Treadmill Running - How To Buy and Use

Treadmills have come a long way from the ugly, clunky old mechanical contraptions that dominated the indoor fitness training market in years past. Today, manufacturers are bringing to market equipment that is sleek, smooth, fine-tuned, and especially tailored to today's on the go generation.

The advantages of treadmill training and usage for runners add up quickly!

So what's the number one advantage? Convenience!

While convenience is one of many advantages, a number of other factors need to be considered. In this section, we are going to take a look at:

Benefits of Using a Treadmill

As previously stated, the number one reason to use a treadmill is convenience. While convenience is a major advantage, let's review some benefits you may not have considered:

  1. Climate control and protection from the elements.
  2. Can complete workouts in your home, gym, or fitness club.
  3. Don't have to skip a workout due to heat, cold, rain, snow, darkness or allergies.
  4. Those with child care responsibilities can keep an eye on their children and get in a workout at the same time.
  5. When completing a long run, sports drinks and energy bars can be kept on hand.
  6. Can indulge in multimedia (i.e. TV/video, radio/audio tapes, newspapers/magazines) while running.
  7. Allows you to be more social if you desire.
  8. Can precisely vary both the speed and the incline.
  9. Can use your heart rate monitor in conjunction with many models.

Shopping Tips

Now that you know the benefits of using a treadmill, I just know you want to rush out and purchase one, right?.

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Not ready yet? Great! There's still a lot more to consider.

Before you decide to purchase a treadmill, I STRONGLY recommend that you find a place where you can test one over an extended period of time. The last thing you need is another piece of unused fitness equipment cluttering up your home. Try one out for a month and really consider whether you will continue to use it after the newness has worn off. The purchase of a quality treadmill isn't cheap.

Listed below are several things to consider when shopping for a treadmill:

  1. Visit a local fitness speciality dealer and talk to an expert. The education is priceless and it allows you to personally review several models.
  2. Shop for stability, low noise and comfort. A good foundation is a must. Look for welded frame construction. Make sure the noise level is something you can live with and don't forget to check out the feel/deck flexibility. Quality treadmills have a flexible deck system.
  3. Check for maximum speed. The top speed should be greater than the maximum speed you plan to run.
  4. Look for smooth belt action. It should be able to pull both its own weight and yours without knocking or hesitation. In addition, runners should look a large belt (approximately 20 inches in width).
  5. Component controls should be easily changeable. Your running form should not drastically change while you are resetting the controls.
  6. Look at the ratings. Each year Consumer Guide and Consumers Digest publish their ratings for treadmills.
  7. Check measurements. Measure the system you are considering to ensure that it will fit in the area where you plan to place it. Also, do not place a treadmill with its back close to a wall. A small misstep could be disastrous.
  8. Understand different types of horsepower. Continuous-Duty horsepower is the rating for 24-hour continuous usage. Peak horsepower is the treadmills ability for any given moment. Peak horsepower cannot be sustained. The higher the continuous-duty horsepower, typically means that the equipment can withstand more weight and is easier for the it to maintain a steady speed with harder impacts due to running at higher speeds.
  9. A bigger motor size is better. A larger motor (2.25 continuous duty hp or greater) handles the heat better and usually provides more power.
  10. An emergency stop mechanism is a must. In case of an unexpected fall, an emergency stop is a valuable safety feature.
  11. Avoid non-electrical or human powered treadmills. They typically are sub-standard in quality and performance.
  12. Verify your warranty. If purchasing online, call the manufacturer and check to see if your warranty has been voided. Some fly-by-night companies will not warrant your equipment. An exception is sometimes made if they or someone they authorize does the installation.
  13. Check for magazine and/or cup holders. If they are important to you, make sure they are easily accessible.
  14. Shop for Quality. As with everything, you get what you pay for.

How to Use

Make sure you know how to use and control a treadmill before you attempt to operate one. If you are in a gym or health club, ask the staff for assistance or read the labels which are on most commercial systems. If you are purchasing your own treadmill, you should get a demonstration along with an instruction manual.

Listed below are some usage guidelines:

  1. Start slowly and use your normal running stride. Gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable.
  2. Run at the front of the belt where you can easily reach the controls as well as any sports drink you may have with you. (Most treadmills have a cup holder.)
  3. To completely control speed and elevation, use manual mode.
  4. Make sure and stay hydrated during exercise.
  5. Know where the stop button is located.
  6. Practice grabbing the handrail and standing on the nonmoving side panels before stopping the treadmill.
  7. Keep focused. Do not turn your body or look at your feet when running.
  8. When finished with your session, exit the treadmill slowly and carefully.

The Bottom Line: Read, research, measure, test drive....only then should you buy. Avoid an impulse purchase of a treadmill like the plague. Both you and your wallet will be glad you did!

Now, with that final warning out of the way....

A treadmill can be just the piece of fitness equipment that you need to keep you running year around!

If you've done your homework and are ready to purchase a treadmill, I highly recommend ProForm.

ProForm treadmills are constructed with only premium components. ProForm provides top-notch pricing, top rankings from Treadmill Doctor, Runner's World, and Prevention Magazine, and has a 30-day 'No Questions Asked' Money Back Guarantee.

Take a look at ProForm Treadmills TODAY!

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