Buying a treadmill? Want to know how to find the best value for your money?
This is the time of year when most people think about starting a new fitness routine and finally getting into shape with a new home treadmill.
But how do you find the best option for you?
With all of your options – now more than ever – it can be overwhelming.
Not to worry. Here is a brief guide on what to look for when buying a treadmill.
Use these tips and you’ll be guaranteed to find a great treadmill you can use for years to come!
What To Look For When Buying a Treadmill – Motor
The motor is the heart of your machine.
A strong motor can easily handle longer workouts, high-speed running and extra-high inclines.
However a poor motor will struggle when you try to put it through its paces and could end up costing you in a pricey treadmill repair.
You want a motor power of at least 2.5 HP for walking and at least 3.0 HP or higher if you plan on running.
Also make sure to look at the length of the motor warranty as that can also give you an indication on the quality of motor you’re getting.
What To Look For When Buying A Treadmill – Belt
The belt size is also important. If you’re taller (over 5 foot 10) or if you plan on running, you’ll want a longer belt of around 60 inches.
Some standard treadmills give you 55 inch long belts which should be ok for most people – but you might feel like you’re right on the edge of the belt when running.
What To Look For When Buying A Treadmill – Incline
Incline can help you add some high-intensity interval training to your workout. Most treadmills today do have incline. However it’s the amount your getting that you should pay attention to here.
For example, most starter treadmills give you 0 – 10% incline. This is ok. But if you’re already in reasonably good shape, you may find that you top out at 10% pretty fast. You want to at least go with a 12% or 15% incline if you want to build in high-intensity intervals.
Or if you want even more of a challenge, you may want to go with an incline trainer like the X9 incline trainer which gives you up to 40% incline.
Just as an example, you can burn up to 5 times more calories on a 40% incline vs a 0% incline so it’s a great way to see fast results.
What to Look For When Buying A Treadmill – Console
The console does make a big difference as it’s what you’ll be staring at for most of your workout. Look for a console that gives you a stead stream of feedback on your workout stats – not one that toggles back and forth between stats, which can get annoying.
Color consoles – like the one on the Nordictrack 1650 – seen above – are better than dual color consoles as it makes everything come alive.
Also, make sure the console is intuitive and easy to figure out. You shouldn’t have to read the entire manual just to figure out how to use the console.
Other Things To Look For When Buying a Treadmill:
If you like to challenge yourself, make sure to find a machine with lots of built-in workout programs – or even one with iFit live which lets you add new workouts to your treadmill over time.
A lot of people also like extra storage space both in the console and even on the lower stability bar as you can see on the Nordictrack 1750 below:
Another thing that people are really enjoying are the tablet holders that Nordictrack is placing on most new treadmill consoles. That means you can watch your favorite TV shows or movies as you walk.
And finally, while most treadmills do fold up, there are some commercial type units – like the incline trainer treadmills that do not fold up. So be sure to find a folding unit if you want to save space.
So those are some of the main things you should look for when buying a treadmill. Don’t get me wrong “Best Buys” and awards are great, however at the end of the day, you are the expert on what you need in a treadmill and what you’ll actually use.
Make sure to get a machine that gets you excited about using all of the features it carries. That way you’ll be motivated to use it and start getting in shape in no time! Good luck!