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How to Use and Choose a Treadmill

Jul 10, 2008
Treadmills can be used for cardio exercise, burning fat and calories, and strengthening muscles. No matter what you use your treadmill for it's good to know basic use and safety. To get started, step up onto the treadmill and put your feet on the railings so you can straddle the belt while it's not moving. Select your workout program from one of the preset exercises or personalize your workout to your own liking. When the belt starts moving, grab onto the handrails and step onto the belt. Once you're comfortable, you can release the handrails and begin your workout. If you're looking for a challenge, you can always increase the speed of the incline to heighten the intensity of your workout! To end your workout, slowly decrease the speed or press the stop button.

Here's a safety tip: Treadmills have a key that will automatically stop the belt if it's disconnected, so keep it on your person at all times. And remember - always consult a physician or healthcare provider before beginning an exercise program.

While the basic use of a treadmill is pretty easy, shopping for a home treadmill can be very intimidating! There are so many different brands, models and styles it can be next to impossible to choose the right one for your home. For most people, buying a home treadmill is a major investment. It's also a good investment for those who have decided to make a conscious effort to be fit and healthy. That is why it is important to put together a checklist that identifies attributes that are most important for you and your workout. Here are some tips that should help you out:

1. The first thing you should consider when choosing a treadmill is the construction. A well-constructed treadmill is something that everyone in your family can enjoy. You will want a treadmill that is built with high alloy steel or aluminum frame that is strong enough to support the heaviest person. Some machines come with a weight limit - make sure that limit won't inhibit your workout.

2. Quality is also very important when shopping for a home treadmill. Better quality treadmills provide cushioning to limit the impact on your knees, ankles, hips and lower back. Your body absorbs up to 2 1/2 times your body weight when your feet hit the belt. You'll also probably want a treadmill that has 1.5 to 3.0 horsepower to regulate power and prevent surges. One key thing to remember is that a larger motor will probably run cooler and require less repair and/or maintenance! Don't forget to check the length of the manufacturer's warranty - the longer the better!

3. How will you be using your home treadmill? Will you be walking? Jogging? Running? Depending on the type of exercise you'll be doing, you may need a machine that is sturdier than others. Always keep in mind that you get what you pay for! A heavy-duty treadmill can withstand running as well as walking, but be prepared to spend more money. If you're planning to use a treadmill purely for walking, you probably don't need an expensive, top-of-the-line machine.

4. Watch out for noise! A major consideration for a home treadmill is the amount of noise it can produce. A loud machine can drown out a lot of noise - kids, television, oven timers, etc. And some small, repetitive sounds can drive a person crazy and provide you with one more reason not to exercise. We recommend testing a treadmill before you buy it. Turn it on and step on it so you can assess the noise level and see if it's something you can live with.

5. One feature that is absolutely necessary for a home treadmill is an emergency stop button or a safety key. If you or one of your family members accidentally trip, stumble or fall, you can pull the key or push the button to turn the machine off automatically. Remember - this is a machine and not a toy! Don't leave anything to chance.

6. And finally, don't forget the bells and whistles! The newest models come with many extra features, but if there's one we recommend as a necessity, it's a heart rate monitor. Using a heart rate monitor during your workout will help you adjust the speed or incline to keep your heart rate in the optimum zone. It's a good investment in your health!
About the Author
Bob Lachinet is the owner of Fitness 4 Home Superstore, a specialty fitness equipment dealer recently named the #1 choice for home fitness equipment in AZ by BestFitnessDealers.com! Check out the "How to Use a Treadmill Video" by visiting How to use a treadmill.
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