There is something totally motivating about exercising and losing weight in the spring and summer, but when the heat of the sun wears off, our motivation to exercise can quickly take hold. Rain, snow and winter wind can make even the most dedicated training enthusiast want to hibernate, but you don’t have to equate the end of good weather with the end of training.
With a treadmill in your personal gym , you can continue to pursue your health goals. And there are treadmills for all types of users, from brisk walkers and marathons to high intensity interval training (HIIT) programs.
This treadmill buying guide will help you choose the perfect treadmill to add to your gym.
how to buy a treadmill buying guide
How a treadmill works
The treadmill is a popular cardiovascular training device used for walking or running without having to leave the walls of your home. Basically, the treadmill works with a motor that turns a belt, which creates a moving surface on which you can walk or run. The motor controls the speed of the treadmill and the platform adjusts to the speed of the belt.
This allows you to run on a perfectly level platform to simulate a straight path, but some treadmills also offer an incline option to simulate hills and improve your strength and endurance.
Connected treadmills take your workouts to another level
Many treadmills today allow you to connect to online resources for instruction, fitness classes, or structured workouts. Some even offer specialized coaching services to more specifically address individual fitness needs and goals. Usually, this requires logging into an application and subscribing to a monthly subscription. To learn more about connected fitness, read this recent blog post .
Why buy a treadmill?
why buy a treadmill
Treadmills give you the option of doing your cardio workout indoors when you can’t – or don’t want to – go outdoors, and since cardio is a great way to burn fat, lose weight. gain weight and maintain good health, owning a treadmill at home means you never have to put the brakes on your fitness routine again when the weather strikes.
Treadmills have an absorbent platform, which helps lessen the impact on the joints when you walk or run, and since some models offer programs meant to simulate hills and HIIT workouts, you can get going too. intensely or as relaxed as you feel.
The mechanics of the conveyor belt
When choosing a treadmill, there are a few factors to consider.
Not all treadmills have the same motor horsepower, and since the motor does all the work, you’ll want to make sure that the one you choose will have the horsepower you are looking for.
The power of a treadmill motor is measured in horsepower (HP), and the higher the number, the more powerful your treadmill is. But HP isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a treadmill motor. You will also want to take a look at the CHP (Continuous Duty Horsepower Rating).
A CHP engine will ensure, at each moment of your training, to deliver the minimum required power. The minimum power of your carpet should be 1.5 CHP.
Which motor size to choose?
Once you’ve got your head around the different treadmill motors, you’ll still have to figure out how often you plan to use your new treadmill. Will you be using it for walking, jogging or running? For all three? More one than the other?
Typically, someone who walks on a treadmill requires a 2.0 HP motor. If you’re planning on jogging, 2.5 HPP is a minimum, and if you’re a runner, go for 3.0 HPP and above.
Types of treadmill frames
Bikes come with steel and aluminum frames, and so do treadmills. The type of frame you choose will have an impact on the price of your mat. When making your choice, you will therefore want to consider the strength of the frame as well as its rigidity.
Most treadmills have a steel frame, and steel is stronger than aluminum. However, aluminum is lighter than steel, and since it is also more flexible, the machine itself will not be as stiff and will have a bit more flexibility.
You’ll find pretty quickly that most treadmills at the neighborhood gym have aluminum frames, while those who buy a treadmill for personal use tend to choose steel.
Electric or manual treadmill?
There are two main types of treadmills: manual or electric. Which one you choose depends entirely on what you plan to do with it.
With a manual treadmill, it is the movement of your feet on the treadmill that moves the walking belt, and the walking belt only moves when you move. Treadmills are less expensive and generally offer less functionality than a motorized treadmill, but the advantage is that you don’t need electricity to run it. This means that you can install it wherever you want and that your training will be even more intense since it is your effort that will activate the device.
An electric treadmill needs electricity, but you won’t have to strain to start it. All you have to do is press a button and the walking belt will start, and although you need electricity to run it, this type of treadmill gives you a variety of options like incline, programs. marathon training or HIIT training.
Specific characteristics to watch out for
When shopping for your treadmill, there are several great features to look out for.
The inclined and the declined
incline on a treadmill
A treadmill with the incline and decline option gives you the ability to run uphill or downhill directly on your mat, just like the gentle inclines of your favorite outdoor trail.
The incline of the treadmill is the element that helps you simulate an outdoor workout, since most roads where you will be running have inclines. If you run at zero incline, you will find the experience similar to track running. Most mats offer a maximum incline of between 10% and 15%, and a decline of 3%. The reclining models , themselves, generally offer 40% or more tilt and declined 6%.
Climbing and rolling virtual hills on your treadmill will help you get the most out of your daily workout. Running downhill is one of the best ways to strengthen your hamstrings and glutes while burning a ton of calories, while running uphill will target your quads and calves instead.
The maximum speed of a belt
The maximum speed depends on the motor and its horsepower, but most treadmills you will consider for your personal training room have a maximum speed of 19 km / h.
Consider the size of the platform
treadmill belt size
What size platform to choose? It depends on what you plan to do on your treadmill: walk or run? It is recommended that you opt for a belt that is at least 22 ″ wide if you are running and 20 ″ if you are walking, and the length should be 55 ″ for runners and 50 ″ for walkers. Individuals over 2 meters tall should opt for a strap length of 60 ″.
Integrated programs to help achieve your goals
One of the coolest features with electric treadmills is the presence of built- in training programs to lose weight or to manage your walking and running. When you choose a preset program, the treadmill will keep pace with you by alternating the incline and speed of your workout. If your treadmill has a heart rate monitor, it will adjust the pace to keep you in the ideal fat burning zone, while giving you full control over the intensity of this preprogrammed workout.
The maximum load of a carpet
The maximum weight that a treadmill can support depends on the type of machine you purchase. Personal use treadmills generally have a maximum capacity of around 300 lbs . Commercial treadmills, like those seen in gyms, have a capacity of around 660 lbs .
It is a good idea to make sure that the appliance you choose for your home is able to support the weight of the people who will be using it on a regular basis.
Keep an eye on your heart rate
how to buy a treadmill
By monitoring your heart rate during exercise, you will know whether you are working too hard or not enough. Treadmills generally use an ECG (electrocardiographic) socket to feel your pulse directly on the handles. Other models use a Bluetooth-enabled chest band to read your heart rate instead.
Is a treadmill noisy?
While the newer treadmill models are designed to run quietly, you’ll still want to consider the fact that while in use, the sound of your every step landing on the belt can get really loud. You can minimize this noise by placing your rug on a sturdy surface, such as a cement floor or carpet, which will absorb vibrations. You can also add a protective mat under the device.
Store your treadmill
Folding treadmills make it much easier to store, especially if you’re short on space. Evaluate the storage space available to you before purchasing your treadmill, and if your space is limited, choose a foldable mat that you can store upright.
Treadmill Training: Preparing For Success
Adding a treadmill to the exercise equipment you already own is a great way to lose weight and get in shape, but you still need to have the motivation to do it. The latest treadmills offer built-in features that make exercising fun, and having fun working out is certainly the best way to achieve each of your fitness goals.
Focus on the mat console
The treadmill console is your command center, and it is where you will enter your personal information such as your age, weight, and general health goals. But that’s not all: some models give you a backlit touchscreen so you can track your sessions and see your progress.
Add your tablet to watch your favorite shows while you exercise
tablet holder treadmill
Many treadmills now offer built- in tablet support so you can enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies, browse the web, or, if you sign up for a program like iFit, play outdoor runs through the treadmills. google maps.
Plug in your playlist
You can use headphones when you run or walk, but with a treadmill that offers the built-in speakers, you can just turn up the volume without getting tangled up in your wires.
Built-in fans to keep you cool
Working out gets you hot, which is why many treadmill models offer the built-in workout fans. Some even go as far as blowing a jet of fresh air adjusted to the intensity of your workout.
A treadmill to replace your office chair
Not all treadmills can replace a desk, but if you want to work your muscles along with your head, you can choose a treadmill with desk. These devices give you an 18 ″ x 40 ″ worksurface for your laptop, and when you are not using the mat for training, the desk height can be adjusted to allow for a sitting position.
Caring for your treadmill
Your treadmill will become a loyal training companion fairly quickly, and keeping it at its peak will be essential in order to give it a long life by your side.
It is not very difficult to take care of a treadmill. Each time you use the device, quickly wipe off excess moisture from the handles, console, and strap. Loosen dust and debris from the mat, and be sure to clean it with a damp cloth after each use. Once a month, take a look at the sides and mechanism of the carpet, which can collect dust.
caring for a treadmill
Other parts of the treadmill should be cleaned a few times a year, and you should refer to the owner’s manual for instructions on how best to clean them, or whether it’s time to have them done. maintenance by a professional:
Your treadmill motor may need to be cleaned a few times a year
Most treadmills come pre-lubricated, but you may need to add lubricant once a year
The walking belt may need adjustment, usually by adjusting the screws on either side of the treadmill
You may have to adjust the tension of your treadmill belt since the belt stretches over time and use.
The advantages of a protective mat
benefits of a treadmill mat
You can add a protective mat on the floor, below your device. This mat will protect both your floor and your treadmill. A protective mat can also reduce noise vibrations, so if you live upstairs in your condo and in an apartment, the mat can help reduce sound traveling through the floor.
Which treadmill should I choose if I will be running once a day vs. once a week?
If you’re only going to run or walk once a week, you’ll want to choose a base model. These models come with about twenty preconfigured programs, tilt, and can reach up to 16 km / h. If you are a more regular runner, opt for a Standard or Elite model instead.
Standard or Elite treadmills reach speeds of 19 km / h and give you access to over 30 training programs. Elite mats will also give you more features, like built-in fans and impact absorption, to protect your joints from the impact of exercise.
How much should I expect to pay?
The price of a treadmill can range from $ 200, for a basic manual treadmill, up to an average of around $ 4,500 for a full model. If you’re on a budget, you’ll probably want to think about what features are really important to you. Console options, motor, maximum speed, tilt / decline, all of these will have a big impact on the final price.
How many years will my treadmill last?
With proper maintenance and care, a treadmill should last you an average of 7-10 years.
Is running / walking on a treadmill good for my joints?
Running on a treadmill can reduce your risk of stress fractures by up to 50%. The mat puts less strain on your joints because it helps you maintain a constant cadence and because the mat itself absorbs some of the shock whenever your foot hits the belt. There are even extra absorbent treadmills for the most avid runner.
If you have an injury or are worried about your joints, you may want to add an elliptical to your workout instead . The elliptical mimics the motion of running while minimizing the impact on your joints.
What should I look out for in my treadmill warranty?
You should make sure that parts are guaranteed for 3 to 7 years for your treadmill, and you should also be covered for 1 year, in case your machine needs service. When you find an interesting model, be sure to check if there is a lifetime warranty on the frame, and make sure you know the exact length of the warranty on the engine.
Should I be concerned about the safety aspect, and do all devices include an emergency stop function?
It is completely safe and easy to walk and run on a treadmill, and some models include a safety button that, when attached to you and the treadmill, will stop the machine should you fall or lose your balance. . Other models, like manual mats, have extra long safety handles in case you lose your balance.
Children are drawn to the console buttons on a treadmill, and for their safety it is a good idea to unplug the electric treadmill when not in use, and keep the room locked.
For safety reasons, and to facilitate the use of the device, it is recommended to leave 1 to 2 meters free at the back of your treadmill when you use it.
Is it difficult to install a treadmill?
Treadmills are designed to be easy to install and use. A folding treadmill can fold horizontally or vertically, and some models have wheels under the base to make it easier to move the device.
Will my physical activity monitors be able to do their work properly on a treadmill?
The physical activity monitors actually will track your workout when you run or walk on a treadmill, and if you already use your favorite application to track your running workouts, it will continue to work with the same precision on a treadmill .