What You Should Look for When Buying a Treadmill

treadmileTreadmills are one of the most popular exercise machines around. They are effective and easy to use. When buying a treadmill, remember the following points:

Motorized vs. Manual – motorized treadmills are easier to use than manual types. Motorized treadmills let your adjust the speed for walking or running. It is much harder to walk briskly – much less jog or run – on a manual treadmill.

Horsepower – treadmills with higher horsepower usually run more smoothly than lower horsepower treadmills. They are also often more durable. Choose a treadmill with at least a 1.5 horsepower, continuous-duty motor. If you are planning to use your treadmill for running, choose one that has a 2.0 horsepower, continuous-duty motor.

Stability – a treadmill should be durable enough to support your weight. The handrails should also be easy to grip. To test a treadmill’s stability, Edward R. Laskowski, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic suggests doing the following: Stomp on the belt while the treadmill is running. You should not hear groaning, grinding, or hesitation in the motor. The treadmill should also feel solid even at an incline.

Size – the treadmill belt (the platform) should be wide and long enough for comfortable enough for you to walk or run on. If space is an issue, opt for a foldable treadmill for easy storage.

Safety features – look for a treadmill that has an emergency shut-off key, clip or tether.

Programming features – choose a treadmill that has a control panel that is easy to read and adjust while the treadmill itself is still running. Think about which programming features are important to you – e.g. programmed workouts that modify speed and simulated terrain.

Noise level – make sure that you are comfortable with a treadmill’s noise level before purchasing it, especially if you are planning to use it while watching TV or listening to music.

Warranty – of course, when you purchase a treadmill – or any device for that matter – you have to understand its warranty details.

Lastly, remember that the reason why you are buying a treadmill is to make it easier for you to squeeze a physical activity into your routine.

Source: Mayo Clinic