Give yourself the gift of a treadmill



Once the Christmas presents are unwrapped and the excitement of the holidays is over, it’s time to stop, reflect a little about the year that was, usher in the New Year and look ahead to 2011.
When you’re doing that reflecting, perhaps you’ll come to these two conclusions during your self analysis: I really didn’t get a present that wowed me — and I need to get in better shape.
There’s one simple answer that can make you feel better about both. Buy yourself the gift of a new treadmill for your home. A treadmill for your home is a great investment and one which will more than pay for itself over the long run.
If you’ve decided you want to purchase a treadmill, or are seriously considering it, there’s a good deal of information out there you should know.
It’s a little more complicated than just going into a fitness store and walking on a few treadmills, or reading an online seller’s site and placing an order.
From my own personal experiences and talking to experts in the business, here are some of the most important tips to know before purchasing a treadmill:
* When you go into a fitness store, bring a pair of running shoes and ask to try out the treadmills like you’ll use them at home. If you plan to run on it, then run on the ones in the store you’re interested in.
Many of us have used a treadmill in a hotel or resort that doesn’t work right, is broken, or unstable and doesn’t seem to support very well.
Make sure you really like the one you buy.
Most treadmills look similar and it will be hard to tell them apart by simply walking on them. I’m told the biggest mistake people make in buying a treadmill is not taking it for a proper test “run.”
* Make sure you talk to a qualified sales associate, or thoroughly research online in order to get the treadmill that will fit your needs.
* Check the warranty!!! – One of the biggest things to consider is the warranty. There can be a huge difference in this area and I will go more in depth on this in Wednesday’s “Cost of ownership” blog.

Here are five reasons why a treadmill is the most popular home fitness product on the market:
1. Fair Weather Friend – When you have a treadmill, you can control the environment. If it’s colder or hotter than you’d prefer outside, there’s a chance of rain and lightning or high winds, a treadmill allows you to quickly bring your workout inside.
2. Convenience – If it’s getting dark and you still want to get a run in, just hop on your inside treadmill.
3. Safety First – If traffic is particularly heavy at a certain time of day, or as mentioned above storms are imminent in your area, or it’s later at night, safety fears can be put aside if you run inside on your treadmill. The footing underneath you is also a sure thing on a treadmill as opposed to possible hazards out doors.
4. Extras – A treadmill also allows perks such as easier measurements of your exact distance and calories burned than running outside and you can also control your pace and course better. With a treadmill you can program just where the hills are and how the course will be.
Shock absorption for your body is also better on a treadmill than running outside.
5. Privacy factor – And finally, if you don’t like it when seemingly every other car slows down to gawk as you run or walk through the center of town, then privacy won’t be a problem on a treadmill inside your own home.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at

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