Buying a treadmill for the first time is not one of the easiest tasks. There is a lot of stuff that you need to look into before you make your purchase and not minding these factors could result in the waste of money. When you are buying a treadmill your first consideration should be the durability and longevity. The treadmill should serve the purpose and provide all that you expect of it, but it must stay within your budget. If you are looking for a treadmill, but don’t know how to buy one, have a look at the following factors as listed below. If you want to understand the 9 main treadmill features in more details, you can read my explanation here.
The Frame, Deck And Belt
Look at the frame, deck and belt. The frame should be made of strong materials. Steel is always the best choice but there are many types of steel too. Make sure that your treadmill is made of the strongest and highest graded steel. Most treadmills will come with a 2-ply belt and that’s a reasonably good option to have. The deck should have cushioning underneath it. This allows you to do workouts for long hours without feeling any unnecessary impact on your joints. Without cushioning even a half hour run could give you joint pain.
Motor And Power Options
The motor of your treadmill should be a powerful one. It should provide you continuous horsepower, but at the same time it should be quiet. Noisy motors can be extremely annoying for the user and the people in the family. Look for a motor that’s above 1.5 horsepower. 1.5 horsepower is not the best, but it is good enough for those who get on the treadmill only once or twice a week and don’t have much weight. The best motors start from 2.5CHP and go beyond this mark. A 3.5 to 5CHP motor is perfect for almost any kind of use.
There is an additional motor on the treadmill that raises the deck up or down. Make sure your treadmill has the incline and decline option if you wish to concentrate on certain muscles of your body. The deck and belt should have enough width and length to allow free movement. With narrow and short decks there is a high chance of falling and tripping. In addition to that, you never feel free while jogging and running on the machine since your knees are nearly hitting the frame.
A Fully Programmed And User Friendly Console
Console is another important part of the treadmill that needs your attention. It stores the programs and gives the feedback on your workouts. First, you have to make sure that the screen and its displayed numerals and alphabets are big enough for you to view them while running. Secondly, you must always receive a feedback on your heart rate, calories, speed, time elapsed, distance covered. Some treadmills have consoles with buttons that are hard to press or so awkwardly placed that it becomes a guesswork to find certain items in the menu.
If you want interesting workouts and those developed by real trainers then look for a bunch of pre-installed programs on the console. Other advanced options include the ability to store your data, or transfer data by connecting a USB to your console. This data can be uploaded on websites. The latest, however expensive, consoles allow you to use complete internet on them and are touchscreen with swiping and tapping features. Some treadmills will offer the Google Maps programs wherein you choose a path on the map and then your treadmill takes you on a tour of this path. This is like walking on that path for real.
Warranty And Support
Your treadmill must always have some warranty on it. The frame and motors often come with lifetime warranties, so there is no reason why you should buy one with no warranty. Most treadmills from the renowned makers come with parts and labor warranty too. With such purchases you can rest assured that the things will be fixed by the manufacturer if something goes wrong. The support on the phone should be free and above all, the representative should be helpful. If there is no warranty on motor, frame, labor or parts, just skip this item.
Space, Storage And Portability
You can’t give all that space to treadmill in the house. This is the reason the manufacturers are always trying to make treadmills with smallest footprints. The best solution to this problem is a folding treadmill that occupies no more space than your desktop computer once folded. The folding option should be easy to use. If the unit is extremely heavy then it will be just as difficult for you to lift the machine if it requires manual folding. Better yet, find a treadmill that has a small footprint and occupies very little space on the ground unfolded.
A portability could become a big issue if your unit is heavy and you need to move it frequently. With a carpeted floor it will become nearly impossible to move a unit that’s heavier than 150lbs. For this you should look for transport wheels. A treadmill without transport wheels could become a big hassle. Transport wheels allow you to lift one side of the treadmill and move it like a trolley to any place you want.
Safety And Security
Your treadmill must have the safety and security options, for you and other family members in the house. On most of the latest treadmills you will find the emergency stop button or option. It requires you to press just one button or put your hands on the front panel to stop the treadmill automatically. Similarly, there are treadmills with a clip that attaches to you and stops the treadmill automatically if you fall. The locking mechanism of folding treadmills should be reliable. The unlocking button should not be in easy reach of the children.
Storage Compartments, Cooling Fan And More
These are some items that can be skipped, but can maximize your experience on the treadmill if they are there. The storage compartments allow you to keep your smartphone, keys, phablets and other items with you while exercising. A bottle holder will store the water and energy drinks that you can instantly access while working out. A cooling fan will keep you cool during the exercise. A tablet holder allows you to use the tablet while exercising. An IPod and mp3 compatibility is awesome for those who like music while exercising. Some good quality speakers can play loud music without requiring any headphones. Lastly, you can now charge your USB devices from your treadmills too.
P/s: Gentle reminder, once you have the treadmill you have to ensure its cleanliness and maintenance. Without proper maintenance you will only shorten the life of the treadmill. Then, learn about the maintenance of your treadmill if you own one.
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