Some of us are lucky enough to live in a climate where we can get all of our walking or running miles outdoors. Unfortunately not everyone has that luxury, but you still have a way to get those miles in. A treadmill can be the solution for those who live in bad climates or areas of the country that do not facilitate outdoor exercise well.
Buying treadmill is not that simple however. You have a lot of options and choosing the wrong treadmill can be like wasting thousands of dollars. For those of us not made of money, let’s buy the right one the first time. Here are some things to consider.
You Get What You Pay For
Like a lot of things in life, you get what you pay for. Cheap out on a treadmill and you might as well just throw your money away. Cheap treadmills are a misery to use and will likely break in a very short time. Expect to spend around 3000 dollars for a decent treadmill.
3000 dollars, yes, this is a lot of money but these days, financing options abound. It would be better to buy a quality unit and make payments than it would to simply throw your money away on junk. Here are some ways to afford your treadmill.
Store Credit: If you have a good sporting good store out there like Academy Sports, you can get in store financing. The benefit with in store financing is that you can often qualify for low or even zero interest financing which can really lower those payments.
Online Credit: Another option that can allow you to afford a quality treadmill is online financing. Websites like Loan By Numbers can get you a cash loan and you can use it to buy your treadmill anywhere. The good thing here is that you could then shop the used market. There are a lot of high quality treadmills for sale on Craigslist for pennies on the dollar.
Okay, now you know that you can afford a good treadmill, how do you go about picking one out? Well, there are certain features that you should look for.
Picking A Good Treadmill
Choosing a good treadmill means paying attention to the specs. Luckily, a lot of companies like Consumer Reports have taken much of the work out of finding a good treadmill. Here is what you should look for.
Horsepower: Generally speaking, the more horsepower, the better. A higher horsepower motor will do a lot of things for you. It will let you run faster, it will lug down less under load and it should allow your treadmill to last much longer. If you are a walker, you should look for at least 1.5 horsepower and if you run, you want double that.
Cushion: Impact absorption is a big thing. You need a treadmill that will absorb the impact instead of transmitting it to your body. This is where the more high end treadmills shine. You should take a test run on any treadmill that you intend to buy and see how it absorbs impacts. Where thin running shoes so that you see what impact the machine can really absorb.
Incline: If you can not run or just find it uncomfortable, you can really ramp your workout up with incline. Make sure that you get at least 10 degrees of incline.
Stability: There is nothing worse than not having a solid base. This is something that you have to test out and is why it is so important to try out your treadmill.
Space Requirements: Do you have room for a regular treadmill or do you need a folding model. If you have the space, a non folding treadmill will generally be more stable and loaded with more features.
Programming: Do you ant to just run or do you want to be challenged. A good selection of programs can help if you need to be challenged. When combined with good incline and even decline features, they can even effectively simulate real world conditions.
Warranty: Look for at least a 2 year warranty that covers parts and labor. The electronics should have a 5 year warranty. A poor warranty is a sure sign of poor quality.