How to buy a treadmill (Part 3)

Over the past two weeks we have learned about cool features that treadmills have to offer and we’ve taken a few models for 8-minute test-runs. So where does this take us next? As we’ve noted before, buying a treadmill is a key step to building one’s home gym. From walking to running, it’s one of the greatest and most useful forms of exercise one can do – both from an ease of use and a familiarity standpoint. If there is one form of exercise you want to be able to do in to your golden years, then I would bet walking it is. So how much money do you invest into your treadmill?

Part 3: How much money to invest in your treadmill

Five Value Questions to ask yourself before purchasing your treadmill:

  1. How important are the treadmill’s electronic features–readouts, programmable workouts, and heart rate training capability–to your satisfaction with the treadmill?
  2. Can the treadmill’s speed and incline ranges challenge you without the need to constantly run the machine at full power?
  3. How comfortable are you running on the treadmill? (Do the belt’s width and length accommodate your natural stride? Do you like the softness/ hardness of the deck? Do you feel safe while running?)
  4. How frequently are you going to use your treadmill? (A factor in how much money you can justify spending.)
  5. What is the treadmill’s life expectancy, and what are the details of the warranty? How are repair service provided, and what routine maintenance is expected to on your end? Does the dealer offer extended warranties or maintenance plans?

A good home-use treadmill can cost up to $5,000 and will likely be the most expensive piece of exercise equipment you will ever buy. Why pay so much money to run in one place? Well the answer is that companies that make the best treadmills install the highest grade of parts and components available, including expensive motors, safety and comfort features, and long-lasting decks and then some. Your treadmill’s components have to be able to withstand a terrific beating–more than 1,000-foot strikes per mile of running. I wish I could tell you that manufacturer’s warranties often reflect the quality of the treadmills, but quite frankly like many things today, its all based on odds. Some companies bet that you will not use your treadmill and in turn give the product an unreasonably high warranty, but keep in mind this adds to the cost of the unit as well. I recommend consulting with independent, 3rd party product review guides such as The Fitness Professor or Runner World’s Magazine for expert guidance on treadmills available in the market today.

So, how low can you go? This depends, in part, on whom with you consult. Usually, any treadmills below $1500 dollars are considered a ‘disposable treadmill’ and are ones that usually last anywhere from 4 to 8 years, depending of the amount of use. Most independent reports I have read, as well as retailers agree, that usually for a runner’s treadmill, $1,500 is the acceptable cut-off.

Armed with this knowledge now, you are ready to go and find the treadmill best suited for YOU.

Good luck and as always, happy training!!!

Yours in health,

Dai Manuel

Fitness Town Inc

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