Here at NordicTrackCoupons.com we don’t want you thrown into the decision making process of buying a treadmill without any knowledge of what you are getting yourself into! There are so many benefits of owning a treadmill, yet you won’t be able to utilize those benefits if you get a treadmill not right for you and your workout needs.
Here’s some great tips from an amazing guest post author Penelope to help you know what features to look specifically for your fitness level and goals.
Buying Treadmills: Which Features are Important?
You’re not a crazy health person. You don’t eat, breathe, and live for physical exercise; but, like most people, you want to live a more active lifestyle. To do this, you decide to start shopping for a treadmill. Not something with every feature known to man, but something that will last for a long time and will give you the workout you’re looking for.
Where to start? Of course, you pull up the internet. You’re excited and looking forward to a little online shopping, but soon you are drowning in descriptions of treadmills with the “latest” features and comparisons between machines that mean absolutely nothing to you. It’s quite discouraging! Well, have no fear; we will clear up some of the confusion for you!
Looking at the NordicTrack website, motor types are thrown around without really being explained: What exactly is a 3.0 CHP DurX Commercial Drive Motor? CHP stands for Continuous Duty Horsepower. It’s important for the “Continuous Duty” part to be in there because it gives you a more accurate prediction of the horsepower of the machine. Be wary of descriptions that say “peak horsepower” or “muffin assisted” because they usually are making the motor look more durable than it really is. The “DurX Commercial Drive” bit isn’t that important. Often, treadmill retailers are trying to 1-up each other so they use fancy terms to make them seem better than the competition.
Now what about the 3.0 part? How much horsepower do you really need? This part is pretty easy to figure out: Are you an avid runner? If you are planning on training hard, then you want a machine that can handle the beating. If you are planning on running casually, then you don’t need a machine with as much power. Here’s a quick guide:
– Walker: 1.5-2.5 HP Motor
– Casual Runner: 2.5-2.75 HP Motor
– Intense Runner: 2.75 HP Motor and Above
Deck and Cushioning
The deck of the treadmill is the part parallel to the floor. It’s the hard surface that the belt is wrapped around. When looking at the deck, you want to make sure that it is made of MDF, or medium density fiber-board. Lower end treadmills will usually use particleboard decks because it’s cheaper, but these decks are more likely to crack over time. If you are looking for a treadmill that lasts, you want to make sure the deck won’t crack.
If you’re using the comparison tool on nordictrack.com, then you will see that under the “deck” heading there is information about Quadflex or DualShox cushioning. What does this mean? When you’re running on a treadmill, you want to lower the impact of landing on the belt, but you also want a hard “take-off” spot. Finding a balance between the two is important in order to prevent injury, but it can be tricky.
Quadflex, as shown in the picture, has 4 shock absorbers spread out in the deck. This give you the right “give” points and the right “push off” points. The DualShox cushioning has only 2 of these shock absorbers, but that might be enough if you are using your machine for walking or jogging. As a rule of thumb, you should always know how you want to use your machine before deciding to buy it. This will insure that your machine doesn’t wear out from being overused.
The belt of the treadmill is also called the running surface, running area, treadbelt, or similar names. This is the part of the treadmill that you will be running on. The width of the treadbelt is usually pretty standard at 20” so you don’t need to worry about that so much. The main part is the length of your belt. It’s important to buy a treadmill that is long enough for your comfortable stride. This is based mostly on your height, but your intensity also plays a part. Here’s a quick guide:
– Under 5’7” Tall: 52” Minimum
– 5’7”- 6’4” Tall: 55” Minimum
– Over 6’4” Tall: 60” Minimum
– If you are a hardcore runner, your belt should be at least 55” regardless of your height!
You are no fool; you are looking to buy a machine that will last for a long time! When I buy things, I usually forget the “warranty” part of the merchandise. In this case, however, it’s very important to note the warranty. You are spending a lot of money on a quality treadmill so you want it to work for you! Most high quality companies will offer a lifetime warranty on the frame and the motor. It’s important to have a lifetime warranty on the motor because that’s the part that will wear out the fastest.
In regards to the parts warranty, it’s good to look for at least a 2 year warranty. Most NordicTrack treadmills offer between 3-5 years. The labor warranty guarantees free repairs done by a professional until the warranty is up. It’s great to look for a labor warranty of at least 1 year.
Slightly Related Note: A lot of the NordicTrack treadmills have a warning that says something like “WARNING: This product contains one or more chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.” That sounds pretty risky, right? This warning is required by California Prop 65. It is applied to the NordicTrack machines because they are made with PVC plastic. It’s not something to worry about very much because you won’t be burning or consuming the plastic in any way that I can imagine (though, if you want to get creative then that’s your business). This warning is fairly new and will be showing up on lots of machines in the future, but NordicTrack is being proactive by putting it on most of their treadmills already.
These are just a few of the features that really matter when buying any treadmill. There are other features that make your treadmill convenient to use, but if you are concerned about having a treadmill that works for you more than having a treadmill with pretty screens and colors then it’s good to keep these things in mind. Remember that these are just some basic guidelines. I encourage you to look at the specifics of the machines you are looking at and do more research before you buy. Happy shopping!
Penelope is a routine writer at FirstMedicalProducts.com, an online retailer of health and medical products such as TENS units used to treat sports injuries.