Smooth Fitness Blog

How to Choose a Treadmill

June 5th, 2012

Choosing a treadmill to purchase can be very difficult and confusing these days. With so much contradictive information on the internet, a person looking for a home treadmill for the first time may not have or understand all the available information in order to choose the right treadmill, even after doing research. How much horsepower does the motor need? What’s the difference between peak performance, intermediate duty, and continuous duty? What indicators do I need on a console? These are a few of the many questions people have when searching for a treadmill for their home.

The first thing to think about when choosing a treadmill is deciding how you will use it. Are you looking to walk, jog, or run? Do you plan on working out 1, 3, or 5 times a week? Are you looking to get in shape, lose weight or train for a marathon? Having answers to these types of questions will make your search a lot easier. BUT, do not forget to plan ahead; for example, if you are looking for a treadmill to walk 30 minutes a day, after a couple weeks, will you increase the walking to a jog or run?
After deciding how you will use your treadmill, now you can get into specifics of what you will need. The motor is one of the first characteristics of a treadmill to look at. Most motorized treadmills have 1 – 3 horsepower, but that can be deceiving. Horsepower ratings can be determined by continuous duty (sustained output), peak performance (motors maximum power, not sustained output), and intermediate duty. Continuous Duty is what you will want.

The Belt/Deck is the next characteristic to look at. Decks are usually constructed with layers of laminated wood or synthetic materials. The thicker the deck the better, because it will provide more support and cushioning and it’s also more durable. Belts can usually be one or two ply, and just like decks, usually the thicker the better quality.

The console is something you really need to look in to when searching to purchase a treadmill. Most basic treadmills should have windows at least showing the current speed, time spent, distance, heart rate, and calories burned (usually for an average adult). Some units might even show your average speed, average pace, and calories burned per hour. Others may have televisions, touch screens, and displays of courses.

Lastly, and the most important is the warranty. Treadmills are the most abused exercise equipment, even if used correctly anything can happen. While searching for treadmills make sure to not only compare warranties, but look at the fine print. The good companies have warranties separated by the frame, parts, and in home labor. For example, the Smooth 5.65 Treadmill has a lifetime warranty on the motor and frame, so if it ever breaks or cracks, we will replace the motor.  Make sure your new treadmill purchase is covered just like if you were buying a car or home.

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