2011 is nearly upon us and with it comes the scrutiny. Are we eating well? Are we exercising enough? In most cases, the answers are no and no. The easiest thing that you can do, according to fitness experts, is just put one foot in front of the other and walk. Start with 10 minutes a day and work up from there. But when temperatures are in the tweens, teens and twenties, the last place you want to be is outside. So a home treadmill looks pretty good. Choose right and you could have a valuable workout partner; choose poorly and you’ll have an expensive clothes rack. Use this list of considerations, in addition to our treadmill reports, to determine what model is best for you.
Your weight is a factor.
All treadmills have maximum weight capacities and, in general, you don’t want to buy a machine whose capacity matches your weight. You’ll want to choose a treadmill that has a weight capacity at least 50 pounds higher than your bodyweight. But what if you’re hovering around these 300-pound limits? “My recommendation for individuals that weigh more than the treadmill's weight capacity is to contact the company directly and ask them if walking on the treadmill at their current weight is acceptable,” says Rick Kattouf II, a South Carolina-based triathlon coach and duathlete.
How many people will use the treadmill?
“The more individuals using the treadmill means more wear and tear,” says Kattouf. “For example, treadmills for walking will typically have approximately a 1.25- to 2.25-horsepower motor. Depending on how much and how hard the treadmill will be used and how many people will be using it, a higher horsepower motor is ideal for multiple users.”
Consider your long-term fitness goals.
While you may hope to walk only a few times a week, as you start progressing and feeling more fit, you’ll want to do more. “When an individual becomes consistent with their training program, results can happen quickly,” says Kattouf, the author of Forever Fit: The Easy-to-Follow, Step-by-Step Life Plan to Improve Your Body and Mind. You don’t want to grow out of your expensive purchase after a few months. Kattouf recommends purchasing a treadmill that is one step up from what you think you should purchase.