Buying a treadmill? You'll undoubtedly be making several treadmill comparisons when doing your research.
For a long time treadmills have been a popular way for people to exercise in the comfort of their homes. The reason the treadmill is so popular is because people use them to lose weight, get in shape and maintain a certain fitness level all from their living room.
Before you purchase a treadmill you need to know what features to look for to be sure you are getting the best one for you and your families needs. Many people get sold on all of the 'neat' features of the treadmill - but don't ever consider if they'll really use them or if the treadmill itself is high quality!...
Having your treadmill motor blow up or your belt warp severely after only a few months use is not something you want, so here are a 13 basic treadmill buying tips you must know when making treadmill comparisons in order to find the best one for you.
1. Your first stop should be the nearest fitness specialty store. To make sure you get the best machine for your money. Products seen online look completely different when seen in person including, size, finish, noise, and construction.
2. Warranty - Any treadmill brand worth its weight will offer a nice warranty on their product. Usually the motor, parts, and labour will be covered under different warranties. Make sure you get at least a 5 year warranty on you motor. After the treadmill purchase make sure you abide by the warranty and send in any user registrations if required.
3. Walking Surface - How big is the surface you actually walk or run on? Make sure the width of your treadmill will be comfortable for everyone in your household (I prefer a 51cm Width) and also ensure the length is long enough for the long legged members of your family. When inspecting the belt, comfortable length and width should be your main concern. Get a belt that is too short and, with one foul step, you could end up slamming into a wall and being the next HIT on YouTube. But too large a belt makes the treadmill work harder, adding wear and tear to the motor. Thus you need to ensure the Belt and Motor Match Each Other.
4. Weight Limit - Most treadmills have a weight limit. Too much weight can put a strain on the frame, belt, and especially motor of the treadmill. Make sure your potential treadmill has a weight limit to accommodate all of its potential users to avoid putting undue wear and tear on your new treadmill.
5. Motor - Depending if you are walking or running, you can easily place 80 to 250% of your body weight on the treadmill every time your foot hits the belt. It is the motors job to take a beating and still keep a constant speed. Overall motor strength is measured in continuous horsepower however this is where things get tricky. Some cheaper treadmills advertise a deceptively higher peak horsepower rating to make up for below-average continuous-duty rating. And as a result these motors blow out, catch on fire and even cause electrocution to the user.
6. Test Things Out - Get on your treadmill and give it a test drive. Does everything work as the advertisement states? Try the heart monitor if it's a feature, does it appear to be working properly? Is the treadmill quiet to your liking, or will it be an annoyance when home? Are the displays big enough for you to see easily?
7. Safety - Make sure your new treadmill has an emergency stop mechanism. This can help prevent serious injuries during malfunction or accidents.
8. Additional Features - Treadmills come in many shapes and sizes with various features. Some additional features you may look for are a water bottle holder, calorie counter, bookstand, incline, and preset and programmable workout routines.
9. Price: When it comes to treadmills, the more you pay the better machine you will get. This is because you are paying for added accessories, quality parts and more stability. Compare it to buying a car. The basic model will do the job. You might become bored with the lack of extras, but if you are on a budget, this will do fine for you. Remember, you can always upgrade. Then there comes the mid-range model. More accessories are added, which can make the ride smoother and a bit livelier, and the price is still pretty sensible.If you are really in the mood to splurge, the high quality treadmills will shock you with more bells and whistles than you could ever dream of. Ask yourself this question– How many years do I expect to get out of my machine?....the more you spend on a quality machine the longer you will have it.
"This day an age it is nothing for people to buy a TV that costs $3000 to only upgrade it again in 2 years!
Yet a $3000 treadmill has a life expectancy of 10 years! That’s not a bad return compared to a TV!
And if you pay the treadmill off on interest free payment plan that is only $3.75 per day, less than a café latté!"
10. Stability: Stability ensures that your treadmill will not shake or wobble when you start to run on it. Make sure you wear your runners when shopping for treadmills, you will want to "test drive" certain models to see if they are stable enough for your running/walking form.You will want to be cautious of machines that shake or rattles when you are going full speed. A good stable ride will make a world of difference in your safety and will also cut down on the noise level. Also consider the motor noise, if you plan to read, watch the television or listen to music, a noisy motor will quickly become a big distraction.
11. Size: In the store and especially online, size can be deceiving. Make sure to measure the room which will be housing this machine and allow for plenty of "walk-around" space. When you are buying, check the dimensions. Size is not always an indicator of quality. It is always a good idea to bring a measuring tape with you to the store.
12. Cushioning is the ability of the treadmill to absorb the force of your step. Higher cushioning means lower impact on your joints and ligaments. Cushioning is extremely important as poor cushioning can cause injury and muscle strain.
13. Will the retailer assemble the treadmill? These things aren’t small! And they don’t bend so don’t bother thinking you can shove a 100kg treadmill into the back of your sedan! Be realistic! So allow for this in your budget to pay a delivery and installation fee for the treadmill which is generally around the $100-$200 price point depending on access to your home. The best thing about having the treadmill installed in that it is set up, working and ready for you to use! And isn’t that why your brought it?.....
Exercising at home has many perks, especially among today’s time poor families. Studies have shown that people who have home fitness equipment are more likely to exercise consistently than those who have gym memberships or attend fitness classes. At home, the machine is right there in sight, calling your name. It is much easier to get a quick 15-minute workout in when you don’t have to find matching socks or fight through traffic.
So there you have it - keep these 13 points in mind when making your treadmill comparisons and you'll be well on your way to making an excellent treadmill purchase!