’t used it yet.


KATY: Yeah, it’s fun, and it’s a lot harrr-der, um. They have – does yours have handles to pull, or is it all?


DANI: Yeah, the rope. The rope handles that you kind of can pull back and come forwards. Just curious about that. I don’t know how many people even have those left. I think everybody in the world has sold it in a garage sale.


KATY: It’s like fruitcakes. All the fruitcakes that are in existence now have always been and they just get recycled.


DANI: Getting passed around, and some smell like cat pee and some don’t. The NordicTracks, not the fruitcakes.

KATY: Not the fruitcakes.

DANI: Not the fruitcakes. Well, wow. There’s so much to talk about with treadmills. This was a great show. Let’s do it again some time.

KATY: All right! Let’s see where we go.

DANI: And I’m sorry I forgot to remind everybody to take that eye break. That’s always so helpful. So you can just do one right now. Look out, far away, look out the window.

KATY: And I’m putting my arms way over my head while I’m doing it. Like, making snow angels but in the air.

DANI: Ooh, double bonus. I hope you have an awesome day. Thank you so much for talking about this.

KATY: I’ve already had an awesome day.

DANI: You are awesome. But this was good, and I love this conversation, so I’d like to continue it some time.

KATY: All right.

DANI: All right, have a good day and I will talk to you later.

KATY: Aye-aye, Captain.

DANI: Arrrgh.

KATY: Arrgh.

Show notes:

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One thought on “Treadmills, Podcast Ep. 9

  1. After hearing you podcast and the junk potential of treadmill workouts, I’ve added inclines to my treadmill walking 2.5 – 5 depending on how fast I’m going. I’ve been using this treadmill for more than 15 years including while going through and recovering from chemo. I’ve only been walking outside the last year or so – now I love it! Had to get over my fear of dogs – I live in Detroit in an area with lots of tree lined streets. I also walk downtown at lunch especially by the river – in temperate weather.

    It’s winter now though, wind-chills in the teens and today 6, six degrees. So I’m back on old faithful. ran across a 10 minute walk in place type workouts and thinking I could do that. I immediately thought, hmmm, what would Katy say? I’m thinking – since I’m carrying my own weight shifts, without the help of a moving belt/floor, as long as I ensure I’m not doing ONLY that, I should be good with inclined treadmill and walk in place workouts until I can get back outside. So then I decided to come ask. I do move all day – I have a sit/stand desk, I wash my personal clothes in a bucket in the tub with a tall plunger and take the stairs at work several times per day. Its just my official “workout” I want to be mostly beneficial. Thanks

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