What Should I look for in Home Treadmills?
Here's what the American College of Sports (ACSM) and other experts say to look for when selecting a treadmill:
• Safety features: The running belt can be very hazardous: If clothing becomes stuck in it, you or a child could be pulled under the belt. Limit your search to machines with a safety key that must be inserted to start the belt and an emergency button or stop clip or tether to cut the motor (Don't leave the key in the ignition switch when the machine isn't in use. Instead, keep it in a safe, inaccessible place). Look for a solid, not wobbly, machine that has sidebars or rails for balance.
• Electronic display: A computerized console that gives you feedback on your heart rate, distance, speed, time, incline, or calories burned is a great motivator, especially when you're interest or energy level starts to flag. Make sure you can use the machine in the manual mode, too. Sometimes none of the programs are exactly what you need at a certain time.
• Roomy ramp: The running belt should be at least 18 to 20 inches by 48 inches: any shorter or narrower and you're much more likely to trip or fall off the machine.
• Low starting speed, smooth stop: A safe
starting speed of 0.1 mph (1.0 at most) can lower the risk of losing your footing when the machine starts up. When trying out treadmills, make sure the machine comes to a stop gradually, not suddenly, to avoid falls.
• Padded deck: This will help to muffle the sound of each footfall--an important feature if you're trying to watch TV or if other people are nearby while you're working out.
• Power: The motor must be powerful enough to help you maintain a good workout, so look for machines with a continuous or peak duty rating of at least 1.5 h.p. The ACSM recommends 2.5 h.p. to 3.0 h.p. for the best performance.
Contact us with questions about home treadmills!