Buying Advice – Treadmills
Treadmills are the most popular pieces of exercise equipment purchased for the home. They are easy to use, and are the most traditional and effective calorie burners for most type of users. There are many types of treadmills: fold-up models, models designed for walkers, heavy-duty designs for runners with a multitude in which can monitor your heart rate and adjust your workout accordingly. When buying a treadmill, first figure out what's going to motivate you (and others in your household) to use it regularly.
- What to look for when buying a treadmill:
- Make sure it is a sturdy built treadmill.
- Offer a wide running (walking) belt that is long enough to accommodate your stride length.
- Provide good shock absorption or cushioning.
- Allows you to vary your workout by adjusting elevation and speed.
- Offers a selection of motivating programmed courses.
- Handgrips in front or along the sides so you can hold for balance.
- Accompanied with a good warranty and service contract.
- A motor that has sufficient power
- How to compare treadmill motors:
When comparing treadmill motor size, there are three different ways a treadmill motor is measured: continuous duty, treadmill horsepower rating, and peak duty. Continuous duty is the continuous power that a treadmill motor can reach and maintain under any load or no-load condition. It is the most powerful rating listed. Treadmill horsepower rating is the amount of horsepower a motor can reach under intermittent load conditions (approximately 70 to 80 percent of continuous duty rating). Peak duty is the absolute maximum horsepower a treadmill motor can reach under peak load conditions (approximately 50 to 60 percent of continuous duty rating).
How powerful does the motor need to be?
Naturally, the faster you plan on running on a treadmill, the more powerful of a motor you need. If you are running more than walking, look for a motor with at least 1.5 horsepower continuous duty rating. Treadmills for walking will range in speed from 0 mph up to 8.75 mph for example the Reebok iRun treadmill. If you plan on jogging or running, the treadmill needs to be sturdy and should reach speeds up to 8-12 mph for example the Reebok Professional T3 treadmill.
What kind of build treadmill should you look for?
A welded frame is by far the most durable. The treadmill deck should be easy to maintain which normally can be easy to clean and only require an occasional spray of silicone to keep it running smoothly. Another important aspect is the type of running belt. Two-ply belts are often stronger, sometimes reversible (lasting twice as long) and are less likely to curl at the sides compared to one-ply belts. Some manufacturers offer an orthopaedic belt for added cushioning for example the Vision T9450HRT.
How big of a treadmill belt do you need?
A standard running surface sufficient for most runners or walkers is 18 inches wide by 51 to 54 inches long. If you are taller and have a longer stride, or have a disability, look for belts that are extra wide (20 inches or more) and extra long (more than 54 inches).
Is the deck cushioned to absorb impact?
A big advantage of using a treadmill over running on a road is the cushioned surface. Treadmills can absorb up to 40 percent of the impact of running on roads. Most treadmills are designed to lessen the impact of your foot strike by cushioning the surface of the deck. Many treadmills offer hard decks therefore it is recommended to try various treadmills before deciding what treadmill to buy.
Do you need programmes to motivate you?
Most treadmills offer a standard selection of pre-programmed courses to add variety and challenge to your workout. The programmes vary the speed of the treadmill as well as the elevation angle (if applicable). This can help you improve your fitness level by challenging you to push that little further next time. If the treadmill can adjust the incline, it can simulate hilly terrain, and give you a more intense workout.
Consider a treadmill that monitors and interacts with your heart rate for example the Vision T9450HRT treadmill. If your doctor or personal trainer set restrictions on how hard your heart should be working, a unit that interacts with your heart rate may be right for you. There are treadmills that can adjust speed and incline according to where you need your heart rate to be. This ensures that you never go above or below your target heart rate. These models usually come with a chest strap which transmits your heart rate to the console display.
Where do you plan on putting it?
If you have a space constraint in your home, a fold-up frame may be the way to go. While these type of treadmills are usually perfect for walking, make sure the model is sturdy enough for running.