How to choose the right treadmill

December 17, 2014

Treadmills are a mainstay of any home gym, letting you get some exercise without braving the cold weather or heading to the gym. Here’s how to get the right treadmill for your workout routine.

Types of treadmill

Treadmills are available in a few different styles.

Manual treadmills: The most affordable type of treadmill, a manual treadmill has no electric or motorized parts. Instead, the belt is powered by your own movement, so the treadmill slows down or speeds up when you do.

Motorized treadmills: These treadmills are the most common and use an electric motor to drive a belt while you run or walk. A motorized treadmill will offer you the most features, like inclines and programmable workouts, but will also be the largest and most expensive.

Folding treadmills: A folding treadmill is a smaller motorized treadmill that folds up for easy storage. Folding treadmills often sacrifice some of the features of full-size motorized treadmills to keep them light and save space.

Treadmill features

Keep your treadmill affordable by balancing price with features you’ll actually use. Here are some of the most useful features:

  • Console: Consoles should feature bright, easy-to-read displays and intuitive controls so you can change your workout simply and quickly
  • Inclines: Treadmills can be adjusted to simulate going uphill for a more varied workout
  • Programming: Some treadmills come with pre-loaded workout routines, but many allow you to create your own to suit your specific needs
  • Electronics: More often now, treadmills come with docking stations, speakers and even TV screens to help you stay motivated while exercising
  • Safety keys: Safety keys attach to your waist, and in the event of a fall, will turn off your treadmill automatically

Factors to consider when buying a treadmill

Before purchasing a treadmill, it's important to consider a few key factors.

Treadmill motor: The right motor depends on the user’s weight and fitness goals. Heavier users and runners will need a higher horsepower engine than lighter people or those walking for exercise.

Size: Your treadmill’s length, or deck size, depends on your treadmill workouts. You’ll need more space if you plan on running, but a shorter deck is perfectly fine for walking. Either way, the treadmill should have places to safely step off the moving belt.

Warranties and guarantees: The best treadmills come with warranties for parts and labour. Always make sure your treadmill has a guarantee and warranty that covers defects or future repairs.

Space: Your treadmill should be surrounded by two feet of empty space so you can safely mount and dismount.

Safety: Always consult a health professional before starting any intensive workout program.

A healthy lifestyle involves eating well and getting plenty of sleep and exercise. Treadmills are a great way to work out without having to leave home. Exercise whenever you feel the urge when you have a treadmill that suits your space and workout needs.

How to choose the right treadmill
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