How to choose a treadmill

Take A Look At Our Buyer’s Guide To Help You Choose The Right Treadmill.

With so many treadmills on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one to get. Here we present the how to choose a treadmill guide that will help you get the best treadmill for your needs.

How To Choose Your Perfect Treadmill

Treadmills are our favorite piece of exercise equipment. There are several reasons for that. First and foremost, they burn a lot of calories. A study completed by the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that a fairly vigorous workout on a treadmill burns around 700 calories, compared to 627 for stair climbers and 498 for stationary bikes. Calorie burning isn’t the only reason for the popularity of the treadmill. They are also the most versatile type of equipment you can own. You can use the treadmill to lose weight, improve your endurance, increase your overall fitness, gain strength, learn to run, train for local road races or even prepare yourself to complete a marathon.

Years ago, before treadmills became so popular, you would have had limited alternatives when shopping for a treadmill. You could have chosen motorized or manual. Today, high demand has fueled a dramatic rise in treadmill choices. How do you pick the right treadmill? It all starts with your goals and how you plan on using your new treadmill. Here are some buying tips that will help you choose the treadmill that is right for you.

Sole F80 Folding Treadmill

Treadmills are great because they are easy to use, easy to store, and will help you get fitter.

 

Buying a treadmill is a big decision to make. But what do you need to consider when making the decision to buy one?

Why do you want to buy a treadmill? What is the main reason? Do you want to lose weight, get fit, recover from an illness or train for a race? Your reason for buying will determine which model is best for you.Take a look at the questions below and you’ll have a clear idea of which treadmill is best for you.

1. Do you run at present?

If the answer is NO, can you be sure a treadmill won’t end up as an expensive clothes hanger gathering dust in a few months time. Try a treadmill at your local gym first and go for a run around the streets and see which you prefer.

Do you have time?

2. What are your reasons for running?

If you want to lose weight then treadmills are a great option as you may feel self-conscious about running in public or at the gym. A treadmill offers a great way to help you lose weight. If you are running to keep fit and you feel safe running in your local area then road running may be a better option. However, if environmental conditions make training difficult at times, buying a treadmill gives you an alternative to keep you moving.

If your gym is inconvenient to get to when you fancy a quick jog in the evening. Having a treadmill in your home does mean you can run when you want for however long you want.

3. Do you have the space? Where would you put it?

Obviously if you answer no,  a treadmill is not an option.

Reebok 1410 SpaceSaver

Even folding treadmills take up space. Non-folding treadmills take up a considerable amount of a room. If you have got space, what type of room is it. Some use their garage, others prefer the bedroom or somewhere near a TV. Where ever you consider putting it, is it a room you would like to spend a considerable amount of time in? Consider you may eventually be training up to two hours at a time!

We advise people to place their machine either facing a window or mirror – a mirror will help you assess your running technique. If you are running toward a blank wall it can be incredibly dull :0/ Watching TV is a popular option too.

How Much Should You Spend?

If you decide to go ahead and buy a treadmill be prepared to spend good money. A cheaper treadmill can be a false economy and you get what you pay for in this market. A basic machine may not provide you with the features that will maintain your interest and therefore keep you training.

If you spend more you will get extras such as heart monitors, running programs, stopwatches and tilting surfaces for hill running.

Check the treadmills specifications:

There is no doubt that a treadmill can be a very useful piece of exercise equipment, but it is vital to choose the right one and it is important to know what to look for in order to get the maximum value for the money.

One of the most critical parts of any treadmill, no matter what its cost, is the belt.  The belt system is what allows the treadmill to operate smoothly and provide a good workout.  The top of the belt moves from the front of the unit to the rear, providing a smooth surface on which to walk, jog or run.  It is important to look for a treadmill with a high quality belt, and a belt that is large enough to provide a quality workout.

Just about every treadmill on the market allows for the setting of speed, and many allow the incline to be raised as well.  The more convenient treadmill models will place these controls within easy reach of the user, so it is important to look at the controls closely to make sure they will be easy to use.


Many treadmills also include additional built in features, like heart rate monitors, pulse monitors, reading racks and the like.  Some also calculate the distance run or walked, the number of calories burned, and other important information.  Many also provide preset workout programs, making it easier for you to get started quickly and to track his or her progress accurately.

There are a number of important things to consider as you start your search for the perfect treadmill, including:

Price
Price is of course a critical factor for most of us, and it is always important to purchase a treadmill that fits your budget as well as your fitness goals.  It is important, however, to look beyond the price tag to the value represented by each model.  Unfortunately, the best treadmills on the market also tend to be the most expensive, so it is important to strike a good balance between price, quality and value as you shop.

It is important to look for a treadmill that is built to last, as a well built treadmill will be less expensive to operate in the long run.  Replacing a cheaper treadmill after only a few years ago could end up costing far more than buying a better model up front.

Size
Another critical factor that many first time treadmill shoppers forget is the size of the unit.  Treadmills are by definition large pieces of equipment, and an exercise device that allows users to easily run or walk indoors can take up a great deal of space.

One way to fit that new treadmill into your home as well as your workout routine is to look for a model that folds easily when not in use.  These foldable treadmills allow the track of the treadmill to easily fold against the wall when the unit is not in use, freeing up much needed floor space.

The Motor
The motor is the heart and soul of any treadmill, and it is important that the motor on the treadmill be large enough to move the treadbelt easily and efficiently.  Generally speaking, the larger the running surface of the treadmill the larger the motor should be.

It is important to consider both the peak duty rating and the continuous duty rating on the treadmill, especially for larger users. Those treadmill users who weigh more than 185 pounds should look for a motor with a continuous duty rating of at least 1.5 horsepower. You should look for the continuous duty rating. This is the rating of the motor, with a significant workload and continuous use. You will find motors with continuous horsepower ratings from 1 to 3 horsepower.

The Belt
The size of the treadbelt should be an important consideration for those in the market for a treadmill.  The walking and running surface of the deck should be at least 3/4″ thick for maximum comfort.  A thicker walking surface will be more comfortable, and the thicker surface will also minimize the risk of injury.

As for the size of the running surface, buyers should strive for a deck of at least 48″ long by 17″ long.  This larger running surface will also help to reduce the risk of injury and help ensure users do not accidentally slip off the track while exercising.  Those who plan to run or jog on their treadmills will want to look for the largest treadbelt surface they can find, while walkers may be able to get away with a somewhat smaller surface.

Pro 2500 Incline/Decline

Your belt should be no less than 17 to 18 inches wide. Any less than that and you will probably feel cramped when working out. As far as length, try to find one that is at least 54 to 55 inches long. A shorter one is OK for walking, but if you are going to jog or run on your treadmill you will want at least 54 inches. Choose a length that you feel comfortable with. You do not want to feel uncomfortable or feel like you are going to fall off the back.

Control console

Console

The console is the control and information center of your treadmill. Your console will control all of the functions of your treadmill as well as provide you with a wealth of information such as: your speed, pace, distance traveled and elapsed time. It may also indicate your average speed, average pace, calories burned, calories burned per hour and heart rate.

Cushioning

There has been a recent trend among treadmill manufacturers to provide a lot of cushioning to reduce the impact of running or walking. Manufacturers use different methods of cushioning, including shock absorbing suspensions and flexible decks or frames. A high degree of cushioning can be helpful in many situations such as injury rehabilitation or if you have joint problems. If your goal is to train for running outside you may want less cushioning so that your treadmill mimics the actual outside road conditions more closely.  The amount of cushioning on your treadmill is a personal preference. If you have any joint or back problems choose a machine with a lot of cushioning. That will take some of the stress off your body. If you have no injury problems, consider a firmer deck. It will be more like walking outside.

Speed/Incline

Most treadmills have a speed range of 1 MPH to 10 MPH. There are some high-end treadmills that will go up to 12 MPH or even higher. For most users 10 MPH will be more than enough speed. If you are a competitive runner you may want a machine that will go 12 MPH or faster. Some lower end treadmills will have a high speed of 8 MPH. If you are only going to walk on the treadmill, 8 MPH is enough. If you think that you may decide to use the treadmill for running, you should purchase one that has a top speed of at least 10 MPH.
The ability of a treadmill to incline is one of their most useful features. It allows you to do hill training no matter where you live. The method of incline varies from treadmill to treadmill. Possible methods include hand crank, powered screws, electric rack and pinion motors and pneumatic shocks. The most common and preferred method is electric rack and pinion motors.

Heart rate monitor and control

At one time a heart rate monitor was considered a luxury on a treadmill. Today it is almost standard equipment. There are a number of methods used for monitoring heart rate, including chest straps, ear clips, finger clips and hand contact monitors. The most accurate are the chest strap monitors. Ear and finger tip monitors tend to shake loose when you are running and can give a faulty reading. Many units operate with a hand grip. You simply grab onto the hand grip when you wish to take a reading. This system works well when walking, but is difficult when running. Some treadmills are offering a control feature which will vary the incline or speed of the treadmill automatically in order to keep your heart rate at a pre-determined level. If your heart rate strays above or below a pre-set range, either the incline or speed will adjust automatically.

Preset Functions

When it comes to preset workout routines, heart monitors, pulse monitors and the like, it is important to look for those features that are most important to you.  There are many different choices when it comes to monitoring your workout, and it is important to consider how you will use the treadmill.  While serious marathon runners may need to look for a treadmill that can track target heart rate down to the second, those simply seeking to get in shape may need a less elaborate setup.

No matter which type of electronics you select, however, it is important to look carefully at the warranty period.  If the electronics is an important part of the workout experience, be sure to look for a treadmill that provides a lengthy warranty on those features.  This is an especially important consideration.