How To Buy
Some Advice From the Experts
When shopping for high-end fitness equipment it is important to first identify your goals. Is this equipment going to be used for therapy, weight-loss, improved cardiovascular fitness, etc. It is also important to identify any pre-existing conditions (i.e. - Physical limitations, injuries, etc.) This step will help a sales associate guide you into the proper piece of equipment with regards to both price and style.
Over the past 10 years treadmills have been consumer’s number one choice of fitness equipment. This is mainly due to the versatility of a treadmill. A treadmill can accommodate a runner, recreational jogger, a walker or anywhere in between. Of all aerobic pieces of equipment the treadmill has the most to offer, but the most to learn when it comes to making a sound purchase.
At Health and Fitness we place a high priority on the treadmills durability and warranty. The quality of the components that make up the machine are very critical to how many years the unit will perform. Preventative measures can also be taken by the user to prolong the life of the treadmill. Some of the most important components to consider when looking at treadmills:
Motors vary in horsepower and physical size, but these two characteristics do not solely determine a good motor from a bad one. Bigger is not always better! It is important to know the “Continuous Duty” rating of the motor. Be wary of misleading motor rating systems such as “Peak Power” or “Treadmill Duty”, these do not represent the true power of the motor for this application. A treadmill with a continuous horsepower of at least 1.5HP is acceptable and anything up to 3HP is considered good. Typically treadmills are offering motors rated from 2.0 to 2.5HP.
Walking Belt and Deck
The belt and deck are the equivalent of tires on a car. Regardless of the quality, eventually they will need replacing. Treadmills denoted for runners will have a better quality belt/deck system and will subsequently cost slightly more. These belt/deck systems will be able to endure the heat runners create by coming down with 2-4 times their body weight, thus pressing the belt against the deck that much harder. It is this heat that breaks down the fibers on the back side of the belt as well as the lubrication on the deck surface. When these components wear down it is imperative that they be replaced immediately. Walkers, ideally, do not need the same belt/deck system and can expect to spend less for a treadmill.
The job of the frame of a treadmill is to offer stability and a platform for usage. A good frame will be made of either steel or aluminum and will be welded construction. The heavier the frame the more stable the treadmill will feel when jogging/running. The frame is also responsible for absorbing some of the impact when stepping down. Today, all units seem to have their own unique “shock absorption system”, but these realistically offer minimal shock effects and should not weigh heavily in the decision of treadmill choice. One detrimental aspect of shock absorbing systems is that they can be too bouncy and create a trampoline effect. It is important to try the treadmill to see if this effect occurs with your specific usage!
Most treadmills offer some preset programs that are used for motivation. These can be beneficial on those days when you do not feel like pushing yourself. Although the program names may be different from one manufacturer to the next, the program profiles are all essentially the same. Custom programs are available on some models and these let you create a personal program that can be saved for future use. Of all the programs available, the most beneficial are those called “Cardio-Interactive” programs. These programs will, via a wireless chest strap, control the speed and/or elevation to keep you at a predetermined beats per minute. This type of training will help you achieve your goals with a greater efficiency.
As you look around, it is easy to become confused. Try to narrow your search by following these guidelines and be sure to try the specific treadmills by using them the way you intend to use them once the unit is in your home. Rest assured that we are always available to answer any questions and our service/delivery staff is there when needed.
It is with this type of research and study that we at Health and Fitness have decided to carry the specific lines that we currently showcase. Whether it is a treadmill, elliptical, recumbent bike, home-gym or or any other piece of weight equipment you can be sure that we can expertly guide you into the proper model for your needs. Our professional sales staff will educate you so that you know exactly what you are buying and why! Come visit any one of our four locations to get started on achieving and accomplishing your fitness goals!