A treadmill is a great investment in fitness so when thinking about choosing a piece of fitness equipment, a treadmill is often a popular choice. Studies have shown that people get more out of a treadmill than other fitness equipment, because it is natural to walk or run and you are more apt to stick with it for longer each session and keep using the equipment itself over a sustained period of time.
You get what you pay for when it comes to treadmills, but for most of us choosing fitness equipment of any type is going to be a significant investment. When you shop by price you must be even more careful to select the best in that price range. The price ranges generally break down into three groups – Budget $500-$1500, Mid-Range $1500-$3000 and Superior $3000 onwards. There are often significant sales and discounts though so you should keep an eye out.
The motor is what is important in a treadmill as it gets the heaviest workout. The figure you want to look at is the “continuous duty rating” and shop for 1.5 to 2.5 HP “continuous duty”. The “peak duty” rating is less valuable. The “treadmill duty” rating falls between continuous and peak but you will spend less time in peak.
You should test treadmills – just as you when choosing fitness equipment of any type – by wearing your workout shoes and clothes. A shaky or jerky ride is not acceptable. The hand rails should feel sturdy enough to support you and be in a good position to grip easily and not block your arm motion. The belt must be wide enough and long enough for your stride.
Choose a model that has the most pre-set and programmable workouts to vary pace and incline. The incline and speed should be easily adjustable from the console. A pulse monitor is good. A water bottle holder and book rack are essential for many people too – but this is a matter of personal choice.
The treadmill needs to work in your space too so think about where you will put it when you get it home. If you plan to watch TV or listen to music, you need to be able to hear those over the treadmill itself. A model that looks small in the store can turn into an elephant in your spare room. Check its size when folded or stored and test how easy it is to move after all, you will be the one who is moving it.
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