Treadmills may seem like a simple enough piece of exercise equipment, but there are several things to think about when purchasing a treadmill for your home. Not all treadmills are created equal and you want to make sure you’re making a good investment.

Before you begin looking for a new treadmill you should consider your fitness goals, as well as whether or not anyone else will be regularly using the treadmill. It’s common for people to purchase a home treadmill that will work for a walker even though a runner will be using it regularly, too.

Choosing Your Treadmill

Choosing the right treadmill for your situation can make all the difference when it comes to the effectiveness of your workout routine. You may think you know what you’re looking for in a home treadmill, but there are details and features that many people overlook.

Must-Haves

  • Adequate motor – Ensuring the treadmill has the proper motor for your intended use should be at the top of your list. But keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better. Generally speaking, any 2.0 continuous duty HP motor and above should work for just about any user so long as the rest of the treadmill is of good quality.
  • User-friendly console – Look for a console that is easily readable and intuitively designed. You shouldn’t need to read a manual to figure out how to use the different features of the treadmill.
  • High-quality shock absorption system – Good shock absorption is vital to the safety and comfort of your joints while you’re working out. Always check out information provided about the type of shock absorption system and the benefits of that specific system.
  • Additional features – Other items you should add to your list of “must haves” are speed capabilities that go up to 10 MPH, an incline that goes up to 10%, and a belt that is at least 48” long by 16” wide.

Valuable Extras

  • Unique user IDs – This is particularly nice to have when more than one person will be using the treadmill and you want to track your progress. Having a treadmill that will remember your workouts and let you see historical data can be highly motivating.
  • Program options – Pre-set programs are a great way to stave off any boredom while using a treadmill. These programs can offer different workouts that will keep you challenged and some even offer customizable programs so you can get exactly the workout you’re after. If you’re looking for a treadmill that offers a serious workout, look for one that has interval training programs.
  • Heart rate monitors – Monitoring your heart rate while working out is vital in helping you know when you’re hitting your target heart rate. Maintaining your ideal heart rate during exercise is important to achieving your desired results and helping you avoid injury.

Once you know exactly what features you need and would like, you can begin looking at treadmills with different price points that offer those features. Knowing this information going into the buying process will help you feel confident that you’re picking the best home treadmill that’s right for you.