There are two things that are immediately appealing about the AlterG M300 treadmill. The first is being able to maintain fitness levels whilst nursing an injury, and the second is that you’ll feel as light as a feather whilst working out. The M300 allows people to run or walk at a reduced body weight of up to 80 percent, while the differential air pressure technology assists by applying a comfortable lifting force to the body. By reducing the body weight, there is less impact on the muscles and joints, and people are able to move more naturally and without pain.

To use the AlterG, you simply step onto the treadmill and raise the enclosure to waist level to allow an air chamber to surround the lower part of the body. The controls are similar to regular treadmills with adjustable speed (0 mph to 18 mph) and incline levels (up to 15%). Once the the start button is pressed the AlterG measures your body weight, which can then be adjusted using the arrow keys, until a desired weight setting is achieved. As the body weight is adjusted, the air chamber inflates around the lower body and the air pressure “floats” your body upwards. The air pressure helps to make you feel secure and you are less likely to fall as you are supported laterally.

The treadmill can accommodate people from 90 to 400 pounds and is especially useful for people with lower body injuries. It can also be used for aerobic conditioning, maintaining fitness and sports-specific training, and can be weight adjusted from 100 percent to 20 percent weight-bearing in 1 percent increments.

With a US$24,500 price tag the AlterG M300 is aimed at physical therapy clinics, fitness and training facilities and well-off individuals. Pre-orders are being taken now with shipping beginning in November 2009.

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