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.
Buying A Treadmill – The 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 Kind of Incline Do You Need?
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.
Most treadmill brands – including Nordictrack – measure their incline in percentages. Some brands also use levels (although for the most part they are interchangeable).
The level of incline you get is usually related to the price and quality of the treadmill itself.
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% if you want to build in high-intensity intervals.
Or if you want even more of a challenge, you may want to go with a Nordictrack incline trainer like the one seen below – 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.
Treadmill Buying Guide – The Console
The console does make a big difference as it’s what you’ll be looking at for most of your workout. Look for a console that gives you a steady stream of feedback on your workout stats – not one that toggles back and forth between stats, which can get annoying.
Consoles used to be two-tone, LED displays. However those days are quickly changing.
Many manufacturers – including Nordictrack – are moving into giving you upgraded color consoles with touch-screens. These make it a lot more fun to watch your progress. You can even stream different programs through the screens on these consoles sometimes.
You also want to make sure the screen is large enough to read your stats.
And it should be 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 which lets you add new workouts to your treadmill over time.
Another thing that people are really enjoying are the tablet holders or media shelves that you can find on some treadmills (including the Nordictrack EXP models). These are simple things – but they let you place your tablet or phone on the treadmill and watch them 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!
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