We believe that a treadmill is the best piece of aerobic or cardio equipment you can purchase. Walking is a natural movement and a treadmill allows people at any fitness level to exercise, from cardiac patients, pregnant women, beginners to the elite athlete. As fitness improves you can begin to jog or run to increase the intensity of your workout or you may choose to incorporate a more difficult incline/decline into your walking program. It’s important that you don’t compromise on price and certain features when it comes to buying a treadmill. This is an investment and you’ll want it to last and deliver on performance. Consider these key points when buying a motorized treadmill:
- All major joints should be welded together. The more bolted joints, the less stable it will become over time as the bolts loosen.
- The track should be long enough for a full stride. About 50 inches is plenty.
- The deck should be as maintenance-free as possible. A deck requiring lubrication with silicon every month can be messy and you may forget, damaging the belt.
- A cotton weave belt rolls more smoothly than a nylon belt. A nylon belt may also slip.
- A three horsepower motor that can operate between 0.5 mph to 10 mph is appropriate for beginners and intermediate exercisers. A higher end treadmill could offer a 4.25 horsepower motor. It’s like comparing a V6 engine to a V8.
- Automatic incline from 0% to 12% adjusts the elevation of the treadmill. You can easily increase the intensity level of your workout without increasing the speed. A decline feature is also available on the higher priced, industrial treadmills. This feature simulates walking or running downhill, adds more variety to your workouts and works the muscles in your legs and buttocks differently.
- Computerized programs help keep you motivated during your workout by adding different incline and intensity levels. However, depending upon your fitness level you may not need all the programs which will affect the price of a treadmill.
- Is the treadmill fully folding to save on space when it’s not in use?
- Look for safety features such as automatic shut off if you need to get off the treadmill immediately, safety latches to ensure that the folding treadmill will not accidentally lower and handlebars should you need help keeping your balance.