Before buying any fitness equipment to do exercise with, make sure you understand your motivation
So you have decided it’s time to purchase a treadmill to start an exercise routine. Have you stopped to ask yourself why a treadmill? It could come down to habit, because we all walk and some jog, so a treadmill may be seen as the natural choice.
We all see those series or movies with the busy executives walking or running on a treadmill in their living rooms watching television, some reading and others scrolling through their social media feeds. So you think well I can do that.
Here are some points to help you pick the right treadmill:
1: What’s your exercise motivation?
Do you want to lose weight? Be more healthy? Change your body shape? Or do you simply want to get fit? These are but a few of the reasons and your’s may be even more profound. The important thing is that it gets you moving and more importantly keeps you moving. It is always easier to take the path of least resistance, like staying on the couch. The majority of people prefer to avoid any form of discomfort.
Your “why” needs to be strong enough. Think of this; if you were asked the question do you want to look good? Most would say yes most certainly. Do you want to feel good? Again most would say of course yes, but are both these strong enough reasons? For some it may well be, but for most it’s simply not. Being healthy is one of the primary drivers in life and the fear of serious health complications could be seen as negative, but this could be a stronger “why” than just looking good.
This is not only regarded as one of the most important factors, but also the most difficult one to accomplish. Start with the correct attitude and mindset and it will go a long way in establishing a regular exercise routine.
2: Consider your exercise goals
So you have your motivation and you are fired up to get going. Just hang on, there are more things to consider first. Have you taken the time to consider your exercise goal? In the previous section the question was asked: Do you want to lose weight, be more healthy, change your body shape or get fit?
Purchasing a treadmill could very well contribute to achieving these goals, as you could use it to walk on, jog, or set specific goals, like interval training, distance or time. This is perfect for the cardiovascular contribution; that is to say if you enjoy this activity. No matter what your goal, including some form of resistance training, which could be as simple as using your own body weight to improve strength or the use of a bench and some dumbbells or even a multigym, is vitally important.
3: What physical activity do you enjoy?
This may sound trivial, but the activity you chose to follow will be part of your exercise life for a long time and for it to remain part of your life and become a habit, it will be much easier if you enjoy it. Independent studies have shown that many individuals with the greatest new year’s intentions quit their routines within the first two weeks and half of them by June. One of the attributions is lack of enjoyment.
Cardio exercise equipment come in many forms and your heart doesn’t know the difference between these. Yes, many studies do show that the rate of energy burned on a treadmill is higher than comparative equipment, but it simply boils down to the level of physical exertion experienced. You could experience similar results on a stationary cycle (spinning), rower, cross-trainer (elliptical machine) or even a stepper.
Exercise can only be habitual if you enjoy it. Consider this before buying a treadmill, or any piece of fitness equipment for that matter. You would hate wasting so much money only for it to collect dust.
If you enjoy walking & running a treadmill may be your answer. Have fun on a treadmill.
4: Frequency and time usage of the treadmill
You may be wondering why this is important? Treadmills come in various models:
- Domestic or home use treadmills are usually built with wooden decks coated with a lubricant, which needs to be cleaned regularly and run with a one to three horsepower motor, which should last a few years if one or two people use it a couple of times a week for under an hour at a time.
- Commercial treadmills come with a self lubricating deck, run on a three to five horsepower motor and have a fixed frame, unlike some fold up home treadmills. The majority of commercial treadmills can run for between 4 and 24 hours a day and last for many years with minor servicing. These are more costly though, so seek advice from a seasoned expert before you make a decision.
A further consideration is the length of the deck. Don’t be fooled by the cheaper model treadmills with short decks, unless you would like to join the Youtube laughs getting it all wrong on a treadmill. A longer deck is well worth the additional cost and will alleviate the fear of falling off.
5: Treadmill motors have weight restrictions
Domestic/home use treadmill motors can manage a capacity of up to 135 kilograms in weight with the usage mentioned in point #4. Commercial treadmill motors have a higher capacity and can manage 225 to 270 kilograms in weight.
Remember a treadmill has many moving parts, so it’s not only the motor that will be subjected to the load, but also the deck and rollers over which the running surface (belt) runs.
A bonus is that the more you use the treadmill the lighter the load will become. Regular servicing will also help extend the treadmills life, which leads to the next factor.
6: Make sure you get after-sales service and readily available parts
Most authorized fitness & gym equipment retailers have experts to provide advice on treadmill servicing and spare parts should something need replacing. Fitness Breakthru prides itself with 40 years of experience in the field.
You would hate to buy such an expensive piece of equipment only to find out that it may be the incorrect model and there is no one willing to assist with the servicing of your treadmill.
7: Treadmill features
Treadmills come with a variety of add-ons like LCD screens (some can broadcast television), cooling fans and audio inputs (sometimes even Bluetooth and Ipod connections). Exercising while watching your favourite channel or listening to your playlist may not only encourage you to exercise more regularly, but a report in the New York Times by Dr Nina Kraus, a professor of neurobiology at Northwestern University in Illinois, indicated that test subjects showed an increase in physical exertion and for longer periods of time when listening to various music playlists compared to those who did not get the exposure.
8: Consider how much space you have for a treadmill?
Do you have the space to place the treadmill during your exercise routine? Where will you store the treadmill? Will you have to place it so far out of sight that it becomes an effort to reach it each time?
These are important things to take into consideration before purchasing a treadmill as it will influence whether it gets used and also often enough. Expert advice can even go as far as working out the best solution for your personal situation.
9: Test the equipment before you buy
A reputable gym & fitness equipment supplier should have a showroom. Think about it, before you make any large purchase, would you not feel more comfortable if you could test the equipment or item?
There are many things that will put your mind at ease if you are able to test a treadmill. This combined with expert advice is surely more sensible than rushing blindly into a purchase and exercise routine that could be a costly experience if it does not meet your every need?