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This treadmill takes off pounds instantly

antigravity treadmill.JPG

When you injure your lower body- even if you just have pain- getting in a workout can be impossible.

But a local physcial therapy center has found a way around this problem, that will have you walking- sort of- on air.

One treadmill at Advanced Physcial Therapy in Grand Blanc takes the weight off- instantly.

"You can take up to 80-percent of your weight off your feet with the NASA technology of the air pressure chamber," says Physcial Therapist Kim Turner, co-owner of the clinic.

The AlterG Antigravity Treadmill reduces gravity's impact on your weight, so you can still work the muscles and heal more quickly. It works for all sorts of injuries, chronic pain, and arthritis.

If someone has joint pain, it's very hard to get the muscles to strengthen up, and our muscles are what gives us our cushioning, our shock absorption," Kim says, "so if we can build the muscles around the joints, the joints won't hurt as much."

Here is how it works. You slip on compression shorts, then you're zipped into the treadmill's air chamber. It weighs you. Then you choose working at anywhere from 20 to 100 percent of your body weight. The chamber fills with air, and you start moving.

"It is good for anyone who has pain in their legs but are trying to get stronger and get their muscles moving.," Kim says.

There are three cameras pointed at the treadmill, which allows patients and therapists to watch each step, to see how the feet land on the treadmill, from different angles.

"We can see how much weight they can actually put on each foot and that tells us they're comfortable, they can get at least as much weight on the injured foot, as well as the non injured," Kim says.

The treadmill is also ideal for runners or race walkers, like Wanda Merrell, who uses the treadmill twice a week.

"You're lighter and you can see your feet. And you are doing your steps, but the weight is not there," Wanda says.

Surgery for a broken hip side-lined the 36-time Crim finisher. Physcial therapy and the treadmill allow her to keep up her training, while she heals.

"I can walk, but I feel it right in the front and the hip," Wanda says, "but it's not three months yet, since my surgery. "

Wanda plans to inch back back to the bricks for her 37th 10 mile crim finisher medal in August, "I'm doing great, um, I can walk up to a mile."

You do not have to be a patient at Advanced Physical Therapy to work in the anti-gravity treadmill. They offer paid-as-you-go sessions as well. Just visit their website.

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