The treadmill has long since been the face of home gyms and fitness. Working out on the best treadmill not only makes you more fit but also greatly improves your mood, gives you a better attitude and all around makes you a more positive person.
A person can easily attain proper cardiovascular health by burning on average 900 calories an hour on a treadmill. So if you want to pick out the best treadmill for you then keep on reading.
There are different brands each having their treadmill series and models. Safe to say there are a lot of treadmills to choose from. The treadmill has the basic dimensions of 7 feet long and 3 feet wide. Treadmills can also be foldable and can save space when not in use.
If you are looking for a foldable treadmill, then there are a plethora to choose from. Previously, such treadmills were either extremely cheap with low-quality parts, or they were high-end products that were extremely expensive. Nowadays, there has been more and more brand that have launched affordable foldable treadmills that have good quality parts that operate without issue for a long time.
When choosing the perfect treadmill, it is best to compare different models to make an accurate estimate of the price to features ratio. Our charts of top folding treadmills have some of the best treadmills from popular leading brands like PowerMax and Fitalo.
When choosing a proper treadmill, one of the main things to consider is the tread belt. Different treadmills have different width, length and thickness of the belt on which the user will run/walk. All these factors are important as they affect how the user will feel when using the treadmill.
Width: the standard width of the belt of the treadmill is usually 20 inches. Wider tread belts offer more area for running and make the cardio more natural and free-flowing. Some treadmills have the widest size of tread belts of 22 inches.
Length: Similar to that of the width, the length of the tread belt is highly important. People have different stride lengths. The longer the length pf the treadmill belt, the longer stride one can make while running on the treadmill.
Thickness: Treadmill belts come in different thickness depending on the price and model of the machine. Thinner or single-ply tread belts are more common in the cheaper treadmill but are more prone to eroding and ripping while running. This may be fine for walkers and desk treadmills but not for rigorous exercise. Runners should opt for thicker 2 ply tread belts that are more sturdy and last longer.
Maintenance: The belt of the treadmill also determine the amount of maintenance that the treadmill will need. This mainly depends on the thickness of the tread belt. Cheaper models of treadmills will have tread belts that may need more frequent lubrication or waxing. On the other hand, thicker belts will need less maintenance.
The motors of a treadmill are the heart and soul of the machine. It plays a huge role in making a treadmill be the fitness equipment it is. So it is safe to say that you will not want to cut corners when considering the motors in your treadmill.
The motor rotates to push the tread belt forward giving the feel of running or walking. Different types of treadmills are equipped with motors of varying types and strength. The main defining factors of the motors of any treadmill are:
Horsepower: the horsepower is the what indicates the amount of power the motor of the treadmill can exert. This is usually indicated as HP or Continuous Horse Power. The amount of HP greatly affects the price of a treadmill with lower HP motors being in lower-priced machines and expensive treadmills being fitted with more powerful motors. Depending on the use of the treadmill, one can choose machines with appropriate motors like:
~2.0 HP for treadmill used primarily for walking
~2.5 HP and up for treadmills for jogging
~3.0 HP and up for treadmill mainly used for running.
Some treadmills have motors that put out 4.0 HP. These are treadmills that are athlete level and are both extremely advanced and cost a lot.
Warranty: The majority of treadmills have like long warranty coverage on their motors. Even though it is obvious that one will use the treadmill well in their 80’s; having lifetime warranty ensures that the motors are of high-quality and that the treadmill has minimum chances of breaking down.
About Treadmill Cushioning
Treadmill cushioning is an aspect that sometimes gets overlooked but carries great importance. When running on a treadmill, your joints like knees and ankles are constantly being impacted by the force of you slamming your feet while running.
The cushioning in a treadmill greatly reduces the impact on your joint from extended running thereby preventing injuries and pains from forming.
The cushioning comes in 3 main parts:
The Belt: which is a rubber sheet on which you do the actual running.
The Deck: which is wood or wood-like synthetic material just underneath the belt.
The Steel Frame and Shock Absorbers: which line the deck and gives it a kind of suspension so that the deck and belt and press down and up slightly to cushion the running impact.
Having proper cushioning can reduce the impact on the joint by 40%. Such impact support system can be found in brands like Landice and Sole while being in a reasonable price range.
About Treadmill Incline
The incline of a treadmill exists to give you more out of your cardio exercise. With the incline, the treadmill ensures that your body is being challenged at all times.
The incline is a title of the tread belt that not only helps reduce the impact in your joints but also aids in the burning of calories. By using a proper incline, one can easily strengthen their muscles during cardio workout see sessions.
The incline if a treadmill is usually either manual or electronic. Some treadmills have an automatic incline that raises the belt according to what the incline would be in a set real-world road. This feature is mostly found in advanced treadmills.
The cheaper range of treadmills usually offers up to 10% incline. This can go up to 20% with the increase in the price of the treadmill. The majority of treadmill that falls in the mid-range price class has an incline of 15% which is enough to satisfy both walkers and runners.
Some hybrid trainer treadmills go the extra mile and have an incline of 40% these treadmills also behave like steppers and are ideal for burning high amounts of calories through intense workouts.
Treadmills have become advanced to such an extent that it can read, monitor and log the user’s heart rate in real-time. to add to that, some treadmills can monitor one’s heartbeat wirelessly.
There are certain heart rate zones which cover a certain percentage of max heartbeats. By aiming to keep ones heartbeat rate within these can help with training. The heart rate zones are the ranges in which ones theoretical heartbeat per minute should fall in. this can be easily found by subtracting ones age from the constant of 220.
These zones are:
Zone 1: This zone focuses on heart rate from 60% to 70% and is ideal doe warming up before the actual workout. This is also ideal for those who have just started to exercise and need to slowly get accustomed to the routine.
Zone 2: from 71% to 80% this is the most used setting for the majority of treadmills. This zone is not too strenuous and can help your body use oxygen more effectively.
Zone 3: ranging from 81% to 93% heart rate, this zone is for those who have been working out for some time. this is for rigorous workout sessions.
Zone 4: this final zone of for heart rates of 94% and up. This zone is for high-intensity workout and a perfect setting for those who wish to challenge themselves and push past their limits.
Types of Heart Rate Monitors
Treadmills nowadays come with inbuilt wireless heartbeat sensors that track and log one’s heart rate in real-time. These sensors are generally found in the handrails of the treadmill.
Depending on the model of the treadmill, the accuracy of these sensors may vary. Safe to say the cheaper treadmills will have less accurate sensors compared to the more expensive and advanced machines.
Some mid-ranged treadmills also have chest and wrist-straps that monitor one’s heart rate wirelessly through Bluetooth.
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