Choosing the best treadmill: Buyer’s guide.

Treadmills have been around for some time now. Its highly popular all over the world and there are numerous models to choose from for your home or gym. It certainly can be one of the best investments you can make for your family’s health. There is a lot of variety and models available so choosing the best treadmill according to your needs can be a little confusing.

Treadmills nowadays have a lot of features which can make your workout sessions as intense, effective and interesting as you want. You can adjust them according to speeds and the inclines so everyone can use it according to their comfort and intensity levels. Earlier manual treadmills were used which require user’s energy to run. They are still available but electronic models are preferred. Incline ranges on most treadmills run from 1% to 15%. Make sure your machine offers a range to suit your personal running patterns.

Folding Treadmills– Some treadmills fold up which help in their easy storage which makes them an ideal choice for those with limited space. Fold up treadmills collapse to allow for easy storage and are ideal for people without enough room for a bulky exercise machine. You can even have a choice of a portable treadmill.

Safety features– Some excellent features, like heart monitors and safety keys that automatically stop the treadmill if you slip, will contribute to the enjoyment and safety of your treadmill workout or help add motivation.

Monitors and sensors– In some expensive treadmills, heart rate monitors clip onto an ear or chest, chest straps are most accurate, followed by the thumb and ear clip sensors. It’s important to track your progress. Speed, distance, time-they’re all important. Make sure your treadmill has these three at the minimum. Other displays can include pulse, incline percentage and even calories burned.

Motor and belts– The motor is the heart of your treadmill. Most good machines have at least a 1.5-horsepower continuous-duty motor. Heavier runners may want to step up to a 2 or 3-HP model. One of the key things to remember is that the larger motors tend to run cooler and usually require less repair and maintenance. Also check out the noise the motor makes while jogging or running. A bigger motor could mean a noisier one too.

                   There is a difference between CHP and HP of a motor and that is important when talking about treadmills. Motors are usually rated by the amount of horsepower (HP) they provide, higher the HP, more powerful the motor. CHP is the continuous duty horsepower, which is a better way to rate the power of treadmills as this is the ability of the motor to maintain a listed HP over an extended period of time. A 2.0 CHP motor is actually more powerful than a 2.0 HP motor.

                  The taller a person is the longer their stride and so you’ll need to choose a treadmill with a longer and wider belt. Your treadmill’s running surface is comprised of the treadbelt and deck. The best possible decks provide plenty of shock absorption and cushioning for your knees and ankles. This is done with rubber or polymer cushions placed under the deck. The treadbelt should be long enough for you to comfortably take your longest stride. A safe bet is usually 48 inches. A belt width of 17 to 20 inches is a good range to compensate for the natural side-to-side movement of runners.

Extras– Features such as extra cup holders, built-in fans, CD players and other electronic gizmos may be handy but not essential for you to get an ideal workout. One indication of the likely longevity of any treadmill is to check out the length of the manufacturer’s warranty; the longer the better. Commercial club treadmills are reliable and well constructed but you should also check out the home versions if you want one for home.

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