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Selecting the Right Treadmill for Your Fitness Goals

With so many treadmills on the market today, how do you decide which one to buy?  Is it simply a matter of buying a machine based on what you can afford?  Should you order the treadmill that was featured on the infomercial you saw last week because it seems like a really good bargain?  Are there certain criteria that should be considered before investing your hard-earned money in a treadmill?

There absolutely are certain criteria that you should consider before buying a treadmill!  After all, not all treadmills are made equally.

What Can You Afford to Spend?

Of course, one of the criteria for choosing a treadmill is, indeed, how much you can afford to spend.  You don’t want to go broke when making such a purchase!  By the same token, you shouldn’t throw your money away on a cheap machine that could fall apart after only a few uses.  If you are short on cash now, wait until you have more money saved up to buy a decent treadmill.

What Are Your Fitness Goals?

Perhaps one of the most important issues to consider when shopping for a treadmill is your fitness goals. Do you plan to use the treadmill primarily for walking, or will it be used for jogging and/or running?

If you want a treadmill just for walking, you can likely get by with a less expensive model.  Runners will, however, need a sturdier machine with a motor that is powerful enough to handle the faster speeds.  A longer belt might be necessary too, to handle the longer running stride.

To avoid getting stuck with a piece of junk, expect to spend at least $600 on a treadmill that will be used for walking. If you want a machine for jogging, plan to spend at least $1,000. Runners can expect to pay at least $1,500 for a decent running treadmill.

What Size is the Biggest User?

Be sure to take note of the maximum user weight of the treadmills that you may be considering.  You’ll want to purchase a machine that is capable of handling the largest user in your household.  The height of the tallest person who will use the machine should also be considered, because that person’s stride is probably longer than that of shorter individuals.  A longer working surface may be necessary to comfortably accommodate taller users.

How Many People Will Use the Treadmill?

If several people will be using the treadmill you purchase, you will want to look for a model that is durable enough to withstand the extra pounding it will take.  Spend a little more money to get a better quality machine that will last some time.

What Kind of Features Does the Treadmill Offer?

Most modern treadmills come equipped with a variety of preset motivational programs to help users achieve their fitness goals.  Many of these machines also have an incline feature to provide more challenging workouts.  Some treadmills fold for easy storage and to save space while others are non-folding.  More expensive models often have other built-in extras, such as cooling fans and speaker systems, which you may not find on cheaper models.  Look for a machine that offers the kind of features you desire.

Don’t settle for a treadmill that is of inferior quality or that doesn’t meet your personal needs.  Know what you want and what you can afford; then, shop around for a decent, dependable machine.

Fred Waters has worked in the fitness equipment industry for over 14 years.  He is author of the Treadmill Ratings and Reviews site, where you can get detailed reviews on over 100 treadmills.

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