Ten tips for buying a treadmill10 Quick Tips for Buying Treadmills

by Jennifer Dennis

Thinking about purchasing a treadmill? Before you make a purchase, read these important tips for buying the machine. This fitness equipment will be an important investment, both financially and physically. Read these important considerations before you decide which make, model and style work best for you.

1. Price ranges for treadmills generally break down in the following:

Budget: $500 – $1500Mid-Range: $2500-$3000Quality: $3000 and up

With treadmills, you get what you pay for—literally. With every additional dollar, you are assured a superior product. Stronger belts, motors, premier monitors, more exciting fitness programs—the list goes on and on. Look for a smooth ride on the treadmill machine, easy-to-adjust incline, water bottle holders and additional features that will make all the difference on your run. With every additional dollar, you will also ensure increased use, year after year.

2. Your fitness level can dictate what type of treadmill you should buy. Do you see yourself frequently running or do you prefer to walk? Daily fitness lifestyles determine the model you should purchase. If you prefer walking, you need a strong belt with easy-to-adjust incline levels to give you the multi-faceted workout you want. If you are a fast, strong runner, a longer belt will be a better fit for you. Ensure that you have strong, steady arm rails that can support your body. A beginning walker should have an incline of at least 10% and a 15% for advanced users for maximum output.

Walkers should be able to attain a speed of 5 mph or 8 to 11 mph for runners. The speed should increase incrementally so that the user does not fall off while adjusting speeds. All machines should have an auto-switch in case of accidents or emergencies.

3. The deck length and width can substantially affect your workout experience. If you frequently walk, you will want a treadmill that is wider to give you plenty of room to exercise. Runners prefer a longer deck to enjoy a full range of motion while exercising. Either way, you will get a great lower body workout with high cardiovascular intensity that can lengthen your life—and improve your daily experience.

4. A good treadmill deck should be low-impact and a least a quarter-inch think. Low-impact decks provide stress relief on your joints and back. Read more on Flex decks vs. Standard decks to see which one fits your fitness lifestyle best. Overall, the more cushion on a deck, the more motivation the fitness user has to take the next step… and next step… and next step.

5. Maximum Developed Horsepower is another influential factor in a treadmill. MDH is when the motor is required to work harder than the idle speed, causing the motor to need extra horsepower. This extra horsepower’s top amount is called the MDH. The better the machine, the stronger the MDH, ensuring your machine will last longer and work more effectively.

6. Monitors are essential to a great workout. Heart rate monitors are an easy and efficient way to obtain optimal fitness levels in an easy-to-read format. Set your designated heart rate and let these accurate monitors tell you where you stand as you run, walk or jog. Moderate Rate heart rates at approximately 50% of the maximum heart rate, or an RPE of 5-6; Weight Management heart rates are 60-70% , or RPE 6-7; Aerobic is 70-80% or RPE 7-8; the Peak Performance should only be used by top athletes and is 80-90% with an RPE 8-9. Controlling speed, distance and incline through your monitors will also help to obtain desired heart rates.

7. The SpaceSaver option is ideal for individuals living in an apartment or home with limited space. If you don’t want to see your treadmill machine every day—or simply don’t have room for it—a SpaceSaver model will fold up easily and efficiently for storage. Purchase attractive treadmill furniture to store your SpaceSaver in an accessible and convenient location.

8. Making your machine iFit compatible directly confronts the biggest problem you will face with any machine you buy—boredom with your fitness routine. iFit gives you the chance to have a personalized, rewarding workout time after time. Through your machine, you will set and obtain your personal goals for a rewarding experience.

9. Speed range and incline range should be easily changed throughout your workout. If you want to change inclines throughout the exercise, the machine should give you a smooth, flowing adjustment. In addition, your machine should remain relatively quiet.

10. Warranties are essential to buying your next treadmill. Especially if you are considering a used or refurbished model, see what the distributor or manufacturer offers you for replacement parts or service. Warranties confirm the quality of the product and you should make sure it covers the weight of the heaviest person who might use the machine and works against defects for one to three years.

About the Author: Jennifer Dennis is a successful author and regular contributor to – a fitness and treadmill industry resource that features treadmill reviews, guides, product descriptions and articles.

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