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Top Ten Tips for Buying a Treadmill

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/21/2006 | Fitness
If you are considering buying a treadmill, here are the top ten things you should consider:

1. Price
This is obvious. If you want a better machine, you will need to pay more. However, you do not HAVE to pay more. Do you really need those add-ons and gadgets?

2. Shop Around
Obviously, do not buy from the first place you see the treadmill you like. Compare prices online. Visit your local sports discount shop. Check on eBay. You will be surprised how much you can save on these expensive pieces of equipment.

3. Your History
If you've never run before, or you've run outside but have never used a treadmill, do not buy a brand new expensive machine immediately. Maybe buy a used one, give yourself a few months to get used to it, and then buy a new one when you are ready.

4. Size
Where will the treadmill sit normally? Make sure you give yourself enough room to get the treadmill into/out of the room initially, and also some room to manoeuvre when it's settled in your exercise place.

The other size issue is the length of the tread. If you are going to run rather than walk on the treadmill, you will need a longer tread since your stride will be longer. Make sure you get one to fit your purposes now AND in the future.

5. Go for a test drive
No matter how well a particular treadmill appears to be from reviews online, you need to test it personally first. So make sure you go to the shop in appropriate clothes - not your work suit or party outfit!

6. Shake, Rattle, and Roll
During the test drive, pay attention to how the treadmill feels, as well as the amount of noise it generates, and how smooth the tread is.

7. Warranty
Confirm before you buy what the warranty conditions are. You might get different terms for each part of the treadmill (motor, tread, frame, etc)

8. Safety
Does the treadmill have an emergency cut-off device? Can it support your weight?

9. Speed
If you're planning to run on the treadmill, check that the top-end speed of the treadmill is high enough. Also check that when it starts, the movement is slow and smooth, and gradually builds up to your desired speed.

10. Incline type
Some treadmills have a manual incline where you need to stop the machine, get off, adjust it, and start all over again. This will cut the cost, but could be an inconvenience.

So there you have it, ten things to consider when buying a treadmill.