When choosing a treadmill (or any piece of exercise equipment for that matter), there is a lot to consider. Many people tend to look at the price first, but you don't want to be a slave to a price.
When you're buying a car or house, you don't just look at the price; you consider durability and functionality (car) and location, schools, neighborhoods, etc. (house). You'll want to put the same effort in choosing your treadmill - it's just as important a decision. After all, your health is important to you, right?
Of course, first you'll need to think about several things before choosing a treadmill such as size, manual or motorized, how much use will it need to withstand, and maintenance issues.
If space is an issue, you may want to choose a model that folds for storage. There are several models that fold for storage these days.
If your treadmill is going to get lots of use from you and your whole family, obviously you'll want to invest more for a sturdier model. This means a heavier motor and more cushioning. Be sure to pay attention to construction also, which may be shoddy in the cheapest models.
Be sure to choose a treadmill with an adequate walking track (at least 48 inches long and 17 inches wide). And if you're going to be running, you'll need a longer track. And for comfort, select a treadmill that has a deck thickness of at least 3/4-inch or 1-inch if you plan to run as well as walk.
If you're choosing a motorized treadmill, you'll definitely want to consider motor power. Generally, the larger and heavier the motor is, the cooler it will run and the longer it will last. But don't get burned - you should choose a reputable brand when considering motor power also. Reputable brands tend to use better quality parts than cheaper models that may have heavier motors. So be careful.
And you don't want to buy a treadmill that is going to cost a fortune to fix if something goes wrong - so check out the owner's manual before buying to make sure that parts are easily replaced and not too expensive.
Okay, after you've evaluated what you want and need in your treadmill, you can consider cost. Treadmills can start at about $400 (el cheapo models) and run up to around $4,000 (top of the line luxury). Basically, you'll have to weigh the quality and features you require against what you're willing to spend to arrive at a treadmill purchase that you're satisfied with and will enjoy for a time to come.
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