A treadmill is an exciting investment. Although they tend to be expensive, they are a symbol of positive change and hope for a healthier future. You can walk or run in the comfort of your own home without having to brave the weather or the scrutiny of gym gurus. It’s a win-win!
But before you unfold any old treadmill in your living room and start your workout, make sure you’re getting a piece of equipment that truly meets your expectations. If you’re not happy with your treadmill, you’re unlikely to use it, and that’s a lot of money and potential fitness to toss aside.
Here are some quick tips to help you make a satisfying purchase when you’re shopping for a treadmill.
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Motor Versus Manual
If you come across a cheap treadmill, don’t be too quick to hand over your money: it’s probably a manual treadmill! And while this isn’t a deal breaker for some people, it will make you work harder and you may find it difficult to maintain higher speeds. A non-motorized treadmill also won’t have any programs available.
The only downside to a motorized treadmill is that it can be dangerous to have the motor continue to run if you trip and fall or if a shoelace, for example, gets stuck under the belt. The best treadmills have safety features that ensure the treadmill turns off in these instances. Don’t overlook the importance of these failsafe functions, and find one that gives you confidence.
Compact Versus Clunky
Some treadmills have sleek designs. Others are behemoths. But no matter how you slice it, a treadmill will naturally take up a significant amount of space. For apartment dwellers or anyone lacking extra space, it’s important to have a treadmill that is easy to fold up and store out of the way. Ease is key, because if getting the treadmill set up in the first place is a workout, you’ll never want to use it.
What are your fitness goals? Do you foresee those goals changing in the future? A treadmill with a variety of programs can keep you motivated by preventing monotony. You can do pre-programed workouts that vary in intensity, speed and incline, for example. Check out the programs available on each treadmill before you buy to make sure you get exactly what you want.
Built to Last
Carefully read the reviews on cheaper treadmills to see if they are well-made. When it comes to treadmills, you often get what you pay for. Be prepared to spend money for a quality machine. The last thing you want is for the motor
Flashy Extras Aren’t Necessary
Be careful not to get caught up in the excitement of unnecessary features. Gym treadmills often have TV screens built in, but multimedia functions don’t really make sense for home use. Others have health trackers built in that may be completely redundant based on the tools you already use. And features like a laptop or tablet holder sound appealing but prove to be impractical once you’re actually running.
Before you go shopping for a treadmill, make a quick list of what you expect from this essential addition to your home gym. Try to buy the most useful treadmill you can afford!