Guide to Buying a New Treadmill

see also the guide to buying a secondhand treadmill

Treadmills are a very versatile and effective exercise machine for working on your fitness.

Price

Treadmills can be quite expensive. The first decision you need to make is how much you're willing to spend on a treadmill, as depending on the make and features, a motorized treadmill can cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000. Although it is not always the case, the higher the price the better the quality and features. A treadmill suitable for home use will usually put you back between $500 and $1,500. The more expensive ones are for heavy duty use by hospitals, clubs and gyms. Also check if there are any additional fees - often a store will sell the treadmill at a great price but not mention steep fees for delivery or setup.

Warranty

You should choose a treadmill where the manufacturer offers a one-year or longer warranty. If there is no warranty, I strenuously advise against buying the treadmill. Even if the warranty is only as short as 30 days, many defects will become apparent during that time. In the case of a short warranty, make sure you use your treadmill very hard for the duration so you can locate any defects.

Powertreadmill test

The capacity of the treadmill motor is measured in horsepower. Treadmills that offer between 1.5 to 2.5 horsepower are best for home use. A lightweight and low power treadmill may not generate a high enough speed or be able to handle your body weight, thus increasing the demands on the machine and reducing its life span.

Size

The treadmill's size important. You should map out where you're going to allocate space for the treadmill in your home before buying. Often a buying will find that a treadmill occupies more space in a room than expected. Some smaller models will fold down so that it can more easily be stored when not in use.

Noise

The treadmill's noise level is also important. Noisy treadmills can make it difficult to listen to music or watch TV while doing exercise, thereby reducing the pleasure of using it.

Comfort

Try out your machine personally before buying it. You may like a lightweight model, but find that it is unstable as you run in it. Treadmills producing a shaky or jerky ride should be rejected because in the long run they can damage joints. You should avoid treadmills with uncomfortable handle bars. You should check the size and positioning of hand rails in actual exercise conditions. Of equal importance is the width of the belt and it should be tested before purchasing.

Extra Features

A couple of other features to look for are a heart rate monitor, and other calculations such as steps, calories burned. Also check the maximum speed and inclines the treadmill offers to make sure it is suitable for your exercise needs and fitness goals. Choose a treadmill with only the features you want, as you don't want to pay for what you will not use.

Do your research

Read any and all reviews you can find on the treadmill you are considering. Especially valuable are online sites that allow comments from buyers who are not in the business of selling treadmills because you are much more likely to find an unbiased opinion. Keep in mind, though, that no machine fits everyone so even excellent machines absolutely will receive an occasional negative review.

Where to buy

You will need to shop around, and the internet is a great place to do that. If you're looking for a used treadmill start with the classified columns of newspapers and fitness web sites. See also the guide to buying a secondhand treadmill. There are treadmills available on the online fitness store

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