It’s that time of year when people are shopping for new fitness equipment. Steve Pfiester shares tips to picking out a treadmill for your home. Our favorite brand is the LifeFitness treadmill, available at hhgregg. Check out his advice, along with some notes written below.
Treadmill Buyer’s Guide:
1. Belt width and length – try each machine out and make sure you feel comfortable on it. Make sure you have enough room to “float” around on the belt safely. The larger you are, the wider the belt you will need. The longer your legs and stride are, the longer the belt should be.
2. Motor – Most motors today are powerful enough to hold heavy people, but if you are carrying a good amount of weight, be sure to check the suggested weight limit to make sure your treadmill can handle your weight without compromising performance or safety.
3. Folding Option – Does the treadmill fold away easily? How much space will it take in your house? Do you have enough room for the model you like?
4. Programs – Does the treadmill have various pre-programmed workouts? Most treadmills offer programs with hills, intervals, cardio-focused workouts or fat burning workouts. Programs can keep your workouts interesting – and push you to work harder than you would if you just chose a manual setting.
5. Luxuries – What fun luxuries does the treadmill offer? Does it have a cup holder, TV, speakers or fan? Is it iPod compatible or does it sync with your Polar heart rate monitor? These little extras may not seem to matter when it comes to burning calories, but it sure makes your workout more fun – and if your workout isn’t fun, you won’t stick with it. So, don’t underestimate the extras.
Before you Buy:
1. Decide WHERE it will go? Decide how much space you have to put your fitness equipment. Make sure there are outlets nearby. Be honest with yourself. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you will go into your dark lonely spare bedroom and do cardio unless you know you are that disciplined. If you put your treadmill in a room that is cramped, lonely, boring, inconvenient, cold, hot or depressing – you won’t use your treadmill. Make sure you put your treadmill in the optimal place for optimal use.
2. Decide WHEN you will use it. Don’t make your workout plan after you buy your treadmill. Decide BEFORE you shop exactly when you are going to use your new piece of equipment and commit to your new schedule. To be safe, you can even set your alarm early, or set aside time to “practice” exercising during that time with some simple bodyweight exercises like 50 jumping jacks, 50 sit ups, 50 push ups, 50 air squats, 50 lunges and 50 crunches – for 2 to 3 rounds. If you do this every day for a week, you will likely succeed using your brand new treadmill too!
3. Decide WHAT you’ll do while you are on it. Will you listen to music – or will you watch TV? I enjoy watching my favorite shows on my ABC app on my iPad. If you want to be successful, you have to plan ahead and plan how you will stay entertained for the amount of time you plan to stay on your machine.
4. What is your goal? You can’t possibly buy the right piece of equipment to help you reach your goal if you don’t actually have a goal. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to tone up? Do you want to build muscle? Your goal is a very important piece of the puzzle. Although most treadmills go plenty fast enough for even the most advanced athletes, and definitely will help you burn fat, a steep incline is great for toning and building leg muscle too. OR, you may want to choose a whole different piece of equipment, like an elliptical, if you have joint issues, or just want to focus on cardiovascular health. This is especially true if you need to lose weight but that’s not your focus. If you are okay with carrying 50 extra pounds, you may want to take extra caution to avoid unecesary pounding on the joints and opt for an elliptical instead. However, if you want to lose weight, you can use that pounding to motivate you to get the weight off and to get you light on your feet again. Either way, the treadmill and elliptical are my top 2 choices for cardiovascular equipment.
Think Outside the Belt in 2013:
Here’s a Lower Body workout using the belt of a treadmill as your trainer. Let the belt pace you, and push you to a whole new level – and a whole new you in 2013
Stay tuned for more “Fitness Possible” tips! Fitness IS possible – and we’ll show you how!
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.