Friday, 21 March 2014

Tips on How to Choose the Best Treadmill for Your Needs

Tips on how to choose the right treadmill for you, buying tips on treadmills
There are so many different makes and models of treadmills available to choose from nowadays, that it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one you should buy.

Most people look at the amount of features a treadmill has such as how many programmable workouts a treadmill has, but don’t be blinded by the quantity of features over the build quality and what you personally need from a treadmill.

If you’re thinking about buying a treadmill for home use, but don’t know where to start, here are a few tips on the important factors that are easily overlooked but which you need to take into consideration when choosing the right treadmill for you:

Are you going to be using the treadmill for walking or running?

Some treadmills are designed more for people who just want to get some walking exercise rather than running.  Treadmills designed for walking usually have a less powerful motor and a smaller footprint.

If you intend running on a treadmill, make sure you buy a treadmill that is designed to take more of a pounding.  With this in mind, you will need to buy a treadmill that is more heavy-duty with a more powerful motor and a longer running surface.

Motor size

The bigger the motor, the more reliable it should be as it doesn’t have to work as hard as a lower powered motor to do the same thing.  If you intend to use the treadmill a lot or are likely to do more running than walking, then a bigger motor will cope better than a smaller one.  A bigger motor is also a better choice for heavier people.

Motor sizes on treadmills are rated in two different ways:

·         Peak horsepower (hp)
·         Continuous horsepower (hp)

Peak horsepower is the top output limit that the motor will reach.

Continuous horsepower is what the motor can comfortably sustain over a prolonged period of continuous use.

To give an example, a motor rated at 6 peak horsepower, would likely have a 4 continuous horsepower rating.

Treadmills with a motor rating of 1-2 hp would best be suited to very light use.  It would be better to go for a treadmill with a motor rating of 2.5 hp and above, the higher the better if you’re looking for a treadmill that will stand the test of time and take some pounding.

Size of Running Surface

The size of the running surface should really go hand-in-hand with the size of the motor.  A small running surface or running belt is suitable for walking.  If you intend to be running on a treadmill, then you ideally want the combination of a larger running surface (width and length) together with the more powerful motor.

User Weight Limit

Different treadmills come with different user weight limit ratings.  You will usually find that the smaller the treadmill, the lower the user weight limit is.  If you’re on the edge of the higher-end of the user weight limit, it may be wise not to get that particular treadmill but go for one with a higher weight rating.

Overall Size and Placement of the Treadmill

Bearing in mind all of the above points, you need to think about how much space you have in your home to place a treadmill.  Compact treadmills are great for small spaces but won’t be as heavy-duty as a larger treadmill, so you have to consider whether this will suit your needs or not.  Many treadmills (both large and small) have a running surface that folds upwards to save space when not in use, so this may be a way to resolve any space problems you may have.  Make sure you have enough area around you to use the treadmill safely, and keep young children away from the treadmill.

Try not to place your treadmill in a damp or very dusty/dirty environment such as a garage, as moisture and dust/dirt could get into the electronics of your treadmill and stop it from working.

N.B.:  It’s always advisable to consult your doctor or health care professional before undertaking any new exercise regime.

Prices/discounts indicated correct at time of writing/publishing.  E&OE.

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