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Treadmill Buying Tips

Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here are a few tips to get you started in the right direction.

Check Treadmill Ratings

There are a couple of different places that provide treadmill ratings. Right here on the internet, you can find number of different websites that offer ratings. Treadmill Doctor is probably the best known. Also, a number of different magazines such as Runner's World and Consumer Reports offer ratings of treadmills. Check out your local library for back issues.

Check Warranty

If the manufacturer of the treadmill is only waranteeing it for ninety days, that should tell you something. Look for a model that offers at least a five year guarantee on the motor, which should be rated at least 2.0 hp.

Will it Fit You?

If you're heavier or taller than average, you should make sure the treadmill will accomodate you. To be on the safe side, try and get a treadmill that's rated for a user at least 50 lbs heavier than you. Keep in mind that the effect of body weight at foot strike can be multiplied from 1 1/2 to 5 times body weight depending on whether you walk, run, your stride, form, body type, and other factors. Someone over six feet tall who uses the treadmill to walk probably needs a 52 inch walking surface, and a 6 ft runner, probably 54 inch. Be aware that when manufacturers give the length of the treadmill deck, that usually does not equate to the actual walking surface. Some of that specified deck length may be made unuseable by plastic covers that overlap the belt. Speaking of the deck, if you're over 250 lbs, look for a 1 inch thick deck. Many less expensive treadmills have a 1/2 inch deck.

Will it Fit in Your Space?

Those with 3000 sq. ft. homes can ignore this point, but if you live in a smaller residence, it's important to think about where you will locate the treadmill. Even if you're sure it will fit, I recommend laying out the measurements on the floor with blue painter's tape, just to be sure. Also, most people living in smaller spaces will prefer a folding treadmill.

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