What should I look for when buying a treadmill?

Treadmills can be a great way to stay active, get in shape, or lose weight.  They are specifically great for when you can’t get to the gym or the weather is not great outside. If you are searching the market for an at-home machine, then feel free to take a look at our recommendations on what to look for before making the purchase. After reading, feel free to take a look at our list of the 10 best treadmills to consider.

how to buy a treadmill

There are many things to think about when making a purchase this large and you’re going to want to consider them all.  For instance, you don’t want to ignore how much space you’re going to have to put this machine in and then find out after you get it to your house and out of the box just to find out that it’s not going to remotely fit.

Space

A major thing to think about is where you are going to be putting this machine and how much space you have to work with.  The best practice is to measure the area you plan on using before even starting to look at different products.  It is important to measure all dimensions of the space including length, width, AND height.  Treadmills are typically large machines and having these measurements handy when shopping is a very good practice.

Another thing to consider when thinking about space is the actual size of the tread or “belt”.  When looking at treadmills, we usually suggest going with a 22” belt if you are a runner and a smaller 20” belt for the walkers.  The 20” belt is perfectly sufficient for a runner if you are tight for space, however, it is better to have a bigger area for less chance of error.  You should also look into the belt length – where a 55” inch belt is recommended for runners, however, a 60”  belt is better for runners over 6 ft tall.  For walkers, a 50” belt is going to be just fine.

Power

In regard to the power you need for your future treadmill, it all depends on what kind of user you are. If you are using it for running, we recommend a machine with 3.0 CHP or higher, however, if you are using it for jogging or walking, a machine with a 2.5 CHP should be just fine.

If you weigh over 200 pounds, it is smarter to go with a machine that is anywhere from 3.0-4.0 CHP because a motor that is constantly working at full capacity is going to go bad much faster than one that is running at a recommended pace.

Price – options for cheap and expensive

When it comes to price, there are a couple of different thought processes.  If you are going to be using this often and you KNOW you are, then you are going to want to be looking at machines that are over $1,000. Whereas if you are buying this to walk on here and again, you could get away with looking at cheaper machines that are under that $1,000 threshold.

The machines that are over $1,000 are usually going to come with better features and warranties as well.  If you are not on a budget you can find many machines that are over $2,000 and are going to have almost every bell and whistle you can ask for.

Features – heart monitors, workout programs

Speaking of features… There are many things that treadmills can come with nowadays that can make running in place much more interesting/fun.  For instance, here are some of the most sought-after features on treadmills.

Workout programs

Many treadmills are now coming with different built-in workout programs that you can customize to your needs.  These can be through the form of interactive video or previously recorded videos.  Some programs even have you running through real streets on your screen to simulate running anywhere you can think of!

Entertainment

There are many options out there that try to sell you on built-in TV sets, but there are no other options for entertainment when running.  Some treadmills now come with an accessory pack that allows you to mount your tablet on the front of the machine so that you can just mount your already purchased media device on the machine.

Heart rate monitor – You can go with a traditional treadmill with the handgrips that give you your heart rate, which is more expensive, or you can buy some treadmills with an additional monitor that you can wrap around your chest and it syncs with the system to show you your heart rate throughout the exercise.

Summary

We have laid out a ton of things to think about before purchasing your first (or next) treadmill.  Remember that, like most things, the cheaper you go, the cheaper the product you are going to get.  A treadmill is not a cheap product and you are going to have to spend a decent amount of money for a good product, especially if you are going to be using the machine a lot.  Like most product reviews, we hope we have helped you narrow your decisions and helped prepare you for the process of purchasing a treadmill!

 

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