Health clubs and public exercise facilities seem to be getting more and more crowded these days! Having a treadmill at home can certainly making sticking to your fitness routine easier since you don’t have to take the extra steps of getting in your car and driving to the gym. You can also choose to exercise any time to the day or night!
On the downside, buying a treadmill can be an expensive investment. Unless you’ve researched and know all of the variables offered, you can easily end up paying dearly for a treadmill for features you’ll never use. Here are some questions you need to ask before making the purchase of your first home treadmill.
How will you be using your new treadmill?
If you’re a runner, your needs will be different than if you plan on walking exclusively. If you plan on running, you’ll need a treadmill with a deck at least 60 inches in length to accommodate your stride. Also look for a treadmill that has a good layer of deck cushioning to absorb some of the shock from hitting the surface at a forceful pace. Sturdy construction of the frame will be important to avoid having the treadmill rock back and forth during the vigorous movements of running.
How much room do you have available in your house or apartment?
If you have limited room, you’ll want to look for one of the fold up models that can be easily stored in a small space. Fortunately, there are a number of these on the market today so finding one to accommodate your space needs shouldn’t be a problem.
How much are you prepared to spend for your treadmill?
A basic treadmill can be purchased for under $1000 with some decent ones even going as low as $300. These lower end models are fine for walking, but may be a problem if you plan on doing frequent running. The more expensive, advanced models which run in the $1000 to $3500 range generally have longer decks to accommodate running as well as a more powerful motor for higher speed exercise. They also tend to have frames with sturdier construction.
How much do you weigh?
Some treadmills aren’t constructed to bear heavier weights with most of the lower end models having weight limits of 250 pounds. If you weigh more of this, be sure to look for a model that can accommodate your excess weight.
What display features are you looking for on your treadmill?
Some of the features displayed on the console might include calories burned, distance traveled, speed, incline level, and time. Some models will also include a heart rate monitor, although this is more commonly seen on the higher end treadmills. Make sure the parameters you require are displayed on the console you purchsse. If you’re working that hard, you want to get some feedback on how you’re doing!
Do you want to design your own workout programs?
Some treadmills model will allow you to design your own custom programs to meet your fitness needs. Generally, you are given several different pre-set routines already programmed into the treadmill. If you need additional ones, you might want to consider a treadmill that allows you to design your own user defined programs.
How important is ease of set-up to you?
If you’re not handy with tools, you should consider a model that comes preassembled or requires minimal set-up. Also take into account the maintenance requirements of any potential treadmill you are considering. There are many machines available that are almost maintenance free.
Finally, consider the length of the warranty provided by the company you purchase your treadmill from. Generally, there are separate warranties for the motor, the frame, as well as parts and labor. Look for a machine that has at least a several year warranty on the motor as well as a five year or more warranty on the frame. You should have at least a year warranty on parts and 4 months on labor.
If you choose your home treadmill wisely, you should get many years of dependable usage from it. Think of the money you’ll save by not having to join a health club! A home treadmill will likely be one of the best investments you’ll ever make in terms of your overall health and well being. Time to go shopping for treadmills!