Cost, features and durability of some of the most popular treadmills
If you’re the market for a treadmill I have spent a little time investigating some of the available brands. Depending on your needs you can find one that will enhance your life if you use it regularly. Some of the features to consider when making your purchase should be: ease of reading the controls, large numbers for easy reading time and distance, push buttons as opposed to sliding knobs to controlling the speed and elevation. If you run on your treadmill you’ll want to make sure it’s wide enough (roughly 18 inches) and long enough (50 inches). If space is a concern you might want to consider a folding treadmill, it usually frees up about 6 feet when folded up.
Other considerations are programs for speed and incline to add diversity to your workouts and the ability to read a heart-rate monitor chest strap. Most treadmills come with an emergency stop key, which may be a good feature if you have small children. Don’t forget about the warranty, most treadmills offer some coverage but take into consideration how much you’ll be using your treadmill and the length of the warranty, you may want to purchase an extension.
Depending on your budget you can purchase a high-end ($2,000 to $3,500), mid-range ($800 to $1,800) or low-end ($300 to $700) machine. Most high-end machines are suitable for running or walking while the low-end machines are mainly built for walking, if you plan on running on your treadmill it would be wise to invest in a more expensive model. The mid-range treadmills can stand an occasional run.
While most will have a water bottle holder and shelf, the mid-range machine will usually include a heart rate monitor, sturdier deck and programs. The high-end treadmills will have the same features as the mid-range with an even sturdier frame and deck and a more powerful motor for running faster and longer.
When forking over the cash consider what features you desire, space allotment and the intensity of your workout. If running is your goal, you’ll have to spend a bit more. If you only plan on walking you can go with a lower, less expensive model.
Consumer Report states, “Icon Fitness offers a range of lower- and midpriced treadmills sold under the Image, Nordic Track, Proform, Reebok, and Weslo brands. You’ll find those brands in Sears, The Sports Authority, Wal-Mart, and other national sporting-goods chains. Moderately priced brands, such as Horizon Fitness, Schwinn, Trimline, and Vision Fitness, as well as pricier brands, such as Landice, Life Fitness, Nautilus, Precor, and True are sold in specialty sporting-goods stores. You can also buy many treadmills online.”
The Vision Fitness T9200 Simple, Horizon Fitness Performance Series PST8, NordicTrack S1900 and the Bowflex 7-Series were rate as some of the best buys available. All are in the mid-range category.