Treadmills are, by far, the most popular piece of exercise equipment on the market today. According to a study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, they burn calories more effectively than any other type of fitness equipment.
Some of the main benefits include:If you’re looking for an excellent aerobic workout, whether that involves walking, jogging, or sprinting, you can’t go wrong having a quality treadmill in your home. It’s an essential component of a complete home gym.
Easy to use. If you’re new to exercise, using a ‘mill is as natural as walking or running. You control the pace, a great benefit if you’re really out of shape and want to gradually build your endurance.
Low-impact exercise. If you suffer from back pain, bad ankles, or knee problems, it’s a safe alternative to walking or running outside, where concrete pavement and shifting terrain can cause injury.
Loads of useful features. Today’s machines allow you to track your speed, calories burned, time, and distance traveled, for starters. Higher end models offer heart rate monitors or sensors, inclines, declines, preprogrammed workouts, built-in televisions, iFit capabilities, iPod compatibility, and much more.
Convenience. Even if you prefer jogging outside, these machines are a wonderful convenience during the winter months or inclement weather. And if space is at a premium in your home, you can get a folding treadmill, to save on square footage.
Proform, Nordic Track, Weslo, Star Trac, Precor, Landice, Life Fitness, and Sole offer some of the top rated models on the market. Among these brands and others, models are priced from $300 all the way up to $3,000+.
As with any consumer product, you get what you pay for. It’s not necessary to spend thousands of dollars, but you should probably budget at least $1,000 for your home ‘mill.
We do, however, suggest steering clear of cheap machines–such as those self-powered models you can find in department stores. A machine like that, built with flimsy materials and limited features, simply won’t give you the quality workout and the durability you need.
Key areas to examine when buying a treadmill:
Motor. Experts recommend a minimum 2.0 horsepower continuous duty motor. Anything less powerful will be unlikely to generate sufficient energy to keep up with your workouts, especially if you plan on running.
Workout programs. Look for a machine that includes a variety of preset exercise programs. At the minimum, it should include programs for calorie burning, cardio training, and hill interval training. If it allows you to create your own custom programs, that’s even better.
Incline capability. Any quality machine features an incline grade up to 10%. This will add an extra challenge to your workouts.
Warranty. Lifetime coverage on the frame, three years on the motor, and one year of in-home labor is essential.
For assistance finding the best treadmill for your needs, please read on . . .