It is no surprise that treadmills are the most popular piece of fitness equipment because almost anyone can use them. Treadmills don’t require users to master any new skills, as most adults can walk and/or run. When shopping for a treadmill you will most likely have fixed space and financial considerations, but treadmills offer many different features that make them unique.
When shopping for a treadmill you should examine these features to find the treadmill that best suits your needs: The importance of speed, incline and deck cushioning may vary between walkers, runners and other potential buyers. Try various options to determine your preference. Weight loss, interval or hill profile programs, and heart rate interactivity might interest you if you tend to get bored easily or need extra guidance. Handrails may be comforting by adding stability or a hindrance to your arm movement. Trying different options and using the treadmill under varying conditions will help you determine what is most comfortable for you.
- Safety. Look for features like emergency stop in the form of a key that attaches to the wearer, or a panic stop button. If slow incremental pace changes are necessary for you as a user factor that into your buying decision. Treadmill retailers may discuss horsepower. Ask if the horsepower is "peak" or "continuous duty". Continuous duty is a measure of horsepower under regular anticipated use and is far more meaningful than peak horsepower. Ask your sales representative if the components of the treadmill are integrated, or "matched". In other words, has the flywheel been matched with the motor? Are the deck and belt matched properly, and manufactured as a unit? This translates into less vibration, quiet operation, and most importantly longevity.
- Programmability. Many treadmills on the market have integrated programs that can suit various user needs. There are also models that allow heart rate interactivity to further personalize your workouts. Ease of use. Let’s face it, we need as few hindrances to our exercise program as possible. Choose a treadmill that meets your electronic needs, yet is simple for you to operate.
- Belt and Deck size. Length and widths can vary widely among treadmills and manufacturers. Walk or run on it to assess your personal comfort level (stride length, width, etc...). Who are you? Arguably, it is the most important factor for consideration. Start by answering the following question, "How will I be using this treadmill, not only now but in the future?" The answer to this question will allow you to focus your shopping efforts.