Treadmills can be purchased for under $500 and as high as $5,000. How do you choose the treadmill that best matches your needs as well as your budget?.
The best treadmill is the one that meets your expectations, as long as you understand your needs as well as the features of the treadmill. Within your budget range, determine if a higher priced treadmill provides you more of any feature that is important to you.
Walking or running. Are going to use the treadmill for walking or running? A treadmill suitable only for walking will lighter in construction, use a smaller motor or no motor at all and will be priced accordingly. On the other hand, a treadmill designed for walking will likely be less stable, have poor cushioning, smaller dimension that could fell restricting and be unsuited for running. Of course, any running treadmill will be fine for walking.
Folding or non-folding. On a folding treadmill the running deck folds up to vertical, leaving a much smaller foot print for compact storage. This can be very important if you live in an apartment or the treadmill is located in a room that is used for other things. On higher priced units, there is often an assist feature that helps off-set the weight of the running deck when raising or lowering.
Folding treadmills have become more like non-folding treadmills in terms of stability and durability but by necessity, folding treadmills are likely to be lighter and not quite as stable as the fixed deck type. Of course, price plays a big role. A high end folding treadmill will feel more solid than a low end non folding treadmill.
How hard and fast you want to go. Most running treadmills are capable of speeds of 10MPH and inclines of 10pct, with 12MPH and 15pct available. Some treadmills can even decline slightly, simulating the experience of running downhill. If you need to go really fast or want the additional intensity that comes with greater incline, make sure to check the specs.
Height and weight. Treadmills take a serious pounding and this is only magnified as a runners weight increases. To be on safe side, subtract 50 lbs from the stated maximum user weight of the treadmill. The taller you are, the longer your stride. The typical running deck length is 54 to56 inches long but the taller you are above 6 feet, the more you want to consider a 58 inch or even 60 inch deck.
Training programs. Some runners just want to get on the treadmill, set the speed and go for a set time. Others want variety and guidance in workouts or want to focus on specific types of cardio training. Some manufacturers have ability to upload additional programs to keep you motivated and track your progress on-line.
If you want to track your heart rate, contact grips are now virtually standard on treadmills while wireless monitoring will cost you more. Increasingly treadmills include heart rate programs. By using a wireless chest strap, the treadmill will automatically adjust speed to keep your intensity in a selected training zone.
Extra features. Treadmills come with a wide variety of extra features that can make a workout more manageable and maintain motivation. These include water bottle holders, adjustable cooling fans, reading racks and docking stations for MP3/Ipod player which plays through built-in speakers.
To see the best treadmills for any budget, go to www.i-treadmillreviews.com