The Many Benefits of Power Walking

Everyone knows that exercise is good for them. We can burn fat, strengthen our cardiovascular system, and even improve our outlook on life. But what about walking specifically? Walking is one of the most popular forms of exercise because it’s easy to do and you don’t need a gym membership. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of a regular walking regimen.

For Your Body

Walking for exercise can improve the look and function of your body in many ways. Here are some of the physical benefits of walking 30 minutes a day on a consistent basis.

  • Maintain or lose weight – Walking burns fat and calories, plus boosts your metabolism
  • Reduce disease risk – A regular walking regimen can significantly cut your risk of diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Strengthen bones and muscles – Walking is weigh-bearing exercise, since you have to move your own body weight to keep it going. As such, walking can improve and maintain muscle conditioning, lubricate joints, and help maintain bone density.
  • Better coordination and balance – Physical activity like walking has a way of improving your body’s ability to balance and coordinate other movements. If you’re afraid of losing those abilities as you age, a simple walking routine can help.
  • Improve digestion – Regular walking can improve your body’s ability to process food and eliminate waste.

For Your Mind

It’s no secret that exercise is good for your body and your mind. Getting out for a walk or hopping on the treadmill most days offers you the following youth-enhancing benefits.

  • Get your mind moving – Recent studies have found that people who walk regularly can think more creatively than those who don’t.
  • Boost your mood – Walking can also set you up for a better day. Getting out of the office and getting active can provide a great escape from stress and improve the rest of your day.
  • Better productivity – Two 15-minute walks per day can produce your productivity by helping you decompress and give your mind a break.
  • Relieve stress – We have unprecedented amounts of stress in our lives today. But the simple act of walking every day can help relieve that stress and help you tackle life with a better outlook.

Let’s Get Moving

Whether you decide to walk outside or at home on a treadmill, a regular habit of walking will help you lead a healthier, happier life. Who couldn’t use a revved-up metabolism and fat burning, more disease resistance, and a sharper, happier mind? Start with 5 minutes if you need to, then slowly work up to 30 minutes or more. Your body and brain will thank you!

5 Ways to Stay Fit Despite Your Hectic Schedule

It seems like we all have the best intentions of not only eating healthy, but staying active and fit. While having that desire is vital to our success, we will only meet our goals if we follow through. Sadly, that’s the hard part. Life seems to move faster and faster every week, and most of us find it difficult to make fitness part of our busy schedules.

The good news is that with a little creativity, we can keep our bodies fit and still maintain our busy lives. Here are a few tips to staying fit – even with a hectic schedule.

  1. Shorten your workouts
    No, you don’t have to work out for 60 minutes or more to make it count. Even if all you have is 15-30 minutes, you can get in a metabolism-boosting workout before or after work. The key is to choose something that gives you maximum impact in a minimum amount of time. Consider Tabata-style workouts or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). These workouts have been proven effective but can be done in under 30 minutes.

  2. Do what you like
    If you hate your workout, chances are you’re going to have a hard time doing it consistently. With your busy schedule, you’ll only complicate things more by planning workouts you dread. If you’d rather dance or play tennis than run, then make that your workout and embrace it. If you enjoy it, you won’t mind so much having to do it early in the morning or after a busy day.

  3. Put it on your calendar
    If you want to walk the dog for 30 minutes every weekday before work, don’t just keep those plans in your head. Put it on your calendar, add an alarm to your phone, and tell others about it. Once you’ve found something you enjoy, make a schedule and commit to it. It only takes about 3 weeks to form a habit.

  4. Squeeze it in
    If you only have time for a short workout (or none at all) before or after work, then it becomes even more important to squeeze in activity during the day. Your brain could probably use some fresh air during a stressful shift, so take your lunch with you and go for a walk. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Take time for a 2-minute walk or 25 squats or pushups every hour at work. Waiting in line at a store? Nobody will notice if you do butt-squeezes while you’re standing there. Something is always better than nothing!

  5. Spread it out
    If you can’t do 30-60 minutes all at once, break your workout up into 2 or 3 segments. Instead of walking for an hour, do 20 minutes on the treadmill before work, 20 at lunchtime, and 20 after dinner. There is no rule that says your workout has to come in one big chunk.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

There’s no reason to get down on yourself for your busy schedule. If you really want to fit in fitness, you can do it. Find an activity that’s doable – even enjoyable – and make your efforts efficient. If you can’t fit in one longer workout, break it up into short sections and squeeze in extra boosts throughout the day. When you make fitness a part of your daily life, it stops feeling like a chore.

Guide To Creating Effective Exercise Routines and Habits

The first quarter of the year is over and you can’t believe it. With a sinking feeling, you realize you haven’t met any of those fitness goals you set yourself at the beginning of the year.

Oh, you started out well enough, agonized over what fitness equipment to buy, even read all the trusted treadmill reviews out there before making your purchase but somehow, something went wrong. Your treadmill now sits gathering dust at home, those pesky pounds are yet to be shed and your frustration and desperation are increasing by the day. It’s clear you need to come up with a more effective and sustainable exercise routine but how to go about it?

Don’t throw in the towel yet. Here are some pointers to help you up your fitness game:

Get Your Head In The Game

Your attitude determines how far you’ll go in your fitness journey so align it with success. Instead of thinking how hard exercising is, think of the benefits you’ll gain. Apparently, 73% of people give up their fitness goals before achieving them. Decide not to be part of this statistic. Prove them wrong by sticking to your guns this time around

Do What You Enjoy

You’ll be more reluctant to work out if exercising starts feeling like a drag. A better plan is to do what appeals to you. If you loathe the idea of going to the gym, workout at home. If jogging isn’t your thing, go swimming instead. The more fun your workout is, the more motivated you’ll be to keep at it.

Pencil Workouts Into Your Schedule

It’ll be easier to commit to your exercise routine if you make it part of your schedule. Think of it as an appointment with yourself and don’t let anything interfere. Remember routine is key here. Research shows that it takes an average of 66 days (sometimes as little as 18) to form a habit. So speed things along by working out at around the same time each day until it becomes second nature.

Quality Trumps Quantity

If you have a crazy schedule, it can be hard to squeeze in time to get fit. Instead of trying to exercise for one hour straight, break your workout sessions into smaller chunks. HIIT workouts can come in handy here, helping you to blast away calories in 10-15 minutes of intense exercise interspersed throughout your day.

Rope In A Fitness Partner

When you’re tempted to bum out on the couch instead of hitting the gym, a fitness partner can lead (or guilt trip) you in the right direction. You see, it’s much harder to bail out on an activity if you have a standing appointment with one of your friends. You can get similarly motivated by signing up for dancing or yoga classes or even a tennis game. Chances are you’ll workout longer too if you take part in group activities.

Fuel Your Body

Your body has to have the right fuel to burn if you want to get the most out of your fitness schedule. Avoiding greasy foods and snacks will help you stay alert and energetic throughout your exercise sessions. A balanced diet will also go a long way towards helping you get that toned physique. Additionally, drink enough water to ensure that you stay properly hydrated as you exercise.

Switch It Up

Complacency is the enemy of fitness. Doing the same activity every day is the fastest way to get bored, increasing your likelihood of abandoning your regimen. Keep things fresh by frequently switching up your routine. For instance, you can do yoga one day, swim the next and go to the gym the following day. This way, you get to exercise different muscle groups in your body while remaining motivated enough to carry on with your fitness plan.

Work With Your Body

Some people are comfortable jumping out of bed to pound the pavement in the wee hours while others prefer ending the day with an intense gym session. Everyone’s different. Figure out the best time for you to workout then build your fitness plan around it. Working with your body clock guarantees better results than working against it. Above all, be consistent and faithful to your fitness schedule.

Keep Your Goals Real

Remember that zeal you had when you first started working out? Well, it probably fizzled out because it was unsustainable. Instead of pounding the treadmill for hours at a time or aiming to lose over 50 pounds in one week, make your goals more achievable. For example, you can begin by aiming to exercise for half an hour every other day and building up from there or losing 3 pounds every week. Setting a rigorous routine from the get-go only increases your chances of burning out or worse, suffering an injury. So pace yourself and set realistic, achievable goals.

Track Your Progress

Tracking your progress throughout your fitness journey can help you stay motivated. You can either keep a fitness journal or use one of the many fitness apps available to record your progress. Most people prefer to keep a log of the weight they’ve lost but using a tape measure to track your hip and waist measurements works just as well. In fact, the latter might be more accurate since you might gain weight as you build muscle but still end up losing fat and shedding inches around your hips or waist.

Reward Yourself

Remember to celebrate small milestones as you strive to keep up with your exercise regimen. There are lots of ways to reward yourself for achieving your goals. You can spring for a new outfit, treat yourself to a pampering session at a spa or go out with your friends. There are even apps that will pay you to exercise. To avoid rolling back on the gains you’ve made, opt for non-food rewards.

If you want to achieve your fitness goals, you have to quit making excuses and start making time to work out. There’s no way around it. So purpose to make exercise an important part of your life and watch your health and happiness improve.

5 Items To Look For In A Desk Treadmill

Living in such a sedentary society is slowly killing us. Desk jobs are more and more common. We have to spend our lives staring at screens and sitting in chairs. Finding alternatives may be the only way to keep our health in order, and to fight off the various conditions that come along with our lack of movement and increase in food consumption.

Treadmill desks are a popular option these days. They give the user the ability to walk at their desk, keeping their body moving while they go about their day. Unlike standing desks, these give you calorie burning abilities that make them much better if you want to maximize your activity instead of merely keep on your feet. They even boost productivity.

Here are five questions to ask yourself when buying a treadmill desk yourself.

How Much Does It Cost?

Let’s be honest, this is a major concern. Some treadmill desks can costs well into the thousands, which will be outside the budget for some. Others may see it as a worthy investment, and choose to drop that kind of cash. Others may want to go for something in the $1000 or less range.

What Is The Warranty?

As stated above, this is an investment. Like any high ticket item, you want to make sure you are covered in case something goes wrong. A good warranty is worth looking for, and even worth paying extra to maintain. You want one that will replace parts, handle repairs, and even replace it if it dies within the set time limit.

Will It Convert When Not In Use?

You aren’t always going to want to be on your treadmill. Besides, there may be times when you can’t, like if you were injured. So a treadmill desk that can convert to just the desh (or just the treadmill) is important. Unless you don’t mind one that always stays the same.

How Much Space Does It Take Up?

Another big worry is the amount of space is takes up. Some of the convertible models will allow you to fold it up when you want. Others are just built to take up less space, tucking themselves into a smaller area. Make sure you check the dimensions.

How Noisy Is It?

If you are going to be in an office, or just on the phone, you don’t want a treadmill desk that you have to shout over. Look at reviews and see what people say about the noise level. If it is too high, they will be sure to mention it.

How “Runner’s High” Improves Mental Health

For non-runners, running seems crazy. Why would you subject yourself to so much pain, effort, and exhaustion? Maybe you were driving in your car to work this morning and saw someone running along side the road. They’re slouched over, stomping across the pavement, they might even look a little dead in the eyes. It’s crazy; who would choose to suffer like that?

But did you know that most runners experience a phenomenon called the runner’s high?

A runner’s high is the reward that comes after a long episode of cardiovascular exercise. It can vary from person to person, but for most it is a feeling of euphoria! Some describe it as flying, floating, or gliding as they complete their run. Others say it feels like a positive adrenaline rush. It can be accompanied with a good mood and feeling of unlimited energy. It can seem a little crazy to those who haven’t experienced it – how could running make you feel MORE energetic? But it does!

A runner’s high not only gives you a burst of energy and the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a challenging run, but it can also make you more impervious to pain. Many runners report a higher pain tolerance after completing their workout. A runner’s high can also alleviate stress, leaving you feeling more relaxed and just happier in general.

The Mental Benefits of a Runner’s High

Scientific studies on mice have shown that mice who ran regularly in a routine were less anxious than mice who did not. The runner’s high left them more relaxed and adaptable to their surroundings. Similar studies also indicated that mice were much more tolerant of pain and discomfort (they weren’t actually hurt, don’t worry!) after their exercise.

Other very impressive findings show that exercise is critical for slowing mental decline which is sometimes associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It has also been found that exercise can stimulate the creation of endorphins and dopamine in runner’s, which leaves them with that pleasant and happy feeling. It can help you manage your emotions more effectively too.

In terms of stress relief, it has been found that the physical stress prompts your body to create and release cortisol, which in turn helps curb mental/emotional stress. People who run regularly report lower levels of stress, the combination of less stress and physical exhaustion means they sleep better as well.

Acheiving A Runner’s High

The key to getting a runner’s high is to run regularly, and to push yourself. Be careful and consult your doctor if you have any physical limitations; but persistently working to increase your running time and distance will mean you regularly reach that runner’s high and enjoy the mental and emotional benefits that come with it. If you’ve been considering adding running to your routine, or wish to make running an easier choice to make – consider a treadmill to make daily running a habit. That runner’s high will make you so glad you did!

Reviewing Treadmills For The Mother That Needs A Quiet, Nap Time Friendly Workout

A lot of home treadmill owners purchase their home gym equipment to avoid dragging their kids to the gym or losing out on family time after work. For all you moms (and dads) out there looking for a machine to add to your home gym that won’t disturb your kids’ quiet time, we have a few suggestions for you.

NordicTrack Commercial 1750

After reading through reviews on the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 and seeing the pretty reasonable price point, we decided it was worth a test. There is a more thorough review of the product here and we will soon have a video showing you how the machine works. But we also wanted to review the machine from a parent’s point of view.

The motor noise level while walking is a quiet, background hum. As the speed is increased, the noise level increases only slightly. If you do notice a sharp increase in volume from the machine as you increase your speed, it’s most likely the stomping of your own feet. If you’re a runner who treads pretty heavily, you’ll notice the sound more than someone who’s light on their feet.

The NordicTrack 1750 have multiple fans installed that can be powered by 5 different settings. The highest powered setting is still quiet and at most mimics a constant white noise that is actually great for sleeping babies and kids. So we wouldn’t be concerned at all by the noise this machine puts out if we want to workout while kids are napping or down for the night.

This machine comes with a large speaker system to blast music (when you can) as you run but like most other machines, you can prop your tablet or phone up on the console and listen to music via your headphones. However, if you want to hear the music offered by the NordicTrack treadmill or take part in the coaching apps the treadmill has, you can plug your headphones directly into the machine to maintain some of that quiet we parents find ourselves in need of between 1pm and 3pm most week days.

When you pair the noise level with the added features of the machine, it’s a great buy for parents. The NordicTrack 1750 is not only quiet, it’s foldable and safe. It takes up less space than other machines. It provides a number of customizable workouts, a chest strap heart rate monitor, and it’s the best machine we’ve found at this price point ($1500) for anyone looking to train on outdoor terrain. The Google Maps feature provides real-world running that adjusts to natural incline – no other treadmill brand does this.

Proform Pro 2000 Treadmill

The Proform series has also reviewed well – specifically for mothers. You can read a full review here: Proform Pro 2000 Treadmill. It comes in at a few hundred dollars less than the NordicTrack 1750 which doesn’t reflect in its build. It’s a sturdy machine with a 350 lb weight capacity so even if you have to strap that kid to your back, you’re still going to be able to get a few good minutes in on the machine without worrying about over stressing the components.

The Pro 200 Treadmill by Proform has a 3.5 CHP motor which is a smaller motor than the NordicTrack 1750. This tends to equate to less noise output but may end up costing you more later due to necessary replacements from normal wear and tear. Considering the life of the machine, the motor size plays a big role.

This machine is slightly paired down to offer the consumer a lower price point. So when we compare it to other machines in this price rage ($1200-$1700), you’re missing out on a few extra components that might be worth the small increase in price. With the Pro 2000, you are limited to a back-lit RaceTrack display (not the touch screen LED display on slightly more expensive machines), you have less pre-installed workout programs, zero Google Maps to mimic outdoor running, and a slightly more complicated console.

However, you do still have a heart rate monitoring Polar strap which other machines don’t offer. The heart rate monitoring via a chest strap is one of the most accurate ways to track your calories burned which is great for those who struggle with having growing, snack-loving family.

Horizon Fitness Elite T7

The Horizon Fitness Elite T7 was the last machine to make the cut for our top three best treadmills for parents who need a quiet workout. It fell within our target price range ($1499), and the 2.75 CHP motor comes with a lifetime warranty.

Since the Horizon T7 comes with a motor smaller than the Pro 2000 and the NordicTrack 1750, it has a lower noise output than either. And while the warranty will cover the inevitable replacement of your motor when it wears out, there is no guarantee how long your machine will be out of commission awaiting repairs.

While the Horizon T7 is comparable in price with the NordicTrack 1750, it lacks some of the features. It does not have a touch screen console or the ability to go to a negative decline (NordicTrack 1750 goes from -3% to +15%, while Horizon T7 goes from 0% to +15%).

However, it does come with a Polar heart rate monitoring chest strap and has a weight capacity of 350 pounds. You’ll also get normal accessories like fans, a reading rack, and water bottle holders. It has the surprising bonus of 42 pre-programmed workouts to chose from!

Any one of these machines would make a great addition to your home work outs, but for our money, we are probably going with the NordicTrack 1750. It’s quiet enough and worth a few extra bucks as it’s added features pack a big punch!

Can Incline Treadmills Provide Results for Marathoners?

Can Incline Treadmills Provide Results for Marathoners

As the most popular workout machine in the US, treadmills provide an excellent source of exercise. No matter whether you are a casual walker or training for a marathon, you will see the benefits in your workout. Used for cross-training, treadmills deliver a great aerobic and cardio exercise program. Their ability to control incline allows you to structure hill work specifically tailored to your level of fitness. Running at an incline provides metabolic, bio mechanical, and psychological benefits. Incline running causes the runner to focus on posture and activates more muscles than running on flat surfaces alone. Due to these benefits, elite athletes and marathon runners are incorporating incline treadmills into their routines.

Avoiding Winter Weather

Olympic runners and their coaches have embraced this machine due to the ability of a treadmill to produce an exact pace and to simulate various courses in a controlled environment. Treadmills eliminate the limitations of their geographic location. For example, winter weather inhibits a runner’s training routine and frequently leads to injuries caused by slipping on ice. Wind resistance, freezing conditions and finding a long, stretch of clear asphalt to run on are all obstacles runners in cold climates face.

Training with Inclines

Incorporating incline trainers is increasing in popularity among marathon runners. New technology allows treadmill runners to participate in epic hill climbs even if they live in an area without hills. The constant pace of a treadmill might reduce injury and subsequent recovery. High-tech treadmills let you multitask so that you can check your email, stream music, enjoy your scenery of choice, run past any simulated national monument and turn any celebrity trainer into your personal running coach.

Overcoming Training Boredom

Many runners struggle with boredom as one of their biggest obstacles during training. Finding a workout that is both entertaining and mindless to help pass the miles adds variety and interest as you exercise, making you more likely to keep at it. Incorporating incline training helps challenge your body and mind. In addition, incline running exerts more energy, which creates a more efficient workout. Treadmill running helps with speed gains and improved running form.

Finding Adjustable Machines

Not all treadmills are created equal, so you need to ensure that you choose one that fits your needs and can help you reach your goals. Choosing the right treadmill, including how the incline adjusts, helps you enjoy successful and frequent use. Many professionals recommend a treadmill that inclines up to 10 percent. Find a treadmill with adjustable programs that simulates the terrain of an upcoming race. NordicTrack treadmills and fitness equipment now make this possible with Google Maps integration and iFit..

Enjoying New Technology

Incline trainers from NordicTrack come paired with iFit. Through iFit you have access to tons of trails throughout the world and are also able to customize your own routes. NordicTrack machines adjust the grade using the incline and decline features to mimic outdoor running. Modifying the incline on your treadmill engages different muscles, ensuring that your body boosts muscular strength and prevents injuries.

Treadmills with Versatile Home Exercise Routines


After you’ve been working out a while, you might become discouraged with your home exercise routine because you’re bored with the same old stuff. However, treadmills don’t have to mean walking in place, getting nowhere. Spice up your work out with features and tricks you might not have known about.

Treadmills As A Personal Gym

First and foremost, you can move beyond a walk or run. Turn the treadmill into your personal gym without the clutter of other people and excess equipment. The base makes a great spot for push-ups. Some treadmills might even still move when turned off, allowing you to utilize it for some heavy resistance walking sure to bulk you up. Just make sure your treadmill has this feature, or you might wreck your new personal gym. Different stretches and walks can mix up your workout and keep your calories burning in exciting new ways. Use your imagination. Picture yourself somewhere that pumps you up. The biggest step to making your treadmill work for you starts in the mind.

Treadmills and Space

Different treadmill models can meet varying needs, depending on the customer. Sometimes, the issue of space keeps you from buying a treadmill. Some models will fold up, which makes for easier storage when the treadmill is not in use. You might opt for a near relative of the treadmill, an elliptical. These come with an incline and decline feature so that you can simulate stair climbing as well as running.

Treadmills and Technology

You no longer have to choose between technology and staying fit. Many treadmill models come with a built-in, internet-enabled touchscreen. You can access email while doing your mile run or “like” the latest photos shared by your friends on social media. Maybe you want to use Google maps and turn your indoor-walk into a sightseeing adventure in another state. Do you have multiple users of the treadmill in your home? Record your times and start a little competition. This will push all of you to outdo the others, upping the intensity of your workout. Headphone jacks allow you to bring your favorite tunes into your routine. Some models have built-in MP3 playing capabilities if you’re going to be performing exercises where headphones would interfere with your workout. As technology advances, the treadmill experience will likely become even more deluxe.

Words of Caution

With all of these options for using a treadmill, pay attention to your own safety. Technology can also serve as a distraction. You are still operating a moving machine and can risk falls with some of the exercises if you let your guard down. With the benefits come additional responsibilities. Don’t let your newfound fun on your treadmill leave you open to injury.

Research your spacing, fitness and budgetary needs, along with the technologies you desire, to determine which model is right for you. Our culture enjoys emphasizing the necessity of fitness but too often, that fitness devolves into a burdensome chore. Treadmills can offer a simple and efficient way of performing many different exercises to benefit your body’s health while also keeping your mind engaged.

Getting Excited About Your Home Treadmill Routine

Let’s face it, even with the coolest, most highly reviewed treadmills, you can get board. There are only so many times you can do the same routine before your body and mind are just sick of the whole thing. Everyone needs a boost now and then, just to get past the monotony.

It isn’t just boredom that is the problem. Too much of the same thing, and your body gets adjusted to the activity. Before long, it isn’t seeing the progress it was before. The heart doesn’t reach the maximum target zone, the muscles don’t work as hard, and you just aren’t getting the results you want.

What you need are some ways to boost your workouts. Here are some ways to get excited again.

Go With HIIT

Sometimes you just need to vary your speeds. Not only does this keep things interesting, but it is great for your workout. HIIT has been found again and again to have many benefits. It can even optimize your training, and improve endurance and performance.

This is a great treadmill HIIT routine from Bodyrock that can be done with just 20 minutes to spare. But you can find others all over the web, or create your own to match your needs. Just starting out with running? Try alternating running and walking.

Mess With Those Incline Settings

Another way to mix things up is to increase your overall performance through incline training. This is awesome for walkers in particular who don’t like speed, or struggle with the impact on their joints. Instead, you can up in the incline, and get a better workout without all the strain on your body.

Try increasing it over the course of your workout so you are at a challenging level that is still comfortable., You will be amazed at the difference.

Plenty of treadmills have incline functions.

Get An App

One of the best ways to get more from your treadmill workout is to add in a fun little app. For example, Zombies, Run is a serial that puts you in the middle of the action. You play a survivor of the zombie apocalypse in a destroyed Britain teeming with the undead. Over time, you gain experience, supplies, and unlock more of the story while building your stats.

Fun, entertaining, and a little creepy, this will really get you moving. The alternative is becoming dinner for one of the roaming corpses making their way across the English countryside in hoards.

Prefer to walk? Try Wonderland, an audio murder mystery.

The Best Treadmills for Your Home

When you decide to buy a treadmill, you might not anticipate how difficult it can be to choose just one. There are thousands available, with many features to choose from. A treadmill represents a valuable investment in your health, so it’s important to ensure you’re getting a quality machine with features that best fit your goals, budget, and lifestyle.

Generally, treadmills are pretty easy to use. If you’re looking for a way to burn fat and calories, lose weight, or improve your cardiovascular conditioning, they’re a great choice. Their versatility makes them popular, but that popularity means you might have a hard time narrowing down your search from the many models on the market. To help you minimize the stress as you embark on your fitness adventure, here are a few things to consider when deciding which treadmill to buy.

      Your goals
      If you don’t fancy yourself a competitive runner, then you probably don’t need the extras that are meant to feed the need for speed. While you don’t want to skimp on quality or features, if you’re simply going to use the treadmill for walking, you probably don’t need one that is geared more for sprinting. On the other hand, if you really want to improve your level of fitness, you might want to try interval or incline training. Those needs would demand a treadmill with one-touch speed control, power incline, and higher speed capability, such as the Life Fitness 95Ti, which can support speeds of up to 14 mph. These trainer-designed apps let the treadmill guide you through the steps that will help you meet your goals. Keep in mind that as your fitness progresses, you may decide to change your goals to keep up with your changing body.

      Physical limitations
      Walking is a great exercise for most people, but consider any physical limitations or injury history before you make a decision. Should you be concerned about reducing the impact to your joints? Are you going to start running? Talk to your doctor about how you can best use a treadmill to get in shape or stay fit, without causing yourself injury. Many treadmills come with cushioned decks that can reduce the amount of impact to your body. Take such features into consideration when deciding which treadmills deserve a serious look.

      Expert and user opinions
      The beauty of a treadmill is that it lets you get and stay fit without leaving home. The beauty of the Internet is that you can research those treadmills without driving from store to store. There are thousands of reviews online, and just as many places to buy your new treadmill. You’ll probably want to take a look at the top brands such as NordicTrack, Landice, and Proform. Look at the models that fit your needs and budget, read plenty of reviews, then browse stores online for the best value.

      Size and placement
      Before you actually visit a store, be sure to take some measurements. Where do you plan to keep the treadmill? Will you need a folding model to save room? Be sure you will have enough space around and behind the treadmill to keep you safe incase you lose your footing and fall. Do you plan to put your treadmill in the basement or upper floor? You might need some help getting it in the right place, as treadmills can weigh hundreds of pounds. You also might need an extra set of hands for setup and any required assembly.

      If you’re a walker, you still need a powerful motor. At slower speeds, you foot comes in contact with the belt for a longer period of time on each step. The quick “pushing” motion of a runner’s foot coming off the belt can actually take some of the pressure off the motor, making its job a little less demanding. So never assume that walking is less demanding on your treadmill.


    Entertainment value
    Do you want to have stuff to do built into your treadmill? These days, you don’t even have to leave Facebook to get a workout in. Many treadmill models, such as the NordicTrack 1750, come with web-enabled touchscreen displays, so you can access workout programs, email, social media and more. Many people buy a treadmill and place it facing the television at home, but if you want to get the exercise without “unplugging,” such a display might be a great option. Other models have headphone jacks, tablet holders, USB ports, or even MP3 docking availability for your devices.


    Controls and display
    Be sure to try any treadmills you’re looking at buying. Are the controls in a good place? Do you like the way they feel? Will you be able to adjust the incline or the speed quickly during a workout? Also consider options such as EKG monitors. If you get into interval training or need to watch your pulse, you might want a model that helps you keep an eye on your heart rate. The Sole TTB, for example, includes pulse-sensing grips and the ability to use an EKG chest strap during your workout.

    Dealer quality
    Make sure you buy your treadmill from a reputable shop that will be around to help you with questions or repairs in the future. A good deal is always attractive, but not at the risk of a bad experience. Do your homework on dealers before you make a purchase. Get referrals from friends, check with the Better Business Bureau, and consider their customer service record.

    Your treadmill will likely be a fairly large investment, so it’s important for it to last. Before settling on a model, learn about the warranty offered by the manufacturer. Compare the warranties of the different brands and think about how that should impact your decision. Not all warranties are created equally. Landice, for example, offers a lifetime warranty on all parts, including those that generally wear out over time. Other manufacturers include lifetime coverage on the motor and structure, with a shorter term for parts and in-home labor. As part of your warranty considerations, look at the return policy. Many companies offer some kind of in-home trial period.

Hopefully, we have given you some some things to think about before getting serious in your treadmill search. Again, before you decide which types of exercise are right for you and your body, consult your doctor. Once you decide to buy a treadmill, talk to other users, read reviews, and get plenty of trusted advice before you buy. You’re about to make a positive investment in your health — do everything you can to make sure it’s the right one.