Treadmills are possibly the most popular type of fitness equipment available today, and this popularity has caused manufacturers to create a sometimes overwhelming choice of models – how on earth do you determine which is the best treadmill for you? While finding the best treadmill is inevitably something of an individual choice, determined by your own particular needs, the input of others, who might have superior knowledge and experience of the wide variety of treadmills available, is extremely valuable. Thankfully, there are many professional treadmill review websites that will have useful suggestions to help you choose a treadmill: best recommended, treadmills best buys, and some of the best-rated treadmills around.
But if the very availability of these reviews is overwhelming in itself, then it is possible to break down some key factors that reviews look for in the best treadmills, helping you to find the
treadmills best buys for yourself.
Your first priority in finding the best treadmill for you is making an evaluation of your own fitness needs and goals. While a particular treadmill that you evaluate might be well constructed with a great motor, it will be of little use to you if the running mat is too small to accommodate your stride. So examine any special needs you might have so that you approach your search for the best treadmills from an informed perspective – here are some questions you might ask yourself before you begin:
· What height am I? Do I have particularly long legs? While it might sound silly, this is an important question that will help you find the right treadmill. The running mat size of a treadmill can differ from one machine to another, and taller people usually have a longer stride, requiring more space upon which to run. Exercising will be no fun if you can’t stretch your legs!
· What is my weight? Many of us purchase a treadmill to help us lose some weight and shape up, but if you are particularly overweight, you will need to choose a treadmill that will be able to accommodate your weight while still providing a good workout. Most machines will specify their maximum capacity, so it will be easy to find a treadmill that is best recommended for heavier set people.
· Do I want to walk or run? Treadmills are available with different motor strengths, and while a lower horsepower motor will probably be cheaper, you will need a motor of at least 2.0 HP to support regular running. A higher horsepower is also recommended if you will be using your treadmill often, as this will give it a longer life.
· Will I want to get on and run, or will I need some extra features to spice up my workout? While some of the best-rated treadmills might be those that include a variety of hi-tech features, some of the treadmills best buys are the more basic ones. If you prefer to simply get on your treadmill and run without distraction for a half hour, then a more basic model might be best for you, but a treadmill with pre-programmed options and perhaps even interactive technology might be more appropriate for exercisers who like an external challenge.
· Do I have a lot of space in my home? This is an important
consideration when choosing a treadmill for your home. Some treadmills can take up quite a bit of space, and you might end up hating the thing if it dominates your home! If you are low on space, choose one of the many folding models available.
· How much money do I want to spend on a treadmill? This is perhaps the most important question of all in helping you narrow down which are the best treadmills for you. Treadmills are available from a couple of hundred dollars right up to several thousand, so deciding your budget in advance can help you limit your search considerably. While it is often said that you get what you pay for, some of the best-recommended treadmills are those that are also great value, so don’t assume that a smaller budget will restrict your options enormously. There are a multitude of great reviewing websites available that will offer up their best buys depending on your budget – a quick online search will assure you that you can find a great treadmill no matter what you have to spend.
Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, you are ready to search the reviews for the best treadmill for you. Use the manufacturers own website to find details of the features of each treadmill, but be sure to explore reviews such as consumer reports and popular opinion polls to find out how unbiased sources rate that treadmill you have your eye on.
© 2005 Peter Clark
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