Treadmill Buying Guide: Expert Tips, Advice And User FAQs

Are you looking for a treadmill for home use? This treadmill buying guide is will give you some handy tips in choosing the best treadmill to suit both your budgetary and exercise goals.

Treadmill Buying Guide: Expert Tips, Advice And User FAQs

Category: Fitness Workout Tips & Exercise Equipment Advice

Are you looking for a treadmill for home use? This treadmill buying guide is will give you some handy tips in choosing the best treadmill to suit both your budgetary and exercise goals.

You might be one of those diet freaks who track you diet regularly with a strict plan by using a personal planner or a fitness app easily available online and your diet might be filled with all greens with a glass of smoothie made of herbs and veggies.

While planning what you consume in a day is an excellent gift to your body, without proper physical activity, all that might just go down the drain. Thus, exercising becomes a part of our day that should be given as high preference as you might give your breakfast or dinner.

Your schedule might not allow you to step outside of your house to break a sweat, and going to a gym might be something you don’t prefer. That’s completely fine, there are many other alternatives to stay fit, right in the comfort of your own house. That’s right, we are talking about treadmills.

A treadmill is one of the most heard about home exercise equipment that provides you with a straightforward aerobic workout, working on various points of your body at the same time. Treadmills become great choices for people who wish to bring changes to their fitness regime without having to leave their house. When such a health benefiting equipment is available to you right in the next room, you won’t find yourself making any further excuses to skip exercise.

Types of Treadmills

When you try to search for an ideal treadmill for yourself, you might come across various terminologies that might end up confusing you even further. But don’t worry, as it is extremely easy to categorize treadmills and help you make a better decision for your purchase:

  • Manual Treadmills

In manual treadmills, your action of walking or running across the bottom of the machine is what causes the treadmill to move, hence, it doesn’t require any electricity! You might have seen videos of people falling off the treadmill due to the belt moving by itself on high speed. Seems painful, doesn’t it? But with manual treadmills, you don’t have to worry about that happening to you as well, since it is not electric, there is no chance for the belt to start running on its own and someone falling off it.

For someone who has not tried any kind of treadmill exercises before, a manual treadmill is the way for them to go, as they are made for comfort and ensures durability.

  • Motorized or Electric Treadmills

Motorized treadmills come in a shape that is sturdier and bigger than a manual treadmill. They are quite heavy so these treadmills are meant to be kept at a particular place in your house, somewhere you won’t require the treadmill to be moved. Electric treadmills are perfect for people who are fitness professionals or highly conscious of their fitness. Health clubs and gyms use these treadmills as well. So, you can imagine how widely used this type of treadmill is across the fitness industry.

Since the working of the treadmill is handled mainly through electricity, it ensures that your workout session is less painful on your body and mind. Since the electric treadmill is equipped with various features, you get to choose the intensity of your workout as you like.

  • Hybrid Treadmill

When exercising at home, it is understandable to get bored with your treadmill and its monotonous action, especially when you use it on a daily basis. Hence, these hybrid treadmills come as a miracle for your fitness goals. These treadmills, as the name already suggests, are a combination of various equipment: treadmill and a stationary bike, treadmill and an elliptical, treadmill and vertical stair climber and what not! There are multiple options for you to pick from so that your exercise session remains exciting every time you use it.

  • Medical Treadmills or Recovery Fitness Walking Treadmills

Medical treadmills also know as Recovery Fitness Walking Treadmills can be found in gyms, medical facilities, rehabilitation centers and fitness centers. They are bigger in size as compared to an ordinary treadmill, owing to the fact that they have been made to work with a certain type of medical condition. Often patients who have suffered an injury are advised to continue specific exercises on medical treadmills to keep their body moving.


Factors to look for when buying a treadmill


  • Size and space

Since your treadmill will become a part of your house, it is important to study the size of the treadmill. If the treadmill is too bulky, it might not fit into your house easily. Some treadmills come with an excellent feature that allows the user to fold the treadmill and store them easily in a corner, without taking up much space, when not in use. It becomes very essential to study these features to make the best out of your exercise space. If you have space limitations, a folding treadmill would be wiser option to consider.

  • Belt size

There are certain dimensions that a treadmill belt must have to ensure a spacious workout session. A belt should be at least 48 inches long and 18 inches wide. The size of the belt varies further for people of different heights.

  • Stability

Your exercise session shouldn’t end up in the emergency room. Since you are required to run at a fast pace on the treadmill, a treadmill with poor stability might cause you harm. Thus, ensure your safety and check the stability and steadiness of your equipment before using it.

  • Motor horsepower

For treadmills that work on motors, it becomes necessary to get one that has a great horsepower, of at least 1.5 continuous duty horsepower. This is pivotal because the more horsepower your treadmill is equipped with the better and smoother the quality of your workout session would end up being.

  • Cushioning

To absorb shock and avoid the belt from moving too much while you are exercising, it is important that your treadmill comes with a proper cushioning.



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Treadmill Buying Guide

Treadmill Buying Guide: What other factors should you consider?

Apart from the general factors cited above, there are a a few other more individualized/personal factors you may want to consider when purchasing a treadmill . These include:

1. Weight of the user:

It is advisable to buy a treadmill that weighs 50 lbs more than the weight of the heaviest user.

2. Purpose: What is the treadmill intended for? (eg running, jogging etc.):

To obtain optimum benefits from your treadmill, you need to know what you exactly need or expect to get from the treadmill. For example if you are planning on running, jogging, or sprinting. Look for a treadmill with a speed of 12 m/hr or more and the treadmill length of more than 60 inches. For individuals wanting to run on intervals, an AC motor powered treadmill is preferable since it adapts quickly to speed changes.

3. Tracking applications or software:

With the technological advancements, most brands have treadmills connected to an app or software which not only allows you to keep track of all your workout routines but also allows you to set a particular target and keeps you updated about your goals. These APPs are easily accessible via your phones or smart watches etc.

4. Features you desire:

Here is a list of commonly desired features you can find on a treadmill:

  • Automated Incline: the incline ranges from 10% – 15% of a simple home treadmill to 40% of a trainer treadmill.
  • Workout Programs: Most of the home treadmills come along with built-in workout programs that control their speed and incline.
  • Wireless Pulse Monitors: monitoring of heart rate via wireless pulse monitors is more accurate and effortless.
  • Treadmill Accessories.

5. Budget & Cost:

There is no way any treadmill buying guide that does not discuss treadmill prices can be considered credible. Like most things, treadmills come in different  sizes and shapes and therefore various prices.  So your personal budget obviously has to be factored in when you are considering what treadmill to buy

We have broken down the different price range categories so you may get an idea of what type of treadmill and features you can expect to get relative to your budget/expenditure.

  • Treadmills under $200

Generally, treadmills under $200 are of lower quality, are less durable, have fewer features and these are usually manual treadmills that tend to be noisy and lack display screens etc.  These are basically entry level treadmill which is suitable for 1 or 2 users using it for jogging or walking mostly that do not last long and require alot of maintenance. You are going to be lubricating these machines very often. If you are looking for a cheap treadmill without any bells and whistles but gets the job done, then a  manual treadmill in this price range would be the way to go.

  • Treadmills between $300 – $500

Treadmills within the $300 – 500 price range offer the optimum both in terms of affordability and features. This is the goldilocks zone of treadmills where I would recommend anyone to look first if want to get a decent quality treadmill with a great number of features without straining your budget. You will find listed below our ultimate guide to the best treadmills under 500.



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  • Treadmills between $500 – $1000

On the  other hand, if you are willing to spend  anywhere $500 – $1000 you are pretty much guaranteed to get a higher end and excellent quality treadmill with more than average upgrades and normally decent warranties from manufacturers. Treadmills in this price range are designed to suit aggressive jogging and workout sessions with less wear and tear.

  • Treadmills over $1000

The cream of the crop in treadmill are treadmills over $1000. Any treadmill worth this price has been rigorous evaluated by experts, professionals and so many  other people in between and the manufacturer is ready to be their name on such a machine. This is the extreme comfort zone where your expenditure is almost guaranteed to bring the best there is on the market. So if you have the budget for a treadmill in this price range this is probably your safest and most assured bet.

6. Warranty

Most brands offer lifetime warranties, 3 – 4 years parts warranty and 1 – 2 years of labor warranty. However, to avoid any conflicts one should go through both the user and the owner’s manual before buying a treadmill.



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Treadmill Buying Guide

Comparing Treadmill vs Exercise Bike: Which Should You Buy?

Torn between buying a treadmill vs buying an exercise bike? Let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of each to help you choose:

Treadmill vs Exercise Bike:

The benefits of using a treadmill compared to using an exercise bike:

  • Treadmills are known to burn more calories than when using exercise bikes.
  • Due to their many feature, treadmills make for a diverse workout session

The downside of using a treadmill compared to using an exercise bike:

  • The use of a treadmill often puts pressure on your joints and lower back and might not be the best option for a person suffering from pain in those specific areas.
  • Due to the belt, there are chances that you slip and end up falling off the equipment, resulting in a possible injury.

Exercise Bike vs Treadmill:

The Benefits Of Using an exercise bike compared to using a treadmill

  • Since you have to move your feet rapidly on the exercise bike, your leg muscles and ligaments grow in terms of flexibility.
  • Unlike the treadmill, exercise bikes are really helpful to reduce pressure on your lower back.
  • If you are someone who doesn’t have the best balance and might fear that you might fall off the treadmill, exercise bike ensures that even with a poor balance, you are able to work out well.

The Downside of using Exercise Bikes compared to using treadmills:

  • Unlike treadmill that affects various parts of your body and tones them, using an exercise bike has fewer bone-building benefits.
  • Even if you work out for the same duration and intensity as with a treadmill, exercise bikes burn fewer calories than what a treadmill would have.



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Comparing Treadmill vs Elliptical: Which Is Better?

Now how about buying a treadmill vs buying an elliptical machine? How do they compare and which should you buy?

Let’s compare the two and find out:

Treadmill vs Elliptical:

The benefits of Using a treadmill compared to using an elliptical

  • Treadmill provides you with a familiar set of movements, such as jogging, running or walking, which makes it easier to get used to it quicker.
  • Treadmills provide you with a wide variety of options in terms of speed, incline, etc, making your workout experience more diverse.
  • Since propelling your body weight requires you to put in extra efforts, it results in a session that helps you burn more calories.

The downside of using a treadmill compared to using an elliptical machine:

  • Like discussed before, treadmills could result in injuries if not used properly or due to the inefficient working of the belt.
  • Working on a treadmill might put extra strain on your back, hips, knees and ankles joints.

Elliptical vs Treadmill:

The benefits of using an elliptical compared to using a treadmill

  • Unlike treadmills, elliptical allows your body to emulate a running movement without putting extra stress on the joints.
  • The handles of the elliptical ensure that you maintain a good posture and prevent any injuries. It also allows you to exercise your upper and lower body simultaneously.

The downside of using an elliptical compared to using a treadmill:

  • With treadmills, you have the options to set different speed and incline, which is not the case with elliptical because there is a lack of such features.
  • The use of ellipticals promotes a lower level of calorie burn as compared to that of treadmills.

What Does A Treadmill Do?

A treadmill offers much more than just cardiovascular benefits to your body. Areas like legs, buttocks, thighs, etc are key points that are affected while you run your way on your treadmill, toning the muscles in these areas efficiently. Treadmill helps you to work right on your core, which means it increases your stamina and tones your abdominal muscles.

Not just that, due to the benefits of physical exercise, your mental state is improved as well.



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How To Use A Treadmill?

  • Before stepping on the treadmill, make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes with a good grip and drink about 0.5 to 0.7 litres of water so that you don’t get dehydrated when your body sweats during the workout.
  • The first step to be taken would be to make yourself familiar with the features and structure of the treadmill. You should know about the speed and incline features to be able to adjust them well while working on it.
  • Like any other fitness session, it becomes extremely important to give your body some time to stretch in order to let your muscles and joints lose.
  • When standing on the treadmill, make sure you hold onto the handrails firmly and place your feet on the sides of the belt. This posture stops you from falling off the belt, just in case. Once you hit the start button, place your legs one by one on the belt and move at a slow pace, all the while keeping your hands on the rail. Don’t go too hard into your session, give your body some time to get used to the pace, and when you feel you are comfortable with increasing the speed, make necessary changes accordingly.
  • Keeping a good posture is pivotal while using a treadmill. Keep your body straight and look to your front. Move your arms along your legs to ensure that each part of your body benefits from the workout.
  • After you are done with a sufficient duration of the workout, make sure you perform some static stretches to prevent soreness and tightness that might appear from the running.

And don’t forget to be properly hydrated!

Key benefits of using a treadmill

Physical activity comes with a plethora of benefits for your body and mind. Similarly, using a treadmill extracts special benefits for your body and helps to keep your mind at its best state possible.

  • Running regularly on a treadmill is great for maintaining a good cardiovascular health state. Aerobic exercise is known to help increase the strength of your heart and provide you with better blood circulation. A strong, healthy heart means lower blood pressure, and this in turn helps you avoid many fatal diseases.
  • Running requires your muscles to work up fast, which promotes better muscle building and makes them stronger. Since treadmills allow you to work on your core, it increases the strength of your core, providing you with great stamina. The workout session also keeps your muscles toned.
  • Treadmills are known for their quality of being a piece of equipment that works directly on your body and helps you lose your weight faster. Running for 20 minutes on a treadmill at the speed of 10 km per hour can help you burn 229 calories.


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Treadmill Buying Guide

Treadmill Buying Guide: User FAQs

While buying a new  treadmill or other any exercise equipment, your mind must be filled with various questions, and that why we felt it was important to try answer some of those questions for you in this Treadmill Buying Guide:

Q1. Is Running On A Treadmill Easier Than Running Outside?

Physiologically, it feels less of a task to use a treadmill, because you are working from inside. Rick Morris in his book Treadmill Training for Runners, explains that when you run on a treadmill, you don’t have to deal with wind resistance and have the support of the moving belt to make the work easier for you.

Q2. Is Shock Absorption A Necessary Feature While Buying A Treadmill?

Of course, a treadmill without shock absorption can lead to damaged joints with further major injuries. To ensure your safety, make sure you buy a treadmill with good shock absorption.

Q3. Are You Required To Wear Specific Shoes For Using A Treadmill?

You can use any sort of shoes when running over a treadmill. Though, it is preferred that users of a treadmill wear shoes that are light because treadmills already come with proper cushioning and are softer than the roads outside.



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Q4. Are Walking Treadmills Different From Running Treadmills?

The different activity requires a different set of features on a treadmill. When you are looking for a treadmill to run on, you are required to opt for an elongated running space, preferred to be 7 or more feet long. The treadmills that are chosen for walking usually have a shorter deck and lower speed.


We hope you will find this treadmill buying guide useful as you make an informed decision in getting that ideal treadmill and living a healthier lifestyle.



You can also check out the Apple Fitness Store, Garmin Fitness Tech Store, and the Fitbit Store for more cool and in-demand fitness wearable tech gadgets.



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