When purchasing a treadmill there are a lot of various factors that come into play that will help your decision on which treadmill will best suit your needs. Treadmills provide great in home exercise options either for running, walking or recovery from a physical injury. All of these things can be done from the comfort of your home without needing to purchase a gym membership or endure outdoor weather. It is also one of the best ways to lose weight.
Identifying Your Fitness Goals
First, you must think about your fitness goal. Knowing what your primary uses for the treadmill will be this will help find one that best fits your needs. Consider your budget. Investing in a more expensive equipment gets a sturdier build, higher top speeds, a steeper incline and more programs. After assessing your needs, you may not need all of those features and can choose a less expensive treadmill.
You need to measure the area that you are looking to place the treadmill. Most treadmills have footprints close in range, around 6 ft long and 3 ft wide. Measuring space is crucial because you will require adequate space to have access to the treadmill. Some treadmills have folding options and when stored are half the length.
The ergonomics of the treadmill are important. Being a runner you will need a deck that accommodates your stride with comfort. Suspension is the factor that determines how soft or firm the deck will be. Walkers will generally use a softer suspension, while runners need a firmer suspension to support the constant impact. Hood height will also have an effect on the ergonomics of a treadmill because a taller hood is easier to trip on and will not provide enough room to complete your stride.
There are four main kinds of display options that most treadmills will have. The LCD screen is a basic back lit screen that is usually less visible in certain lighting and is on the less expensive models. The LED screen is generally brighter and easier to see in any type if lighting or environment. It is also able to withstand commercial use. One thing to keep in mind is the controls of each display. Some consoles come with raised buttons that are easier to use and adjust while walking or running at higher speeds. Touch screens are a display option that have become much more popular and will generally have more programming options associated with them. Some treadmills will also have TV screens with virtual courses that allow the user to interact and workout in various terrains.
There are a few factors for when it comes to Tread belts such as length, width, ply and orthopedic belts. Treadmill users who will just be walking versus those who have short legs don't need belts as long as the belts runners and taller people need. Belts that are too narrow can cause the users' feet to hit the side of the treadmill. Most home treadmills are made with a single ply belt which provide standard cushioning while two ply belts are thicker, soft and more quiet. Orthopedic belts provide the most cushioning for users and it also helps with recovery for joints.
Adjustability is an important feature for treadmills. Having easy quick settings and programs to adjust the treadmill to your liking for various workouts is important when choosing a treadmill. Most treadmills have max speeds between 10 to 12mph and may go faster than that. Treadmill typically incline between 10-15 percent grade and some treadmills offer a decline.
High-tech features are available on certain treadmills nowadays such as Bluetooth, USB plugins, phone/tablet docking stations and aux input. More expensive models can have wireless internet connectivity to browse the internet, watch movies and more. Overall when looking to purchase a treadmill try to use some these points when making your decision to find the right treadmill for you. It is always best to try out the treadmill before purchasing.
Best Folding Treadmills
Folding treadmills can be a great choice for a small living space as they can be folded away and pushed under furniture to keep out of sight or just making more space for convenience. Lighter models may even store in a closet or smaller spaces. Folding Treadmills generally have easy levers or hydraulics to use for making it very easy when folding. However, treadmills vary greatly in quality. When Folding Treadmills first came out they were primarily limited to walking as for not being sturdy enough to handle running putting more stress on the motor. The early fold-up treadmills were lightweight and also sometimes had stability issues with runners. It is clear that if you are running on a treadmill it needs to be more stable than if you are just walking. However, in the last few years the quality of folding treadmills has improved greatly and now you will find foldaway treadmills that are virtually the same as the non-folding variety. They can take runners, are not so lightweight with more stability and have a good warranty.
Best Treadmills for Walking
When people think of treadmills, they often think of running on the treadmill. Certain equipment is designed for running, but there is also equipment designed for walking. Have a walking treadmill at home, you can get a convenient exercise without going out, and you don’t need to worried about the weather outside. The best treadmills for walking has a comfortable belt surface, a sturdy frame that doesn't shake with every step while being easy on the knees, and an easy-to-read console with programs that let you hit your stride with minimal button pressing. Investing in a strong motor is always a primary focus when it comes to treadmills. Example having a 4.0 HP motor is great for a lot of activity on a treadmill, but isn’t necessary for primary walkers. When going with a walking treadmill it can become cost effective at that point knowing that you don’t need a motor with a lot of HP or a heavy frame to meet your needs.
Best Treadmills for Running
The best running treadmills have strong motors, longevity and durability. Running Treadmills should always be able to accommodate your stride with comfort. Having a stronger motor is a must for runners, lower quality motors aren’t built to handle constant strenuous impact. A stronger motor will also provide more stability for the runner. A higher power rating, which indicates a smoother workout, a more powerful motor, and a quieter machine. Having a running surface that is wide enough and long enough to prevent tripping, slipping, and falling off the machine during a workout. An appropriate level of cushioning that would be stable enough to prevent bouncing but soft enough to provide ample support to delicate joints.
Best Treadmill Desks
A treadmill desk is any desk designed to allow the user to walk on the treadmill while being able to perform other tasks, such as using a computer, writing and other tasks. Typically, the desk isn’t attached to the treadmill itself and with some models can be stored. Treadmill desks are built for walking not for running as for the purpose of the desk. Generally, these treadmills are used at lower speeds around .5 mph to 2 mph with time frames from 30 minutes to several hours a day. More expensive treadmills desk can have options of outlet plugins, drawers and docks.
Best Treadmill for Commercial use
Commercial treadmills are the best treadmills on the market and are built to last with durable motors, sturdy frames and warranties to match. They are constructed to withstand many hours of daily use in a commercial gym environment and have high weight capacities to cater to each user’s needs. From walking to running to high intensity intervals, these treadmills are designed to endure through even the toughest workouts. The top rated commercial treadmills generally have at least 4HP motors and belts that over at least 60 inches in length that are built to be used over 100,000 miles. They will also have top tier shock absorption systems that significantly reduce wear and tear on the joints. This is especially important for heavier users or users with previous injuries to be cautious of. In order to maintain high durability, commercial treadmills tend to be very heavy and will not have the option to fold.
Best Treadmills for Home Use
When looking for a treadmill for home use, there are a few things to take into consideration. If there are more people using the treadmill, a larger motor is needed to support the extra impact. If space is an issue, finding a treadmill with a slightly shorter deck and belt that still maintains its durability is a strong option.
Another feature to consider is a treadmill with adjustable suspension. This feature allows the user to adjust the suspension of the deck from softer feel to a harder, more stiff feel. It can come in handy when there are multiple users with different preferences or workout styles. Generally, people prefer a softer suspension when they are walking or jogging, and a slightly harder suspension when they are running or sprinting. The softer suspension while walking will provide a comfortable feel and reduce impact on the joints. The harder suspension will provide more stability while running to improve performance.
It is also beneficial to assess the importance of console features when buying a treadmill for home use. These features range from intense workout programs to virtual training courses and even web browsing. This can be especially useful when there are more people using the treadmill, because many machines will save each user’s workout information and programs to their individual profiles. Many consoles will also be Wifi and Bluetooth compatible, which will allow the user to save their workout data on their phone via an app.
Best Treadmills Under $1000
Treadmills under $1000 are built primarily for walking due to their smaller deck and motor size. They often have a lower weight capacity than the higher end models, as well as less workout programs and built in console features. Although these treadmills are not built for intense runners or multiple users, they are a great choice for walking and jogging. The top choices under $1000 will usually have 15% inclines and soft, comfortable feel that will beat walking outdoors any day.
Best Treadmills Under $2000
The best residential treadmills under $2000 have top tier shock absorption systems and sizeable motors to accommodate different users with varied preferences. They have extensive warranties that cover parts, electronics, motor, and labor to provide a solid safety net for the equipment. These treadmills are built to withstand all kinds of workouts ranging from walking to intense intervals. Not only do these treadmills hold up to rigorous use, they are also a very comfortable alternative to exercising outdoors. The top options in this category will have highly rated shock absorption systems matched with soft belts to significantly reduce the impact on the joints and increase performance. Another thing to keep in mind are the innovative console features that come with some of these treadmills. Console features include individualized user profiles, interactive workout programs, heart rate controlled workouts, and more! Many of them are also Wifi and Bluetooth compatible with docks to listen to music or podcasts and keep the workouts entertaining.
Best High End Treadmills
The best high end treadmills are luxurious in every aspect, from their extensive warranties to their overwhelming durability. Not only do they outperform in their durability, but in their comfort and stability as well. They are built to be used for many hours a day in a commercial or club environment, and their warranties reflect that. Parts warranties will generally be around ten years, while some manufacturers will even offer lifetime warranties to protect the customer. Customization is unique feature that is associated with high end treadmills. These treadmills will have customizable options for decks, belts, consoles and more. Adjustable suspension is an attractive feature to have because it allows the user to change the suspension of the deck from a soft to a harder feel. This is useful when there is more than one user or if the user wants to change it from walking to running. Aside from the wide variety of customization options, the best high end treadmills combine comfort and durability to create the ultimate exercise machine. Even though they tend to carry a hefty price tag, their top tier qualities make it more than justifiable.