What to Look for When Choosing a Treadmill

[This post is courtesy of Aaron O’Connor from treadmillreviews.net.]

Although running outside is nice, it is always a good idea to own a treadmill. That way, when the weather’s bad you don’t have to worry about falling behind on your routine. Sure, you could always go to a gym, but the cost of being a member will eventually add up to exceed the cost of a treadmill. Not only that, but purchasing your own treadmill will also allow you to avoid obnoxious gym rats. However, buying a treadmill isn’t something to be done on a whim. There are a variety of different things to take into consideration before purchasing a device, such as how it works, how safe it is and its warranty.

Brand of Treadmill

Believe it or not, it doesn’t really matter what brand of treadmill you chose to buy, as they are all basically made the same. The only real difference between treadmills is how they work. For example, some treadmills will have more features, such as setting that show how many calories you have burned during your workout, your heart rate, etc. Likewise, although most treadmills allow people to run on an incline, there are some out there that don’t. If this isn’t a huge necessity for you, you could save some money if you buy one that doesn’t have this feature.

Programmed Workouts

Many treadmills have pre-programmed workouts. People find these are great because they automatically go into an incline or speed up depending on the workout. You can also chose the difficulty level before you begin, as well as adjust it during your routine if it seems too easy or too hard. Some of the different treadmills that have programmed workouts include the Bowflex Series 7 Treadmill, the Sole F80 Treadmill and the Nautilus T514.

One thing that is important for people to do is to try the treadmill out before they purchase the device. One way you can test the machine is by simply running or walking on it for a few minutes beforehand, which will give you a good idea of how well it runs. If you find that it runs very roughly, then it is probably be best to look at another treadmill. To find a device that best fits your needs, try looking at some of the different treadmill reviews online.

Calories Burned and Heart Rate Monitor

If you have the extra money and want to buy the most expensive treadmill you can find, that is perfectly fine. While you definitely don’t need all of the extra bells and whistles, they can come in handy. However, it is important to keep in mind that these additional features do not always provide exact measures. For instance, oftentimes the “calories burned” feature is only a rough estimate and not completely accurate. People find that the heart rate monitor built into treadmills like the Horizon Fitness T101 may be <a href=”http://www.livestrong.com/article/329706-the-accuracy-of-treadmill-heart-rate-monitors”> inaccurate </a> at times as well. It may say that someone has burned 200 calories, when in reality thy have burned far fewer.

TV Sets

Some treadmills also have television sets built into them. This makes it easier for people to watch their favorite TV shows while working out rather than having to look up at a separate television set. Some examples of these types of treadmills include the Smooth Fitness 9.45TV, Nordic Track Treadmill TV Screen and the Bladez Fitness DX7T-MEO TV Treadmill.

Buying Used Treadmills

One question that a lot of people have is about whether they should buy a used treadmill. Sometime this is a fantastic option because you can get a used device for at much cheaper price. However, you are going to buy used, it is crucial to inspect the treadmill closely to ensure it is in good condition. Clearly, it isn’t it worth it to pay $300 for a device and have it only last a year. In that case, you would be forced to buy a new machine, negating of the value of buying used in the first place.

Another disadvantage of buying a treadmill used, especially from another person, is that it will most likely not come with a warranty. Most treadmill manufactures guarantee that their treadmill will last a good amount of time, and if the device breaks before then, they will refund your money or supply you with a new one for free. Sometimes stores may also allow you to increase your warranty by paying an extra fee. Yet if you buy a treadmill used from a person and it brakes, then you are most likely out of luck.

Caveats aside, if you find a treadmill for good price that is in good condition and runs well, you should definitely go for it. Just because an item is used doesn’t mean that it is run down. If the previous owner maintained the equipment well enough, then it can be just as good as new.

How Fast Should You Go?

Once you purchase your treadmill, you may wonder how fast you should go. There is really no definite answer to this; some people may be able to work up past 10 miles per hour right away while others may have to slowly work their way up. Either way, you shouldn’t be jumping right on the treadmill at an extremely fast speed right off the bat. In fact, it is important that you warm up your body first by walking at a slower walking pace before going into a jog or run.

You shouldn’t let your ego get in the way when using a treadmill; building speed up takes time, and no one should risk an injury by going too fast too soon. As such, you should do only whatever you can, and keep improving over time.


<a href=”http://www.qualityhealth.com/fitness-exercise-articles/how-stay-safe-treadmill”> Safety </a> always comes first, so make sure to read the user’s manual before hopping on your treadmill. Most treadmills will have a safety cord that you can pull if you are ever feeling unstable. However, safety handrails are another matter entirely. While it may seem like holding to them will you out when running, you are pretty much defeating the purpose of a treadmill if you are hanging on to them the whole time.

Another safety tip is to wear real running shoes; you shouldn’t be wearing flip-flops or any other type of shoe that isn’t designed for a fitness activity. Along with that, you should make sure that you shoe strings are properly tied and not dangling where they could cause you to trip.


Treadmills are a great way to improve your health. They will allow you to continue to exercise even when the weather is poor outside. However, as mentioned above, safety should always come first. If you believe that a piece of equipment does not run safely, then you should avoid purchasing that particular model. Make sure to read the owner’s manual as well; so you know about all of the different safety features the device provides. It’s important to have fun while exercising, but take extra cautions to stay safe at the same time.

[By the way, I do have a used treadmill for sale. Good condition and solid built with handrails. Drop me a line if you are interested – ok and you are local. Coach Dean]


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - trailrunningclub.com. I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for Running-Advice.com. I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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