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Treadmills: Basic Types
Delivering a superior cardiovascular workout in spite of the weather, treadmills are a great piece of exercise equipment for both the casual and committed fitness enthusiasts alike.
Consider starting with these basic types when selecting a treadmill:
Manual Treadmills While still offering features like inclined running decks, manual treadmills tend to be less expensive than motorized treadmills. A manual running belt that will stop as soon as a user stops moving is an added bonus in terms of safety features.
Motorized Treadmills More heavily constructed than manuals, motorized treadmills deliver a more automated exercise experience. They offer a wide range of features that include automatic incline, heart rate monitor, integrated fan, and even video screens. What to Look for in Treadmills
When choosing the best treadmill for you, consider the pros and cons of basic treadmill features
Running Deck Cushioning - While all treadmills have some form of cushioning, higher quality treadmills provide a greater level of cushioning for longer runs. Brands like Proform and Livestong treadmills typically offer this deck cushioning feature.
Speed Control - Most treadmills have a maximum speed between 10-12 mph.
Slope Variation Great for treadmill interval training. Brands like Epic, Livestrong and Proform treadmills typically support interval workouts.
Console Design Since the console is what controls overall operation of the treadmill, design is important. Look for an intuitive layout that optimizes the placement of controls that youll use most often.
Some console design features to consider:
Entertainment features like iPod/MP3 ready
Workout program selector
Safety Features Treadmills with an emergency shut-off will power the machine OFF, and side rail support helps you avoid injury from accidental slips. ProForm treadmills feature a prominently displayed shut-off for just this type of situation.
Motor Size - A larger, heavier motor typically offers longer life.
Helpful Tips to Find the Best Treadmill for You
There are many different factors to be considered when shopping for a new treadmill. Consider some of these recommendations to help you find one that will be the best match for you:
Are you limited on space?
Consider a treadmill with a folding deck
Do you have a brand preference?
Some prefer Livestrong treadmills where part of the proceeds of each sale will go towards the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Other treadmills, like Proform and Epic, offer many options in terms of console design.
What are your fitness goals?
Treadmills with programmable fitness programs that offer interval training are the best treadmills for those who like variety.
What is your budget?
Treadmills with more features, such as those with entertainment options and fitness programs, are typically at that prestige price point.