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How to Choose a Treadmill or Elliptical

There are over forty brands of treadmills and elliptical machines available in the United States. Each of these brands has at least five models and some have many times more. How can a person choose? Much has been written about the many features of treadmills, tempting the reader to attempt to become an expert on treadmills in a quest to pinpoint the exact best model for their home. This article takes a different, more practical, approach.

The usual way to decide what treadmill to buy is to look at several models of treadmill, learn their features, and compare the treadmills’ features and prices. This is logical, but the bewildering array of choices often leads the thoughtful shopper to the paralysis of analysis. Some manufacturers have many models that are barely distinguishable, having far more features in common that they do differentiating them. Given all these choices, the shopper often becomes further confused from trying to determine the best value.

Make the Best Choice of Treadmill or Elliptical

Eliminate the noise. The more efficient way to choose a treadmill or ellipical is to answer the following questions in the following order:

  1. How am I going to use it?
  2. What features do I need?
  3. What is my budget?

1. How am I going to use it? Do I just want to walk? A manual treadmill will do. Am I a serious runner who runs an hour per day? I’ll want as good a machine as I can afford.

2. What features do I need? Most new treadmills, except the least expensive, keep track of time, distance, heart rate, and calories. Most also have adjustable inclines. That’s all most users need. If you also need a TV, iPod station, or particular kinds of customized workouts, look for models with those features. Heavier people need heavier machines with more powerful drive motors.

3. What is my budget? As with most things, you get what you pay for. The main difference between the least and most expensive models is strength of construction. Treadmills in gyms cost several thousand dollars. They are large and heavy and are made to withstand continuous heavy use. They come with commercial warranties that are generally unavailable for treadmills designed for the home. However, the typical home user does not need this strength. Depending on the user’s budget and financial temperament, it may be best to simply buy a name brand, with the features the user needs, at the lowest possible price. Generally, this can be done online, at such sites as Treadmill-World.


Also see this video for more information on how to choose a treadmill:



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