There are several items that can make home treadmills more convenient and easier to use. Some of these can also lengthen the life of your treadmill. Here is a brief description of the some of the most commonly-seen accessories.
Virtually all home treadmills are now sold with ” keys” that prevent the treadmill from being used when the key is not inserted. These keys do not look like door keys as much as big pieces of plastic. They are especially useful for households with young children who shouldn’t use the treadmill. The keys can also be attached to the user while using the treadmill so that, in case of a fall or other emergency, the key will come out and cause the treadmill to stop. Sometimes people lose these keys, but these can be replaced easily, Spare keys that will fit most U.S. brands of treadmills are available in the accessory kit at Treadmill Accessory Kit.
Wireless Heart Rate Monitors. Most home treadmills come with a read-out of the user’s pulse, or heart rate. The user’s heart rate is transmitted to the readout from contacts on the handrails. Typically, users will run or walk for a while without testing their heart rate and then test it periodically during a workout. However, many users prefer to run with the usual arms-swinging-free movement, without having to hold onto the monitor contacts. For these users, a wireless heart rate monitor is the solution. Wireless heart rate monitors strap around the user’s chest and transmit their heart readings to the console of the treadmill. Not only does this provide hands-free readings, but reading that are uninterrupted. Constant readings show the result of changing running speeds in real time. Constant readings can also be critical for those with heart problems or otherwise need to be careful about their heart rates.
Some home treadmill users need to protect their floors or minimize the noise that treadmill use can transfer to the room underneath the floor on which the treadmill is being used. Treadmill mats can be used under the treadmill to provide the padding that serves these purposes.
Treadmill belts are manufactured with pre-lubricated belts. This lubricant lasts for years of typical home use. However, in order to prolong the life of the belt after a few years and to ensure smooth operation, keeping the belt moist is important. Treadmill belts revolve on rollers. As with most moving parts, friction on the belt causes wear over time. Application of the correct lubricant between the belt and rollers prevents this friction from causing the belt to harden and fray. Manufacturers recommend different kinds of lubricant depending on the chemical composition of the belt of a particular model. Some recommend silicon-based lubricants and others recommend against using this type of lubricant. Treadmill owners should consult their manuals for specific recommendations.
Perhaps the most unexpected trend in treadmills over the past few years is the use of a treadmill while working at a desk. While a person’s typical reaction to this idea upon first hearing of it is “How can you possibly work at a desk while using a treadmill?,” many thousands of people have shown that this is not only possible, but very beneficial, as well as habit-forming. The national press has widely reported this phenomenon as part of efforts to counteract the obesity epidemic. A desk covers the console in front of the user, who most often walk, not run, while at the desk. Without major compromises to convenience, users learn to get a lot done without sitting still. As the detriments of a sedentary lifestyle become better-known, the benefits of treadmill desk have become more obvious. Now it is common for people’s reaction upon first hearing of treadmills desks to say “Why didn’t I think of that?”