I was recently emailed this exact question. After all, with so many treadmills on the market, it’s difficult to know where to begin when selecting a treadmill. To start things off, let’s cover exactly what manual and electric treadmills are.
An electric treadmill has a moving belt that you have to keep up with. They usually have lots of features, like different workout plans and various health monitors. These are generally large machines.
A manual treadmill is self powered. It has a belt on it (just like the electric treadmill), but instead of moving itself, you walk on it and push the belt to move with your own strength. They don’t take up as much space as an electric treadmill.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
An electric treadmill will usually monitor your heart rate, which is a great indicator for the intensity of your workout. It also encourages you to keep moving forward. If you are new to walking or running, an electric treadmill is a great place to start. However these usually require a professional to repair because of the electrical components. They are also larger than the manual treadmills, but if you have the space for it, then that’s not an issue.
A manual treadmill, as described above, relies on your strength to power it. This task demands more effort from your body than traditional running or walking. These are also easier to maintain and repair, because they are so simply made and aren’t electrical. They don’t take up much space, so you can keep them in many different places in your home. The downside to manual treadmills is that they don’t monitor your heart rate or have built-in programs for you to challenge yourself with.
The treadmill you choose should be based off your needs. If you are new to running, then an electric treadmill might be the better choice because it will keep you motivated and help you to build up strength in your lower body. If you are a little more experienced at running, have the leg muscles to handle it, and the motivation to keep going, then a manual treadmill is a great way to intensify your routine and help you to get a better workout.
If you choose an electrical treadmill, I suggest buying a great warranty for it. This will keep your treadmill will be taken care of and give you pace of mind. If you decide that you want a manual treadmill though, you can purchase a portable heart rate monitor that you can use while running.
Just make sure that your treadmill meets your needs. I recommend testing out the model before you make your purchase to make sure that it feels right and suits your needs.