Top 5 things to know before buying a treadmill

Top 5 things to know before buying a treadmill

Buying a treadmill can be a lot more confusing than people think until they start researching and shopping around.
Treadmills can be all over the ballpark in terms of price, quality and warranties.
Before you even start the process, here are the top five things you need to consider when buying a treadmill:
1. Know the price points – If you plan to jog, stay away from the cheap department store treadmills. You can still buy a $1,000 treadmill at a high-end specialty fitness store. Here are some general price points for what to expect as you move up the scale:
* $1,000-$1,500 – Walking – light jogging
* $1,500 – $2,500 – intermediate use, average running
* $3,000 – $5,000 – unlimited home use/commercial use. Full running/training and marathons.
* $5000 and up – full-blown commercial use
2. Try before you buy – You should always try before you buy. Wear your sneakers into the fitness store and spend at least 5 minutes on the equipment you are thinking of buying.
If you plan to run on it in your home, 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.
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.”
3. Don’t under-buy your treadmill – Not all treadmills are made for the same amount of use, or even size of runners.
Did you know some treadmills aren’t really designed to be used by someone who weighs over 200 pounds running on them on a regular basis?
Make sure you talk to a qualified sales associate, or thoroughly research online in order to get the treadmill that will fit your needs.
4. Check the warranty! – One of the biggest things to consider is the warranty. There can be a huge difference in this.
Basically, some companies undersell the competition, but they know full well that seven years or so down the line people will be coming back to them to buy replacement parts and/or service and often wind up spending another $500-700 on replacement belts or electronic boards. (There goes the initial “good deal” out the window.) There can be a huge difference.
5. Consider the review source – When reading treadmill reviews online be careful. Many of the online reviews are put up by people working for the specific companies.
I’d advise to only trust a review you can pick up off the table – in a magazine or newspaper.

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 aaron@athomefitness.com

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