What You Need to Know Before Buying a Treadmill

There are so many different treadmills on the market today it can be overwhelming trying to choose the right make and model for you. Well, go ahead and dust off your running shoes because with these handy tips you’ll easily be able to navigate the “ins and outs” of shopping for this popular piece of exercise equipment.

Deck size and belt
When selecting a treadmill you’ll want to ensure that it has a large enough deck to accommodate your stride. On average, a deck is approximately 50 to 60 inches in length, but for someone with a particularly long stride, as is often the case with taller people, a deck size of 62 inches may be more suitable to your needs. You’ll also want to make sure that the belt on which you step is durable and preferably textured to prevent you from slipping while walking or running.

Motor
A treadmill motor should have a horsepower of 2.5 to 3.0. Make sure that the motor is rated as “continuous horsepower”, which means that the motor will operate continuously at that power without dropping off. Some lower-end manufacturers will sometimes try to be clever with their wording, advertising motors as “treadmill horsepower”. Don’t be fooled. Unless a motor says “continuous horsepower” it is best to keep shopping around.

Frame
Do look for a treadmill that is sturdy and stable in its construction. You don’t want a machine that is going to move or rock back and forth on you during operation. You will also want to take note of weight capacity. A good treadmill should be able to accommodate between 300 to 500 lbs.
Making the investment
When buying a treadmill, you really do get what you pay for. Even though you may think you are getting a deal by buying a less expensive model, oftentimes you’re just spending money on shoddy workmanship and will probably have to replace your machine in a few years. A good treadmill will generally run you $1,000 to $1,500 ($2,000 for a commercial grade machine) and, if well maintained, it should last you up to 10 years. Of course, always look into warranty availability. Most reputable treadmill manufacturers will offer at least a one-year warranty for repairs, if not longer.

Special Features
Treadmills come with a lot of “bells and whistles”, so pinpoint the features that will mean the most to you. Do you have a space issue and need a model that can fold up easily when not in use? Are you looking for a challenge when running or walking? Then a model with a variety of pre-set programs might interest you. Other features to keep in mind include a heart/pulse monitor, a cup holder, and even a magazine rack to keep your mind occupied while working out your body. It’s a good idea to make a checklist of the extras you’re willing to spend your money on and make your purchase accordingly.

So what are you waiting for? Now that you have the information for buying the best price of equipment you have no more excuses to get out there and get in shape.

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