We decided to branch out the site into healthy living as well as BBQ Gear. This is a guide to buying an electric treadmill and hope it will guide you to making a great decision and more importantly using your treadmill to get fit.
Electric treadmills have a lot of components, more than any other exercise equipment. Before you buy an electric treadmill, be sure to understand what are the most important features, and decide which of them are necessary to your success at working out on a treadmill
Motor: Arguably the most important part of an electric treadmill, the motor needs to be at least 1.5 continuous horsepower. If you plan to do a lot of sprinting, or run for long periods of time, consider getting a 3HP motor.
Belt: Another extremely important feature, the belt needs to be durable and wide enough for you to run on comfortably. A narrow belt may make you feel unbalanced, like you’re on a tightrope. There are orthopedic belts available too, if stress on your joints is a consideration.
Rollers: Often overlooked, the rollers are a clue as to the quality of the treadmill you’re looking at. The larger the diameter of the roller, the longer it will last.
Dimensions: Where will you put your treadmill in your home? Be sure you purchase one that fits into the space you have for it. Also make sure there’s an electrical outlet near it, so you can plug it in.
Incline/Decline: Almost all treadmills have the ability to incline the platform, which simulates running uphill. Some models allow for a decline too, to simulate running downhill, which most people love having available, to keep their workouts interesting.
Cushioning: One of the big advantages of treadmills over road running is their ability to absorb some of the shock from your feet striking the surface, which saves your legs and joints. How they do this is definitely part of the price tag: rubber, springs or even “variable durometer elastomers” which are a combination of stiff rubber and softer rubber and are considered the be the best cushioning device.
Frame: Usually either aluminum or steel which are obviously then either lighter or heavier. Steel is usually preferable, as it feels more stable when you’re running on it. Also look for whether the frame is bolted or welded together: welded frames are considered to be higher quality.
Computer: Here’s where you can save some money, depending on what kind of workout you need. If all you need is to be able to adjust speed and incline easily, then you can cut the price tag considerably. However, a treadmill is an investment that you plan to use for many years, so it’s wise to spend a few extra dollars now and get all the features you might want in the future, like programmed workouts that vary the incline and speed throughout your run to keep it interesting.
Display Screen: Can be either LCD or LED. LED is easier to replace than LCD screens.
Max Speed: Usually about 8 to 10 mph. If you’re a seriously fast runner, look into getting a commercial treadmill such as what’s found in high-end gyms.
Max Incline: Usually about 10-20% incline, which is plenty for anyone who just wants to vary their workout. If you’re a marathon runner or something, you can get ones that incline up to 40%
Warranty: Definitely try to get one that includes labor, so you won’t have to try and replace parts yourself. Also look for a “return to base” clause, which means you have to take it to the service center. If you have a small car, that might not be feasible, so be sure you’re getting one that includes having the technician come to your home.
In general, buying an expensive piece of equipment like a home treadmill is not something you can do on a whim. And while you can save money buying one second hand, you might miss out on a warranty that could save you having to buy another one in a couple years. It’s best to try out any electric treadmill before buying, and certainly wise to buy from a local fitness store with a good reputation, so you have someone to call if anything goes wrong.
When you get your treadmill, make sure you use it safely: