Of all the equipment you can think of putting together for your home gym, the treadmill plays the most vital role for your cardio workouts. And, although there is some cost involved to purchasing a home treadmill, the rewards outweigh the cost. With a bit of knowledge, you can make sure you not only purchase the best treadmill for your needs, but also keep from spending on features you may not need, helping to keep your overall cost down. Here’s a brief guide to pick your perfect treadmill.
Do your homework
Before you even head out to the store, or start shopping online, do your homework first – make sure you know what you are looking for before you start shopping:
- Update your knowledge about treadmills – search Google using keywords such as “treadmill recommendations”, “best treadmill brands”, or “treadmill buying guide”.
- Look out for local dealer either online or offline such as Fitness 4 Home Superstore. Look out for the best deal around you. Also look at company reviews – you want to find stores that will not only sell you a product, but answer your questions and support you after the sale.
- Ask plenty of questions while gathering your knowledge about a treadmill.
Why buy a treadmill?
There are a number of good reasons to purchase a treadmill vs. other types of cardio equipment:
- Treadmill running is a great way to burn calories.
- Treadmills are easy to use – so both you and your whole family can use it without any kind of learning curve.
- Treadmills are a great way to support your other running efforts – if you’re training to run short races up to full marathons, a treadmill is a great way to make sure you keep up with your training.
- Treadmills allow you to keep up on your exercise program, no matter what the weather is outside.
Who will be using the treadmill?
This is important, as a single user who weighs 120 lbs. will need a much different treadmill than a family of 4 that has 2 people over 200 lbs.
For every regular use above 2 people, we recommend you to buy a really good quality treadmill (regular use is defined as 3 or more uses a week), such as those from True or Precor. This is important because the running needs of a 95 lbs woman who wants to use it 10 minutes a day and 3 days per week is going to need a much different treadmill than a competitive athlete.
Features to look for
Motor & Horsepower
You should choose a treadmill with a motor that is appropriate for how you plan to use it. Larger motors and higher horsepower are a much better choice if you plan on running long distances, since a smaller motor will burn out sooner.
If you’re a serious runner, consider a treadmill with 1.5 to 2 continuous horsepower or more. If you just plan on doing some light jogging or walking, 1 horsepower is enough for you. For a home treadmill that will be used at a light-to-moderate level, a DC motor may work fine for your needs. If you workouts are much more aggressive, you’ll want to consider an AC motor. AC motors are mostly used in commercial treadmills and require much more power. The AC motor will also require a dedicated power line.
You’ll want to look for, at minimum, a belt that is 18″ wide and 52″ in length. Keep in mind that the thicker the belt, the more the treadmill motor has to work – so, if you are looking at a treadmill with a thick, cushioned belt, make sure it’s has a higher horsepower motor.
How long is your running stride? Longer strides will need a longer deck of 50-60 inches. If you have a shorter stride, you may be able to use a shorter deck.
Incline / Decline Settings
Does the treadmill incline? How about decline? Most treadmills will incline up to a 15% grade. How much you use is dependent on your level of conditioning, but having an incline allows you to simulate hill running and create a more agressive workout. Higher end treadmills may also have a decline feature that allows you to simulate running downhill as well.
How much noise does the treadmill make? All treadmills make some noise. The louder the treadmill, the more friction and wear may be taking place, so a cheap, loud treadmill may not last as long as a more expensive, but quiet one. Plus, if you live in an apartment or condo, you’ll want to keep your neighbors happy with a more quiet treadmill.
Warranty and Maintenance
Nearly every manufacturer offers a warranty that will cover your needs. What’s more important is finding a treadmill your comfortable with. If you’re not comfortable with running on it, you won’t use it, and the warranty won’t be of consequence!
What is important is this – will the company or store that sells you the treadmill help you get it serviced in the event something does go wrong? Check user reviews, BBB ratings, or talk to friends & family to see what companies or stores they recommend.
As far as maintenance, the most important thing you can do is wipe it down once you’re done using it – your sweat is basically corrosive salt water – wiping down your treadmill after each use is the best way to make sure it always functions properly. Putting your treadmill on a treadmill mat is also recommended.
This is totally up to what your needs are – and can be one of the areas where you can cut back on cost if needed. Many of the higher end treadmills now offer different console choices – the top consoles offer touch screens, preset workouts, video and TV, heart rate monitoring – even landscape simulations! These features can turn what would be a boring run on your treadmill into something that keeps you motivated, allows you to stay on and exceed your fitness goals, and even multi task to help you make your workouts more efficient. Only you can determine what your needs are, but a bit of homework before you start shopping can help you pick the right colsole features for your needs.
For more information about buying a treadmillor any other type of fitness equipment for your Phoenix area home, contact Fitness 4 Home Superstore today and we’ll be happy to match you up with the perfect piece of exercise apparatus – cardio, strength, core or flexibility.