As we shift into the new year still having to practice the new norms, a lot of us are forgoing the gym and opting for outdoor exercises like running. Currently, running is one of the safest ways of exercising as you can do it alone, and it can be as cheap as just having to buy a pair of running shoes.
However, if you’re willing to take it up a notch this year and avoid running in the cold, investing in a treadmill is a great idea. These machines can last for more than 10 years you will still reap the many health benefits as you would running outdoors.
However, most people don’t really know what to look for in a treadmill and can get fooled by the agents who are earning commissions from their sales. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 5 things you need to consider before buying a treadmill.
Treadmills are no doubt noisy machines. However, some are noisier than others. If you live in an apartment complex, it’s imperative that you don’t buy something that will drive your neighbors bonkers especially if you are working out in the early mornings or late evenings.
Foldable treadmills are convenient, but they are also known for the noise they make. The motor contributes greatly to the noise. Motors that use direct current (DC) will emit less noise than one that employs alternating current (AC).
While the best way is to actually go to a store and try one out for yourself, you can also do a lot of research online on the quietest treadmills on the market.
If you want your treadmill to last years on end, you’ll need to make sure that you choose the right motor for your needs. The motor energy is measured in horsepower (HP). The motor does the most work on the treadmill so it’s important that you choose one based on your activity types:
Walkers: 2.0 HP
Joggers: 2.5 HP
Runners: 3.0 HP
Keep in mind that your body weight is also a factor in choosing the right motor. If the user exceeds 200lbs, add 0.5 HP to each of the categories.
Size is a key consideration when you’re buying a treadmill for home use. Similar to the motor, you want a treadmill that can accommodate your needs. If your treadmill has a belt size that is too small, you will feel like your movement is constrained and this will negatively impact your performance.
If you’re using it mainly for running, we suggest a belt length of at least 50” long and 20” wide, though the bigger the better. If you’re taller than 6’, you’ll need a longer belt to support your long strides.
If the main purpose of your treadmill is for walking or jogging, get a belt length of at least 48” long and 18” wide. Again, opt for something bigger if you’re taller.
On average, home treadmills are about 7’ long x 3’ wide. If you’re really short on space, foldable treadmills are available. However, these units tend to be less stable than their stationary counterparts, and folding them can still be a laborious task.
The warranty period is a good indicator of a treadmill’s quality. Generally, you should avoid those that come with a 90-day warranty. Quality manufacturers should offer a minimum of one year of free service and five years for the electrical and motor components. Some even go as far as providing lifetime warranties for the frame.
Remember, your treadmill will take a beating over the years and you want a manufacturer that’s there to support you long-term.