The Best Home Treadmill Features
If you’re like many Americans, you probably know the health benefits of cardiovascular exercise, but you may live in a region prone to cold, rainy or hot weather that prevents you from getting outdoors. Maybe you don’t have the time to drive several times a week to a fitness center to use a gym treadmill. That’s why more and more people are buying home treadmills. Not all treadmills are the same. Here are some of the best features to look for when buying a home treadmill, along with the importance of choosing a high-quality model.
Walking vs. Running
One of your biggest considerations should be how you plan to use your home treadmill. Will you be using it for walking, or running? The best models are those that can be used for both walking and running. Treadmills designed for running usually come with higher top speeds and higher horsepower. Runners should also seek a larger treadmill belt as it provides a more comfortable experience. Whereas the size of the treadmill’s running surface is less important to walkers.
Motor and Horsepower
If you want your treadmill to have a long lifespan, you should first check the warranty associated with the motor. Treadmills with stronger motors are built for handling larger users, and tend to last longer than those with weak motors. Poor quality motors are likely to overheat and require unnecessary repairs.
Treadmill motor energy is measured in horsepower (HP). However, the number to look for when buying a treadmill is the CHP or continuous horsepower. More horsepower is required for running at an incline, than walking on flat surface. It’s best to get a treadmill with a CHP of 3.0 or higher for jogging and running. While many motors will claim identical horsepower numbers, it is important to note that every motor is not built the same. Cheaper prices mean that the product consists of poorly made parts. Do not be swayed solely by low prices. Furthermore, choose a treadmill manufacturer that stands behind their products. All TRUE Fitness treadmills are backed by at least 30 year motor warranties, and lifetime frame warranties.
If you’d like to mimic outdoor conditions, look for a Treadmill with an adjustable incline. If there’s no incline, it’s easier to walk or run on a treadmill than it is to walk or run outdoors since there isn’t any wind resistance. Also walking or running on an incline, will increase the number of calories you burn, making your workouts more efficient. Additionally, training at an incline is ideal for strengthening and defining muscle. Another perk is that an incline adds variety to your workouts.
Focused on burning calories? Trainer Collyn describes how stepping at an incline will help you reach cardio goals faster and more productively than increasing treadmill speed:
Do you need a treadmill that can measure workout performance? Most treadmills include different workout programs, but the number of programs largely depends on the console you buy. These include distance workouts, hill workouts, speed heart rate control, weight loss and others. If you’re interested in measuring your performance, consider a treadmill that allows you to save user profiles and workout results. And if you have the budget, spending more for a higher end console that allows you mimic outdoor running is well worth the cost.
Heart Rate Control
To get an optimum workout it is important to pace yourself. You want your heart rate at the proper level for an extended period of time. If your heart rate gets too high your activity can become counterproductive, if it is too low you are not getting any substantial health benefits. Quality treadmills are equipped with Bluetooth heart rate monitoring and contact heart rate sensors. TRUE Fitness is unique in that they offer a patented Heart Rate Control (HRC®) System. HRC is designed to keep users within a few beats of their target heart rate by automatically making gradual adjustments to the incline and speed. If users don’t feel like finding that target heart rate on their own, TRUE treadmills feature the Cruise Control button. Simply press the button when a stress level that feels right is attained and the machine will do the rest, automatically adjusting to their selected heart rate. Cruise Control keeps runners comfortable and motivated throughout their workout.
Other Considerations and Warnings
- Consider your joints and knees — If you have sore joints, bad knees or any prior injuries, consider an orthopedic treadmill belt, which is available on TRUE PS300, PS800 and Excel 900. It’s also good idea to use a treadmill with adjustable shock absorption to set your preferred level of deck cushioning.
- Consider noise level — If you like to listen to music, watch TV or videos while working out, you don’t want a treadmill with a noisy motor.
- Consider size — While a treadmill may not seem that large in a store, it can take up too much space in a small room. Therefore, measure the square footage in the room you plan to use your treadmill, so you’ll select a model that won’t take up that much floor space.
- Try before you buy — Never buy a treadmill before testing it out in person. Remember to wear your workout clothes and shoes.
- Should I get a folding treadmill? — While the idea of folding a treadmill to save space is appealing, there are serious drawbacks. You want a treadmill has a solid frame to support years of use. Folding treadmills tend to compromise the structurally integrity. The rule of thumb is that the cheaper a treadmill is, the flimsier the frame is. As you look for bargains, you need to set a floor beyond which you won’t go to sacrifice stability.
- Consider the running surface — Seek a treadmill that includes a belt long enough and wide enough for your stride. As mentioned above, orthopedic belts are great for runners with prior injuries.
Are you in the market for a home treadmill? As you consider your options, do not settle on quality! When you buy the cheapest treadmill — from an infomercial or big-box store — you usually get what you pay for. And always try before you buy! Do you have more questions? Fitness Gallery carries a huge selection of high quality home treadmills, contact us or stop by one of our stores to find the right treadmill for your needs and budget.