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TREADMILL BUYING GUIDE

TREADMILL BUYING GUIDE

Treadmill Buying Guide

 

Do you want a treadmill to stay active all year round, even when you can’t go running outside? Or are you just looking for something to help you achieve your weight loss goals? Treadmills are excellent items to have in your home. But which one is the best one for your needs? The goal here is to help you understand everything that you need to know about picking a treadmill so that you can get the perfect treadmill for you.

The thing I love most about a treadmill is the fact that I can keep track of my workout as it progresses.  For example, I can set a goal of running for 20 minutes at a speed of 7 miles per hour (MPH) and the control panel of the treadmill will keep me on course.  Or maybe I want to run 2 miles in 16 minutes so I can set the speed accordingly.  The great thing is that the treadmill keeps my speed constant versus running outside where I may slow down and don’t even know it.  Another great thing about a treadmill is that it is much lower impact than being outside on a hard surface with no give.  A treadmill provides that much needed cushion that your knees will thank you for over time.

What Are Your Goals?

One of the most important things for you to consider is your goals for using the treadmill. Some treadmills are better for some goals than others. For instance, some treadmills may not be able to handle the needs of an avid runner. This means that if you need a treadmill for solely rehabilitation purposes, you won’t need a high performance treadmill. Think about what you want and need your treadmill for, then you can narrow down the best options for you.

 

                Goal Matching with Treadmill Specs

 

Treadmill Features

Treadmills these days have a wide variety of features that you have to choose from. Depending on your budget, you may need to pick and choose which features are the most important to you.

Workout Programs

A majority of treadmills available today have built-in workouts that will control the inclines and speeds for you. Some of these will be very basic workouts, whereas some treadmills come with programs that have workouts that change regularly. For instance, many brands feature a workout program like iFit to use when on the treadmill. Many of these workout programs offer you scenic views and interactive videos.

Heart Rate Monitor

Heart-rate monitors are crucial parts of any workout equipment. These help to ensure the most accurate information when you work out. Many treadmills are going to have a heart-rate monitor on the hand-grip, and others come with a separate chest-strap heart-rate monitor. These typically come with higher end models. Chest-strapped monitors are the superior choice because these are more accurate and you are able to continue your workout without stopping to put your hand on the sensors.

Safety Key

A tethered safety key is an important safety feature to have for your treadmill. This means that you need to insert a key that attaches to your clothing, so if you fall off the treadmill it will stop. You also may want a safety key that detaches so that you can keep it hidden away from any children that you have in the house, to ensure that they don’t accidentally turn on the machine.

Rails

For the most part, treadmills have hand and foot rails. Handrails are great features to have because it offers you stability if you need it, but you need to be sure that they aren’t in the way of your natural running/walking motion. If you are rehabbing an injuring or just want the extra stability, look for a treadmill will hand rails that extend the entire length of the decking.  This will help you get on and off the treadmill safely. You also want foot rails that are wide and flat, placed along the treadmill’s belt. These are great features to have because it can make it easier to get on/off the treadmill and more importantly keep from hurting yourself.

Automated Incline/decline

Inclines are important to your workout because this helps you to get the most out of your workout. You get a faster calorie burn, can help reduce the impact on your joints, and help improve muscle definition. It can also make the workout less boring by having another option available to you. Some treadmills can incline as much as 30 percent in some machines.  However, most can go up to a 15 percent incline and a 3 percent decline. Being able to adjust the incline/decline as needed, or have the workout adjust it for you, can make a huge difference in your workout. 

Entertainment Features

When you are distracted from the workout, you will notice the time fly by without feeling like it has. There are a few different entertainment features that you should look for if this is what you want. One is the ability to plug your device or connect it through Bluetooth so that you can hear your music through the treadmill’s speakers when working out. There is also features like a tablet holder so that you can watch that television show you’ve been binge-watching while getting your workout done.

Weight Capacity

Treadmills tend to have a weight capacities that are usually between 250 lbs. and 400 lbs. You will want to be sure that the treadmill you purchase can not only handle your weight, but an additional 50 lbs. as well. The point of this is to ensure that you don’t put too much strain on its motor, improving the lifespan of the treadmill.

Motor

The motor on a treadmill is very important when it comes to your fitness goals.  Look for motors that have a continuous horsepower rating (CHP) and not a peak rating since the peak rated motors are not as heavy duty and have less power when you need it.  For walkers a 2.0 CHP motor will be great.  Whereas if you are a runner using your treadmill daily you will want to opt for at least a 4.0 CHP motor.  If you are a performance runner and are a bigger person, you may want to jump to more commercial grade treadmill, where you can find up to a 5.0 CHP motor. 

Non-Motorized

There are treadmills with no motors that can be a good choice depending on your personal goals. First, if you are a walker on a tight budget, you can find a manual treadmill that will fit your needs.  Buyer beware as these are cheap and not durable, so consider how much you will use it.  However, there are manual treadmills that are of great quality and are built for performance.   These are the curved treadmills and come with a track instead of a belt in most cases. They are meant to stand up to a vigorous workout and will give you a vigorous workout as your reward for buying them.  As an added bonus, the design of these treadmills will help to correct your running form which is a must as far as staying pain free and maintaining healthy joints.

The Trueform team specializes in producing the best non-motorized treadmills available.  The curved treadmills they produce are designed and constructed to last.  Not only that but they are very nice to look at and the Trueform Runner can even be customized with a custom color, track, and even a special adapter for specialized workout routines. Below is a TrueForm Runner with custom white paint and optional Red Track to simulate a running track surface.  Click on the image for more details:

Trueform Runner with custom paint 

Also available is the TrueForm Trainer which is less expensive model without all the custom options of the Runner.  The Trainer is still very well built and can be purchased with a bluetooth ready display console as an upgrade option. Click on the photo of the Trueform Trainer for more details and even compare the Runner with the Trainer.

Trueform Trainer picture

One of the best selling and advanced curved treadmills of late is the Arcadia Air Runner Curved Treadmill.  What separates this non motorized treadmill from its competitors is that it has an adjustable resistance.  You can you start running on this commercial quality treadmill with ease or crank it up as far as 6 resistance levels based on your goals and fitness level.  Select the photo of the Arcadia Air Runner below for more juicy details.

Pro 6 Arcadia Air Runner Curved Treadmill

The Air Runner pictured here also has a longer deck of 69 inches to easily accommodate a longer stride and provide that extra security for runners.

Deck Size

Another important specification when comparing treadmills is deck length and width.  The deck of a treadmill is where you run or walk on and has the rotating belt.  A walker will typically only need a deck that is 55 inches long and 20 inches wide.  However, if you are a taller person over 6’2’’ or a runner you will want a deck that is at least 60 inches long and 22 inches wide to accommodate longer strides and extra room on the sides.

 

Storage

Some treadmills are able to be folded up and stored away or one that is more portable so that you can move it if you need to. In the past, usually only the lower end models were able to be folded up and stored as needed. However, now most treadmills across the various price points can be folded up through things like power assist technology. As far as portability goes, you will mostly only find the smaller treadmills are the most portable options on the market.

Warranty

You are likely going to be investing a fair amount of money in your treadmills, so you want to make sure that your investment is completely protected. Ideally, you want something that at least has a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor. You should also look for a good 2 year warranty on the parts and electronics, and at least a year warranty on labor.

Other Extras

There are some other extras that are nice to have, such as a water bottle holder and fans. These can make your workout more enjoyable for you.

Other Things to Consider When Buying a Treadmill

Now that you know the basics about the features of the treadmill, you need to learn how to choose the best treadmill for your needs. Everyone is different, meaning that not one treadmill is the perfect idea for everyone. In this section, you can learn all about the important things to consider when deciding on the treadmill for you.

Budget

Budget is always a major consideration, especially when it comes to big ticket items like a treadmill. It can be a good idea to have a budget in mind before you move forward in this process. Treadmills can vary greatly in price, depending on the various features that you are looking for. Decide on what your max budget will be. You can do this by doing your research and discovering which features are the most important to you and how much you’re willing to spend.  

Your Space

You not only have to consider the size of the treadmill when thinking about the space in your home, you also have to consider the height of the space. If you have a lot of space, such as a home gym dedicated only for workouts, you can have a larger treadmill that doesn’t need to be folded up. If you have limited space, you may not only want something smaller but also something that is more portable and easier to store. If you are using the treadmill in a space with a low ceiling, you want to make sure that you fit on the treadmill with max incline.

Treadmill Mat

It is a good idea to get a mat that will go under the treadmill in your home. This will help protect the floor and also can reduce any noise generated when using a treadmill.

Your Needs

What do you want from your treadmill? Are you an active runner that wants something that you can use when you can’t run outside due to bad weather? Are you just trying to be more active? A person who trains for marathons will need a totally different treadmill than someone who needs the treadmill for rehabilitation purposes. If you run a lot, you will want a motor and treadmill that can go the distance with you. If you just want something to walk or jog on, you can get a smaller and lightweight option.

Workout Programs

Do you need workout programs that are more immersive on a video screen or are you fine with a more basic workout program feature? Some people love the idea of a monitor on their treadmill with workout programs that you can choose from. These often have maps that make it feel like you are running in beautiful locations. Other people don’t really care about things like that, preferring something that’s simple but effective. This may not be an important feature that you think is worth spending extra on, especially when it comes to the extra fees that tend to come with the fancier programs.

Ease of Use

Ideally, you want a treadmill that’s easy to control. For instance, if you want to change the speed or incline while you are running, you want something that you can easily hit without interfering with your workout or potentially risking injury.

These are all important things to look at when you are buying a treadmill. There are so many different types of treadmills on the market, that you really want to consider your needs and your budget before you make a decision. This is an investment that you are making in your health, meaning that it’s very important for you to pick something that is exactly what you need. When you come to us to buy a treadmill, we offer expert advice that can help you through the decision process. Our goal is to ensure that you find the perfect treadmill for you.

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