9 Treadmill Features That You Must Look AtTreadmills are among the best exercising machines that let you do jogging, walking and running right inside your house. The busy lifestyles of the people have made it nearly impossible for them to go out and exercise daily, but it doesn’t take away the importance of doing regular exercise from their lives. Technology resolved the problem and now everyone able to use a treadmill at home for jogging, walking, running, etc. However, buying treadmill for the first time could be a little tricky. A wrong choice could cost you a lot of money and offer no value at all. Thus you need to read the Treadmill Buying Guide. You need to understand what factors must you consider before you pay for a treadmill? In general, you need to consider 5 things before selecting a treadmill. In this article, you will learn 9 important treadmill features that you must look at.

While going through the features of the treadmill you will find a lot of attractive options, but attractiveness is not what your goal should be. All treadmills are not constructed the same way and for the same purposes. That, which is a necessary requirement for someone might not be your requirement from your treadmill at all. In short, you must know what you need the treadmill for and what your top requirements are from your treadmill. Once you know your requirements, you will know what features to pay for and what features to skip for their lack of importance.

Read the rest of the 9 Treadmill Features that you must look at:

Table of Contents
(click a title to jump ahead!)

1. Power And Performance
2. Console And Programs
3. Deck And Belt
4. Safety Features
5. Storage And Portability
6. Smoothness And Durability
7. Warranties And Help And Support
8. Entertainment And Comforting
9. Miscellaneous

• Power And Performance

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Power and performance are the most important features of any treadmill. You cannot compromise on any of these. The first thing to consider when you are buying a treadmill is the power of its motor. The power of the motor decides the performance of your treadmill. Of course, you wouldn’t be looking at the motor and power when buying a manual one so we are focusing our comments on automatic treadmills. The power of the motor is measured in its horsepower units. You will often see the abbreviation “CHP” written with the power of the motor; it stands for continuous horse power.

It is always highly recommended to buy a treadmill having a motor with at least 1.5 to 2.5 continuous horsepower. This is most recommended for those who exercise regularly on the treadmill at moderate speeds and have an average person’s weight. However, if you are a bit heavier, use the treadmill for nearly an hour each day of the week and your exercise includes a lot of fast running, go for a motor with a power of more than 2.5CHP. Also included in power and performance is the incline and decline features.

Incline and decline features are great for people who want to focus on a particular set of muscles in the body. Most machines come with 15% to 20% of incline and decline capacity. Many a times the decline will be mentioned with a minus (-) sign. Always look for a DC motor if you are looking for something that’s quieter. The noisiness of the motor is an extremely important factor to consider. If you like to watch TV or listen music while exercising, you will not like the loud motor. Furthermore, most people work out in the morning when others are sleeping and the loud motor could be a big annoyance for them.

• Console And Programs

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The big computer like component at the front where you see your workout’s feedback is the console. Console is the most important part of modern treadmills since all the information about programs is stored in them, they provide feedback on your workouts and they have many other latest features for facilitating your workouts. How good the console of the treadmill is also one of the most important things to consider when buying one. First, look for a bigger size of the display with big numerals and figures.

A bigger console with bigger display will be easy to read when you are running on your treadmill. The numerals should also be written with big font. You must always be able to see the calorie burn count, speed, distance covered, time, heart rate and program information on the display. The buttons should be easy to press and big enough so you can press them easily to increase the speed, incline and change other settings without hassle while running on your treadmill. The expensive treadmills now have a touch screen and moveable consoles, but they are worth the price if you really need one.

You should not be stuck with the same boring exercise routine every day. For this, the manufacturers pre-install many different programs on the console and you can choose from those programs whenever you want. It is good to have the option of having a few custom program slots so you can create your own programs. The workout programs that are pre-installed on the treadmill can be muscle focused, goal oriented, stamina increasing, etc. A good treadmill will have a bunch of such programs installed on it already. If you have vowed to lose weight and become fit, you will need some advanced programs too.

Advanced console features include the option for storing multiple profiles and IDs. Furthermore, the console stores every bit of information about your workouts. The information is uploaded to some online program from the manufacturer or a third party. Compiling and comparing these statistics can give you a great overall view of your progress. Programs like iFit are some good examples. Some consoles will allow you to choose a path on Google maps and the treadmill will mimic that path, its ups and downs to give you a realistic workout as if you were walking on the road.

• Deck And Belt

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The deck and belt are of course the most important parts of any treadmill. When it comes to deck you must look for one that has cushioning underneath it to absorb the shocks of your steps. Without cushioning the deck could cause joint pains and a lot of stress on your body parts. A 2-ply belt is also a recommended option to have. The most important thing here is although the surface area that’s available for you for treading. Anything less than 16-inch in width and 48-inch in length should be avoided. This could make you feel really uncomfortable when taking long strides. Tripping hazard is possible with narrow running area.

• The Safety Features

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Of course, no equipment in the house should ever be lacking the safety features. When buying a treadmill you should not focus on your safety only instead you have to keep in mind the other family members too. For example, a safety lock is extremely important for folding treadmills so the children won’t open it. In addition to that, the unfolding button should be located in a place where children cannot reach it easily. As for the safety of the treadmill user the most important thing is the stop button. As soon as this button is pressed the treadmill will stop.

Another great option is the safety strap. This strap is attached to the machine and your body. The treadmill will automatically stop if you accidentally fall. Handrails are also an important addition when you want more stability. They are great for older people who want to use the treadmill for their daily slow walking and need a support to put their hands on.

• Storage And Portability

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If you are buying a treadmill for home use, you can’t think of getting one with a huge size. Always look at the footprint of the treadmill. Always pay extra attention to how the dimensions are written and in what measuring units. Measure the space available to you first and then choose the machine with a footprint that would easily be accommodated in that space. When your treadmill is placed in an area that is frequently used, go for a folding machine to free the space after using your treadmill. The folding machine occupies just as much area as an old TV did in your house.

It is always the length of the treadmill that matters the most. If you think you will have to move the machine off and on then transport wheels are a necessity for you. With transport wheels, you never have to lift the machine to move it from one place to another. The weight of the treadmill doesn’t matter much when you have transport wheels on it. However, the weight matters a lot when you have a folding one and the folding needs to be done manually. Look for options that assist and facilitate the folding of heavy units.

• Smoothness And Durability

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A treadmill that doesn’t offer a smooth ride is a bad investment. Furthermore, if you are buying an expensive piece of equipment you should get good value for your money and your item must last for years. Look for commercial graded steel body if you want your treadmill to be with you for decades. The rollers should have rubber coating, especially the front rollers. This keeps the belt fixed in one place. The bottom of the machine should be perfectly leveled so it doesn’t rock when you start to run on it. The rocking will disturb your exercise, cause imbalance and reduce the life of the treadmill.

• Warranties And Help And Support

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It wouldn’t be wrong to call warranties the most important part of any purchase. Your manufacturer will offer you satisfying warranty periods if it believes in the sturdiness and durability of its product. Most of the reputed manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on the frames of their treadmills. Look for at least a 10-year warranty on the frame. In the same way, the motor on your treadmill should also have a lifetime warranty, but look for nothing less than a 5-year warranty on the motor. Labor warranty of a year is also mostly included with most treadmill purchases. Some companies offer a 2-year labor warranty.

Parts of the treadmills will also have a 1 or a 2-year warranty on them mostly. The length of the warranty on parts and labor can change from maker to maker. What you need to make sure is that these warranties are included on your treadmill. Don’t buy one that doesn’t have these warranties in the first place. Besides the warranties help and support are other important factors to look at. Sometimes, little issues cause big problems. However, having someone from the company with you on the phone can resolve the matter in no time.

See if you are getting any free support on the phone for your product. Email and chat support are other great features that companies have started to offer now. The online reviews should be helpful in informing you about the level of customer support that you can expect from the manufacturer.

• Entertainment And Comforting And More

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Looking at the latest popularity of treadmills the manufacturers have realized that they need to put more on their treadmills as customers are demanding more. This is why the new treadmills come with additional entertainment and comforting options to become a complete package for the users. The first thing in the entertainment category is the display of the console itself. You can now have touch screen consoles on which you can go online, visit websites, play music and have everything displayed on an HD display. The tapping and swiping makes things even better and more convenient.

You can also have the option to connect your iPod or other mp3 player to the console to hear your favorite music. To hear music loud many treadmills will offer you built-in speakers. You can also connect and charge your smartphones with the USB ports available on the console. Some expensive treadmills will also have the docking station for your tablets and phablets. When it comes to comforting the most unique addition to many treadmills is a cooling fan. This fan is often available at 3 speeds. The cushions under the deck and padded handrails are also among the comforting options.

You will need a lot of storage for your small items if you like to work, communicate and socialize while working out. Look for compartments for storing your keys, smartphones, tablets, TV remote controls, etc. A bottle holder is also a must-have for many but make sure its position on the treadmill is easily accessible. For those who cannot skip their office work and other important emails, there are treadmills with desktop stations. These stations allow the treadmill users to put their laptops on them and use them with ease because of the adjustment options. The height of the desktop station can be adjusted accordingly.

• Miscellaneous

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There are many other things that are not really important, but can be considered when you are buying a treadmill. For example, the color and the style of the treadmill are subjective and not the most important things to look at but if you are a person who is fastidious about home decoration, you can look for a stylish treadmill that goes along with the setting of your room. The maximum user weight capacity is also important if you or someone in the house who will be using the treadmill has more than the weight of an average person.

Most treadmills that are designed for home use have a user weight capacity of 250 to 350lbs. There are treadmills with a maximum user weight capacity of 400lbs and more, but they are more suitable for commercial use. Shipping information should also be checked carefully when you are purchasing online. There are different types of shipping that can be arranged by online websites. You could have the machine shipped right inside the room where you need to put it or on the curbside. Some manufacturers will help you with assembly, whereas most of them include a manual with the packing to help you assemble the machine.

How easy it is to assemble the machine is something you should pay attention to. Some treadmills cannot be assembled alone and some have parts that don’t fit together easily. Read online reviews to get more help on this concern. Maintenance must also be paid attention to. Some treadmills are designed to require little to no maintenance. Some treadmills will require a lot of care and attention. You will often be sitting by your treadmill with tools and screwdrivers, tightening the bolts and nuts on the treadmill.

Spend Your Money Wisely

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After reading this information you should be able to know what you need to pay attention to when buying a treadmill. As mentioned at the very start, the most important thing is to know your requirements well before making the purchase. This is to ensure that you are paying for stuff that you are going to use. Fancy features and specs are always an attraction, but you won’t always be using them or sometimes not using them at all. Adding extra warranties will cost you more, but this is the best area to spend your money in because it has value for you in the long run.

Use the online retail stores and reviewing websites to get to know the products well. User ratings matter a lot. Anything that has received an overall rating of under 3.5 out of 5 or fewer than 3 stars out of 5 stars is not a recommended purchase.

p/s: I will be glad if you able to make a wise decision based on my article. Anyway, 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, what should you know about the maintenance of your treadmill? Learn here.

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Useful Resources:
1) http://www.visionfitness.com/blog/7-tips-to-consider-when-purchasing-a-treadmill/
2) http://www.precor.com/en-us/purchase-tools/buying-guides/treadmill-buying-guide-choose-right-treadmill-you
3) http://www.goodhealthword.com/wellness/fitness/treadmills/
4) http://walking.about.com/cs/treadmilling/bb/bybtreadmill.htm
5) http://www.fitnessmarket.com.au/shop/how-to-choose-the-best-treadmill.html
7) http://www.reviews.com/treadmills/