Training on a treadmill offers a low-impact, convenient, affordable means of obtaining your fitness goals. Treadmills help maintain endurance, improve cardiovascular health and are a great way to burn calories With so many manufacturers, models and features available where does one begin?
First, think about your fitness objectives, Are you a competitive athlete or runner, are you looking to lose weight or are you simply looking for general health benefits? These questions will play a key role in the decision making process.
What is your budget? Investing in a more-expensive machine gets you sturdier construction,, a larger running surface, higher top speed, and steeper incline. But if your goals don’t require the latest and greatest, you may be able to choose a less expensive model.
I will break this down into three segments: categories, components and personal preference.
These models can have a shorter running belt, which may be sufficient for walkers and are great for saving space. They monitor displays time, distance, speed, incline and calories burned. These models are typically no frills. Some contain a heart-rate monitor or heart-rate control programs. If walking is your primary exercise, lower-priced models should suffice.
Generally, these models will provide additional features to the budget folding models, along with more exercise programs, including wireless heart-rate controlled programs through the use of a chest strap. Thicker gauge steel makes these tread mills sturdier and offer better shock absorption for running.
Non Folding - Commercial
These treadmills offer a sturdier deck and frame, a longer running belt, and larger running surfaces. In most cases these are the same models you would see in your local health club. The best choice for frequent runners, and the non . Integrated heart-rate control programs, higher max speeds, and steeper max inclines are typical. They are rated for heavier people. It may seem odd, but these pricey models tend to have fewer built-in programs. When every square foot counts, space considerations are non-negotiable.
Treadmills have two motors. One motor drives the belt and another that controls the incline. The strength of the motor itself is rated in three categories: treadmill duty, continuous duty and peak horsepower, Treadmill duty is the amount of power output in which the motor is rated. Continuous duty (CHP) is the amount of continuous horsepower delivered during heavy use for long periods. Peak horsepower is the maximum capacity a treadmill can generate for a short period.
The incline feature raises the treadmills running bed and creates a more challenging environment helping you burn more calories and increasing muscle tone. Most treadmills today utilize a power incline feature where you can adjust the incline with the touch of a button while you are walking or running to add variety to your workout.
Thicker treadmill decks offer more cushioning and are easier on the joints. Decks vary in length, depending on whether the unit is geared more for walkers or runners.. Widths range from 16" to 22". Lengths vary from 50" to 60". If your a runner or a lager individual look for an over sized deck for comfort and structural integrity.
The footprint on most treadmills is approximately 77" x 35". A folding treadmill will be half its length when stored. You'll need adequate space around the treadmill for access and safety.
Most treadmills have a top speed of 10 and 12 mph; some will go up to 15mph Treadmills typically incline between a 10% to 15%, but some incline trainers offer an increased gradient.
If you’re a runner,a deck length of 60" is recommended. If you are planning on walking 55" is adequate. Choose a model that appeals to you ergonomically and aesthetically.
Color touch screens, Google Maps, USB ports, and wifi are some tech options to consider.
Consider your training style. Do you need to be distracted from your workout, or do you enjoy planning your fitness regimen and pushing yourself to the limit? If you are more of a recreational user entertainment features and automated programs might make sense. On the other hand if you are a competitive athlete or have fitness goals you are determined to achieve, features such as max speed, incline, heart-rate control, and customized programs should be a priority. Decide what your goals are and what features you looking for, don't pay for features you are not going to use.
As far as warranty is concerned, look for three to five years of coverage on parts, and at least one year on labor. You can find some great deals on pre owned equipment as well. If you are purchasing a re furbished machine look for a minimum of 90 days parts and labor.
And finally, purchase from a familiar manufacturer and always purchase from a reputable source.