How to

choose a treadmill

Whether you’re starting a fitness program for rehabilitation, to improve your health or to compete in local races, a treadmill is a great piece of cardio exercise equipment. Convenient in any weather or time of day, a treadmill is one product you can count on to get results. Whether you've already decided to purchase a treadmill or you're just researching your options, follow this guide to learn more about what a treadmill can offer.

How to

choose a treadmill

Whether you’re starting a fitness program for rehabilitation, to improve your health or to compete in local races, a treadmill is a great piece of cardio exercise equipment. Convenient in any weather or time of day, a treadmill is one product you can count on to get results. Whether you've already decided to purchase a treadmill or you're just researching your options, follow this guide to learn more about what a treadmill can offer.

Consider the following:

Space

It's important to know where you want to put the treadmill and measure the space before you go shopping. Depending on the size of your space, treadmills with folding frames will be a more flexible option if you need to store them in tight spaces. Leave enough room to get on and off safely and make sure you have a high enough ceiling clearance to accommodate your height plus the height of the treadmill.

Goal

What is your motivation to purchase a treadmill? It can be a simple walking program, losing weight or training for a race. It's ideal to determine what kind of goal you want to achieve to help you decide the kind of features you want in a treadmill.

Users

If you will be using the treadmill regularly, or if there will be multiple users, then consider a treadmill with a high-quality and reliable motor, and a more comprehensive warranty or In-Home Repair.

Programs

Many treadmills come with a variety of programs and the capacity to choose manual settings. Based on your goal and motivation for purchasing a treadmill, you should choose a treadmill that can offer challenging programs that will help you meet your goals.

Motor

The key difference between many treadmills is the quality of the motor. Motors are rated in Horsepower. A higher number gives you more power.

The most universally recognized rating system is the Continuous Horsepower (CHP). This is the horsepower that can be produced continuously without exceeding the maximum. It ensures that your treadmill isn't overworked at high speeds or underpowered at low speeds, giving you consistent power for every workout. The majority of users will benefit from a 2.0 – 2.5 CHP motor. Larger motors are often louder, and low-RPM (revolutions of the motor axle per minute) motors are the most quiet. If you plan to use the treadmill around other people or watch TV, a quiet motor will be important.

Budget

Is this a short term or long term investment? As treadmills increase in price, the quality of the core components improves – the frame stability, deck, motor, and cushioning. If you plan to use the treadmill regularly, it is worth investing in a longer-lasting, sturdy machine.

Let's look at the different types

Manual vs. Motorized

A motorized treadmill is easy to use – just step on and walk, jog or run your way to your fitness goal. It uses a motor to run the belt and you can choose the speed and inclination to match your workout routine. On the other hand, manual treadmills require you to work against the deck in order to move the belt. You will have to work a little harder to get to the speed you want.

*Canadian Tire does not carry manual treadmills as they are usually not powerful enough for most users.

Folding vs. Non-folding

Treadmills can take up a lot of floor space when they are in use, but most can be at least partly stowed away by folding up the deck. Some models also have hydraulic shocks to make folding and unfolding the treadmill easier.

Features to consider:

Heart Rate Monitor

Many treadmills have a built-in wireless receiver that will connect to a chest strap or watch.

Reading Rack

A convenient place for you to put your tablet or book on the treadmill to make your workout a more enjoyable experience.

Speakers

Built-in speakers will play your music from your iPod, iPhone, or other music player if applicable.

Water Bottle Holder

A designated place for you to place your water bottle for easy reach.

Fan

A built-in fan in the treadmill that keeps you cool during your workout.

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Drive Motor

The source of power that moves the belt forward during a workout.

RPM

The revolutions of the motor axle per minute is one of the ways to measure the motor performance. Lower RPM motors are quieter and more durable.

CHP

Continuous Horsepower (CHP) is the horsepower that can be produced continuously without exceeding the maximum, giving you consistent power for every workout.

Incline Motor

The incline motor is the main mechanism that raises and lowers the deck when you select your inclination levels.

Incline

Treadmill incline raises the running surface to simulate walking or running up a hill, so you burn more calories and increase muscle tone. Most models offer a powered incline.

Rollers

Rollers work with the running belt to move you forward during your running, keeping it aligned and minimizing friction.

Cushioning

The treadmill's cushioning is located between the belt and frame. Cushioning reduces impact, and makes running on the treadmill easier on the body than running outside.

Deck/Belt

The thicker the deck, the more cushioning and comfort it offers to your legs/joints. Belt widths range from 16" to 20", while lengths vary from 45" to 60".

Speed

Most treadmills offer a speed setting from 0 to 10mph.

Electronic Controls

They range from simple odometers and speedometers to pre-programmed workouts. They can also provide useful feedback, such as speed

Weight capacity

Most treadmills have a maximum capacity weight ranging from 325 lbs to 400 lbs.

Warranty

Most treadmills feature a frame-motor-parts-labour manufacturer's warranty. Read the provided documents carefully to know what the warranty covers.

Consider the following:

Let's look at the different types

Features to consider:

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choose a treadmill