Researching, then searching for, and then eventually buying a treadmill can be be very confusing – BUT with help from our guides you should be able to make an informed buying decision based on price and feature comparison. Before committing yourself to a purchase think about the features you desire, and the price range you can afford. You will then be better placed to begin looking for a specific model.
How will you use your treadmill?
Firstly, anticipate your fitness goals and other users in your home before buying. Most households will have more than one person that will want to use the equipment. You should consider their fitness needs as well as your own. Buying a “bargain basement”, under-powered machine that doesn’t meet the future requirements of all users is a trap most people fall into.
The Basic Essentials
Screen and Console
You will need a user friendly console and screen with a large easy to read digital readout. Look for displays and control panels that are large, simple and readable. Control panels with lots of controls will cause confusion and may even put people of using the machine.
A good quality shock absorption system is a major selling point on most models. The running deck should not be soft or spongy, as this kind of deck can lead to knee problems over time. Look for a model whose manufacturer can give convincing reasons as to how and why their shock absorption mechanism works. Research the information that shows how the maker produced their cushioning mechanism and how and why it differs from others. There should be some feature in the mechanism over and above the use of rubber washers.
Today’s models have a wealth of facilities to attract purchasers. These range from displays that measure calories used to the amount of energy expended in a fitness workout. Give consideration as to what is relevant to you and whether you would use that facility. The important thing is to go for features that can stimulate and challenge. Look for features that will meet your needs as you progress, and ones that will meet the needs of others in your family. Some of the best features are interval programs, and user ID’s that can be customized and record past fitness workouts.
Understanding what is an adequate sized motor causes much confusion. A 2.0 CHP unit is good enough for practically any user providing the other parts of the treadmill are of reasonable quality. A good cooling mechanism for instance removes excess heat from the motor and other mechanicals – thus enhancing the life of these components. A big motor with an inadequate cooling mechanism, however, will probably result in premature wear on components as well as inferior performance. View the treadmill as a whole with balanced components instead of merely going for an oversized motor.
Preset and custom programs
Sometimes people will quit an exercise program due to feeling bored. A machine which provides a full range of programs will help keep your fitness regime fresh and maintain motivation. Being able to customize a program for your personal requirements is also an excellent facility.
Pay consideration to features like a safety key and a speed controller that starts and stops the treadmill in gradual increments. Also consider items such as warm-up and cool-down periods, and heart rate control. Handrails and console grips that are comfortable are also good features to have. Are they sensibly placed so that you can grip them at the start and finish of your workout? Also check out the dimensions. Will it fit adequately into the space you have in mind for it?
A modern treadmill contains lots of electronics. Most good quality machines will come with a lifetime frame warranty. With other components,consider a warranty that gives 1 year of labor and a minimum of 1-3 years on parts. When buying a treadmill consider what parts are covered. The warranty should cover: Motor, Frame, Deck, Electronics.
Do Your Research
For most people this will be an expensive purchase, so when looking to buy a treadmill try to treat the task as a research project and do your home work!
Endeavor to gather as much information about the various models that are available and what the various specifications and features mean and which you think that you will require.
Seek out information from as many different sources that you can find so that you can build up a consensus view regarding which models would suit both your budget and fitness requirements.