If you’ve decided it’s time to get healthier and more fit, you might be considering a treadmill for use at home. With an abundance of models available today, it can be hard to sort through the hype to find a model that really meets your various needs. Understanding what to look for can help make your decision process a little easier and help make you more confident about your investment.
One of the first considerations should definitely be your budget. With quality models starting at around $200 and going up (and up and up) from there, you’re sure to find a model that won’t break your bank. Knowing upfront what your max budget is can help narrow the field a bit by automatically ruling out anything you can’t afford. Staying within your budget is actually a great way to keep you feeling positive about your purchase as opposed to letting your guilt over going over budget be a reason to let your new treadmill become another dust collector.
Treadmills have come a long way in the century or so since they were invented, but continue to rely on a moving belt that’s wound around a platform. Models can be self propelled, meaning that the speed is entirely controlled by the user’s pace, or offer users the ability to set their preferred walking, jogging, or running speed. If you’re relatively tall, be sure to look for a model with a long enough platform that you can achieve and maintain your natural stride length. A platform that’s too short for your stride will result in an awkward gait that could make it harder for you to maintain proper balance and alignment and could lead to injury. Many newer treadmill models now offer the ability to adjust incline and resistance in addition to speed. Varying all three elements can be a great way to get a more effective lower-body workout by engaging different muscles in different ways. Changing up your workout every few weeks is also a great way to avoid training plateaus and boredom, both of which too often end up being reasons we work out less often. Visit best treadmills for the money for reviews of some top picks for running and walking. You’ll also get some review highlights, both the positive ones and potential issues experienced by some users, to help you make your best choice.
Most newer treadmills have the ability to track heart rate, distance, and even calories burned. Though the amount of calories burned can definitely be taken as a reasonable indicator, there’s no way for a machine to know precisely what your exact metabolic rate really is. Models that ask you to input gender, age, height, and weight will give you a closer estimate than those that don’t. When it comes to tracking heart rate, there are models that feature strap-on monitors or smart-phone compatibility, as well as models that will measure your rate via handrails or bars that you grab when you want to check your heart rate. Since these bars often require a less-than-natural reach, make sure you find one that won’t be too awkward if you opt for such a model.
If you have lower-body or back issues and think a treadmill might not be the best choice for you, an exercise bike might be a better option. Bicycles offer an effective workout with less joint impact than treadmills and allow you to sit during exercise. Those with lower back issues should look for a model with as comfortable and supportive a seat as possible. Upright exercise bikes look a lot like regular bicycles and require that you sit upright as you pedal. Recumbent bikes allow users to sit in a more reclined position while pedaling and generally have seats that offer a little more back support than a regular bicycle seat. Check out upright exercise bike reviews for reviews of several stationary bikes, both upright and recumbent.
Whether you opt for a treadmill or stationary bicycle, finding a model that allows you to be as comfortable as possible is one of the best ways to ensure that you stick with your exercise regimen.