You never know when the weather may change, so being able to exercise in the comfort of home can be a big perk. And in the long run, purchasing a piece of exercise equipment is cheaper than paying for a monthly gym membership. For parents, being able to workout at home means they don’t need to hire a babysitter to watch their children when they go to the gym. If you’re ready to take the leap and build an in-home gym, consider starting with a new treadmill, an essential element to indoor exercise.
1. Pricing: Begin your search with a good idea of what you can afford. Treadmills vary in price, with the higher cost models often having a longer life. If you plan to run several miles on your treadmill each day, or if you have multiple people in your household who will use it, you may be better off investing in a high-end treadmill.
2. Testing: Just as you wouldn’t want to purchase a car without test driving it, don’t forget to try out a treadmill. Even if you plan to place your order online, scope out your favorite few treadmills at a store to help make your final decision. Consider which treadmill is most comfortable and how easy it is to use all the features, like the controls, programs and heart rate monitor. Testing the machine is also a great way to determine whether the belt is long enough for your stride.
3. Storage: Treadmills can potentially take up a lot of space, so you’ll need to pick a location in your home for your machine. If you have a dedicated fitness room or space in a large house, you can choose a machine that doesn’t fold for storage. However, if you live in a small space, a folding option might be best for you. Measure the treadmill in both its open and folded configurations to determine whether it will fit. Also consider the weight and whether the treadmill has wheels, if you will need to move it frequently.
4. Features: Special features vary between treadmill models. Most treadmills have an incline feature and a heart rate monitor. Other features to look for include a built-in TV screen, speakers, a fan, programmed courses and Wi-Fi that lets you connect your machine to iFit. With iFit, you can track your workouts easily and set specific, realistic courses that you want to run.
5. Reviews: Though your opinion matters most, it’s always helpful to read reviews from people who have owned the same model for an extended period of time. Feedback from others can alert you to potential problems that you may not have considered or been aware of while you were reading information from the manufacturer.
Shopping for a treadmill isn’t something you should do in one go. Taking time to research and test a variety of models will pay off in the long run. And of course, once you get the treadmill, don’t forget to use it regularly to help you meet your fitness goals.
Holly spends her active time moving her feet, a soccer ball or (when lucky) a shopping bag. She spends her inactive time blogging for Sears and other brands she loves.
Photo courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Treadmills_at_gym.jpg.