Summer is ending and winter is just around the corner. What a great time this is to think about shopping for a treadmill, whether you are a dedicated walker or runner, or you are a novice! Imagine the convenience of being able to walk or run in the comfort of your own home during those brutally cold winter months! You could avoid missing your workouts, due to extreme weather conditions or over-crowded gyms. But, with so many treadmills on the market today, how do you know which one is right for you?
Treadmills come in a variety of sizes and price ranges. Some provide a wide array of features, while others are quite plain and simple. Of course, you must consider how much you wish to spend on a treadmill and begin your search for one in that price category. Generally, the more you can spend on a treadmill, the better the quality you are going to get and the more feature choices you will have from which to choose. But, keep your eyes open for bargains and markdowns! Sometimes, you can get an affordable deal... a real bargain... on a more expensive treadmill. You would also do well to pay attention to the warranties that back the treadmills you check out! A good warranty indicates that the company selling the treadmill believes in the quality of its product and is willing to back it up.
A good treadmill is one of the best choices in exercise equipment for burning calories and losing fat. The treadmill you choose should be one that will withstand lots of hard pounding and regular use. It should be durable enough to easily support your body size and weight during your workouts. After all, you are not going to be buying a treadmill just so it can sit around and gather dust or act as a clothes rack for all your discarded clothing, are you? It should also provide an optimal cardio workout that is comfortable and pleasant. You will do well to find a treadmill that has at least a 2.5 HP continuous duty motor. Such a motor will contribute to a smoother workout because of its constant maximum power output.
Be sure to consider the size of the treadmill deck. The running surface should be of adequate size to accommodate the length and width of your walking or running stride. A minimum of 18" by 52" is a good guideline to go by. If you are a tall runner or plan to do sprints, you might want to consider purchasing a treadmill with a "stretch" model deck. Also, make sure the deck provides enough cushioning to give you a low-impact workout and to protect your ankles, feet, and knees from possible injury.
Most treadmill brands offer styles that come with a number of convenient features. There are those styles that have several user programs, for those of you who will be sharing your treadmill with others. Many styles come with computers that can be programmed to give you a variety of running or walking experiences such as speed intervals and hill simulation training. If you wish to monitor your heart rate during your workout, there are treadmills that come with heart rate monitors and controls. The heart rate controls can be set to increase or decrease the intensity of your workouts according to your heart rate, so that you will be certain you are getting an optimum workout. You can even buy a treadmill, now, that will start and stop, speed up or slow down, merely by waving a hand over one of the side rails or holding both hands above each side rail. Several models have this feature, called "Motion control". You can also choose a treadmill that folds to save space... either manual fold or power fold. And, the list of optional features goes on and on.
Take your time when shopping for a treadmill. If you are looking to make an online purchase, be sure to read all the information you can find about any of the treadmills that catch your eye. Make sure the treadmill you choose is suitable for your needs and will last for the long run. And, enjoy those workouts all year long!
Run The Planet thanks Smooth Fitness (www.smoothfitness.com) for the permission to reprint the article "How To Choose A Treadmill That's Right For You", by Cyndi Schoenhals, originally published in the issue 72 (15 September 2004) of "The Fitness & Health Report". This article is provided by Smooth Fitness, offering treadmills and elliptical trainers.