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Tips on choosing a treadmill, part 1

Millions of treadmills have made the transition from the gym to the home and a are now a regular feature in the spare bedroom or anywhere space can be found. If you are looking to buy a treadmill, here are a few things to bear in mind.

To get started, decide whether the treadmill will be used for walking, jogging or running. If all you want is to walk on treadmill, a lightweight unit with a smaller foot print will be quite satisfactory, and if on a budget, an un-powered treadmill might even work for you.

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If you intend to use the treadmill for running and jogging, a good rule of thumb is that the faster you go the and the more you weigh, the bigger the treadmill and the treadmill motor needs to. As you go faster, your stride gets longer and the heavier you are, the bigger the pounding the treadmill has to absorb. And not surprising, the price goes up accordingly.

Treadmills with running decks measuring 52” to 54” would be well suited for joggers of any size and smaller runners. Taller runners would want to look at treadmills with running decks with a 56” to 60 inch length.

Smooth treadmills have warranties well above industry standards

Same issues apply to the treadmill motor. A smaller person jogging would be quite happy with a 2.0HP motor whereas a heavy runner should look at 2.5HP or bigger motor.

Running decks on most treadmills, and certainly those costing over $1,000 all include some kind of dampening system to reduce the impact on the joints. However, softer is not necessarily better, too soft and running on the treadmill becomes more like running on a trampoline.

Livestrong treadmills include several Top Picks

Another fundamental decision is folding versus non-folding treadmills. If the treadmill is to be situated in a multi use room or space is at a premium, consider a treadmill that folds up after each use. In the early years of fold-up treadmill, there was justified concern with stability, especially with heavier/faster runner. These days foldable treadmills from quality manufacturers feel no different than fixed deck treadmills.