What to Look for in a Treadmill?

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What to Look for in a Treadmill?

By J. Maki

So you are Googling treadmills, huh?

That’s a good thing, because it means you are thinking seriously about your health and wellbeing and the steps you can take to improve those areas of your life. 

A treadmill is one of the best ways for you to not only get in shape, but it is also a way for you to make a commitment to your health. 

Treadmills Are $$$

Let’s be honest, treadmills are expensive, and you can plan on spending at least $500 for an entry level model geared towards lower intensity exercise. When you invest in a treadmill, you are making a financial commitment to improving your health. And every day that you use it, you reinforce your ability to follow through. 

However, when you don’t walk or run on your treadmill, every time you see it staring back at you in your home, you will be soberly reminded of the commitment you made to getting in shape and your failure to do so.  

Bottom line, when you invest your hard-earned money in a treadmill, your accountability to use it will be elevated.

Got it? Great.

So now that you are ready to make the commitment, here is a simplified take on three things you should be looking for in a quality treadmill. 

Start with Goals

Your first step in the treadmill buying process is to identify your fitness goal(s). Once you complete this, your pursuit of the perfect treadmill becomes easier. 

Look for Durability

Since you walk and run on a treadmill, you will need something that can hold up and will be able to handle your exercise output, whatever it may be.

This is where your goals come into play. If you are only looking to implement a lower intensity walking plan, the model you would purchase would be very different from the runner training for a marathon.

When it comes to durability, it’s important to pay attention to the user weight capacity of the unit, the materials it is constructed with, the weight of the unit itself, and the quality of the motor. Again, these are all variables that will be influenced by your fitness goals, in addition to your physical measurements. 

You would not want to make the mistake of purchasing a treadmill that underserves your goals and ends up breaking after only a few uses. This is a reason why I suggest being willing to spending a little bit more to get a quality model.

Once you’ve identified a model strong enough to handle your goals and physical make-up, your next step is to…

Give Yourself Some Space

Since everybody has a unique stride when it comes to walking and running, it is important that the treadmill you select provides you with the appropriate space for you to stretch out.

To determine how much space will be available to you, you need to take a close look at the size of the running belt and the overall dimensions of the treadmill itself.

The running belt is measured by its width and length, and it is the actual belt that you will walk and/or run on.

The model dimensions tell you how long, wide, and tall the machine is when it is fully constructed. 

Why do these things matter?

Because if you buy something too small, you won’t have the running area to accommodate your stride; conversely, if you purchase a treadmill too large, you may be shelling out unnecessary extra dollars.

Making sure these measurements align with your height and overall physical size will help you select the ideal treadmill for you.  

Now, the Fun Part

While durability and space aren’t sexy topics, they are the most important when it comes to finding the right treadmill for you. However, once you have finished this, you can then begin exploring the different technologies that are available to you.

I would recommend you begin by making sure your treadmill has a basic, readable display that provides you with all of the workout metrics necessary to indicate to you the quality of your workout. At a minimum, the display should keep track of workout duration, speed, pace, incline, decline, calories burned, and heart rate. If the treadmill you are looking at provides these basics, it meets minimum requirements. If it doesn’t, run away now.

The great thing about newer treadmill models is the enhancements that have occurred with treadmill technologies, with many units having built-in high definition touchscreens that show video and virtual workout environments in which you can exercise with coaches and get real time feedback on your performance.

Programs like iFit and Bowflex’s JRNY are examples of these innovative technologies, and they can make your workouts a lot of fun!

Keep It Simple

Getting in shape is hard enough, but buying a treadmill shouldn’t be.

Your best approach in finding the right treadmill for you is to keep it simple. If you keep these 3 concepts in mind as you are doing your own treadmill research, you will find a quality model to meet your needs. 

If you need assistance navigating the confusing treadmill waters, you can always reach out to me at jmaki@thetrustedtreadmill.com, and I would be happy to help you out! I’ve been there and know how overwhelming the process can be! 

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