Oh treadmill, how I love thee. I can always depend on my treadmill to achieve weight loss and muscle tone. I have had a couple of different treadmills through the years and I have always been able to attain my goals with this outstanding piece of equipment. I have gone from a dedicated runner, to couch potato, to overweight and back and the only variable that did not work all the time was me!
There is a reason the first piece of equipment you see on “Biggest Loser” is a treadmill, or why there is a line at the gym waiting for this coveted piece of equipment. They work! The act of running itself is fantastic, but with running you have many variables, (i.e. rain, potholes, stranger danger, and the occasional scary animal). Many people associate running with injuries and joint issues, and unfortunately this can be true of running outside due to the high impact on your joints and muscles. With a treadmill, you are able to take all of those variables away, and still have the purest form of cardiovascular exercise in your own home. Running on a treadmill allows you to control your environment with cushioned and flat running surface. Treadmills also are able to accommodate any fitness level from the first day you begin, to training for a 5k. There is no learning curve involved at any time with exercising on a treadmill. That fact alone makes this a perfect machine. Many people will get frustrated quickly with a piece of equipment they are uncomfortable or unable to use. On a treadmill, all you must do is walk and you are “working out”. No need for a trainer, instructions, or nerves.
In my personal experience, I have become to depend on my treadmill almost as much as my Doctor. I am able to lower my blood pressure, heighten my lung capacity, tone and build muscles, lose weight, and motivate myself to move.
When you are ready to make this wise, there are a few pointers to consider when purchasing a treadmill. It is always a good idea to talk to a friend or relative about their treadmill, and what they like and don’t about the features they have on their home or commercial equipment. Also, go to several gyms and fitness stores and actually walk or run on several of the treadmills available to get a true feel for the structure and performance of each piece of equipment. Listed below are the top 10 questions you need to ask yourself and a sales person prior to choosing the perfect treadmill for you.
1. What Kind of Weight capacity does the treadmill offer?
2. What type of features are you interested in for your workouts? Are you interested in a heart rate monitor? Do you need different workout programs to vary your workouts?
3. What kind of space are you willing to allot for storage? Do you need to be able to fold the equipment, or can you have a traditional style.
4. What is the speed on the treadmill? How fast and slow does the machine move, and what is the speed that you require?
5. What type of warranty does the treadmill offer, and what type of ongoing maintenance does it need?
6. What is the “continuous duty” of the treadmill? You really need to look for a 1.5 to 2.5 HP to insure you are getting a solid motor.
7. What price are you willing to pay for a treadmill?
8. Noise, do you need a quite model due to children in home, or a sleeping spouse? Do you want to hear a TV over the sound of the treadmill? DC motors are usually the more quite option.
9. Are you comfortable with the length and width of the treadmill? Can you move your arms freely, and is the deck long enough to accommodate your stride?
10. Is there a safety key, or an emergency shut off? If you have children this is an important option to have available.
All of these questions, if answered correctly by you and your salesperson, will begin a beautiful relationship with the right treadmill.