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If you are in the market for a treadmill, congratulations! You are considering making a purchase that improves your physical and emotional wellbeing. Not many Americans make the choice to live this kind of lifestyle, but not you! While this is a wonderful decision, many other decisions are still needed.
What kind of treadmill do I get? Why are there so many different kinds of treadmills? How much does a treadmill weigh? If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. You are in the right place to find out everything you need to know about this decision, including the best treadmills on the market for your situation.
Types of Treadmills
There are many different types of treadmills, but they generally fall into two different groups. Either they are manual treadmills or powered treadmills.
Manual treadmills are cardio equipment where the runners’ stride powers the machine rather than electricity. Unlike the treadmills most people are accustomed to, they lack a motor, but their advantage is their unlimited speed. The belt will move as fast as the runner does, making it a wonderful option for HIITs or other workouts where high speeds are warranted.
Next time you are at a gym, take notice, and you may realize you’ve been near one of these treadmills all along. The curved treadmill that you may have been avoiding due to a lack of knowledge is actually a manual treadmill.
While this is a good example of a commercial manual treadmill, this is not the only kind of non-motorized treadmill.
The cheaper version of manual treadmills is perfect for home use. They are compact treadmills that can sometimes be folded and stored easily without taking up too much room. These are the “under the desk” treadmills that you may have seen advertised.
Benefits of Manual Treadmills
There are advantages to all types of fitness equipment, but for the manual treadmill, they are:
- Affordable: Unlike a motorized treadmill, non-commercial manual treadmills are cheaper and make perfect additions to a home office or home gym. Achieving your fitness goals has never been more accessible to those on a tight budget.
- Safe: Since you are the one powering the equipment, you do not have to worry about it moving without you physically making it move. This fact means that you will be in total control and have a better and safer workout experience.
- Low maintenance: Electric treadmills require regular maintenance, which can be cumbersome and challenging for those of us (myself included) who are not mechanically inclined.
- No power source: A benefit of this type of unit is that it requires zero outside power, making it more convenient for individuals trying to configure their home office or gym.
- Simplicity: Along with maintenance issues, some of the motorized commercial treadmills are difficult to set up and use.
- More calories: Studies have shown that using a manual treadmill can cause you to burn more calories, which makes reaching your fitness goals even more attainable.
- Form: If you do use the “Curve”, literature has also shown that it can improve your running form as a result of the shape of the equipment, requiring you drive your knees, etc.
Drawbacks of Manual Treadmills
A few of the disadvantages of using a manual treadmills are:
- Limited Features: Manual treadmills generally lack the advanced features found in motorized models. You won’t have access to pre-set programs, incline adjustments, or speed controls.
- Difficulty in Maintaining a Consistent Pace: Unlike motorized treadmills, where the belt moves at a consistent speed, manual treadmills require the user to power the belt themselves. This can lead to uneven pacing and a less smooth workout experience.
- Limited Intensity Options: Manual treadmills usually don’t offer incline settings, limiting your ability to vary the intensity of your workout. This can make it challenging to simulate uphill or downhill terrain.
- Higher Impact on Joints: The lack of a motor means that manual treadmills often have a harder and less shock-absorbent surface. This can result in a higher impact on joints, potentially causing more strain, especially during running or jogging.
- Less Stability: Some manual treadmills may be less stable than their motorized counterparts. This can be a concern, especially during intense or high-speed workouts.
- Size and Folding Limitations: Manual treadmills are often designed to be compact and foldable. While this is advantageous for storage, it may also result in a smaller running surface, making it less comfortable for taller individuals.
Before choosing a treadmill, consider your specific fitness goals, preferences, and any physical limitations you may have. It’s also advisable to test a manual treadmill before purchasing to ensure it meets your expectations and requirements.
Motorized or Electric Treadmills
If you were asked to picture a treadmill, the first thing many would envision is the heavy-duty treadmills that you see at your local gym and other commercial facilities. These high quality and oftentimes bigger treadmills are good choices for anyone trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Benefits of Electric Treadmills
The benefits of conventional treadmills are:
- Variable Speeds: Electric treadmills allow you to easily adjust the speed of the belt with the touch of a button. This versatility makes it suitable for users of different fitness levels, from walking to high-intensity running.
- Programmable Workouts: Many electric treadmills come equipped with pre-set workout programs. These programs can automatically adjust the speed and incline of the treadmill, providing a structured and varied workout experience.
- Adjustable Incline: Electric treadmills often have motorized incline settings, allowing you to simulate uphill or downhill conditions. This feature adds variety to your workouts, targets different muscle groups, and increases overall intensity.
- Heart Rate Monitoring: Some electric treadmills are equipped with heart rate monitors, either through built-in sensors on the handrails or compatibility with chest straps. Monitoring your heart rate can help you optimize your workouts for cardiovascular fitness.
- Consistent Pace: With a motorized treadmill, the belt moves at a consistent pace, providing a smooth and controlled running or walking experience. This can be beneficial for maintaining a steady and comfortable rhythm during your workouts.
- Entertainment Options: Many electric treadmills come with built-in entertainment features, such as speakers, USB ports, or tablet holders. This allows you to listen to music, watch videos, or follow workout apps, making your exercise routine more enjoyable.
- Motorized Belt: The motorized belt on electric treadmills requires less effort from the user compared to manual treadmills. This feature is particularly advantageous for individuals who prefer a more effortless and controlled exercise experience.
- Customizable Workouts: Electric treadmills offer more options for customization. You can manually adjust the speed and incline during your workout, allowing you to tailor the intensity to your fitness level and goals.
- Data Tracking: Many electric treadmills provide data tracking features, including distance covered, time elapsed, calories burned, and more. This information can help you monitor your progress and set realistic fitness goals.
- User Profiles: Some electric treadmills allow you to create user profiles, storing individual preferences, workout history, and personal data. This feature is beneficial for households with multiple users.
These benefits collectively contribute to a more versatile, convenient, and enjoyable treadmill workout experience, making electric treadmills a popular choice for individuals seeking effective indoor cardio training.
Drawbacks of Motorized Treadmills
While motorized treadmills offer a more convenient and versatile option for indoor exercise, they also come with some drawbacks. Here are some considerations:
- Cost: Motorized treadmills are generally more expensive than manual ones, making them less budget-friendly for some individuals.
- Maintenance and Repairs: Motorized treadmills have more complex mechanisms that may require maintenance and repairs over time. This can include issues with the motor, electronic components, or the belt.
- Space Requirements: Motorized treadmills are often larger and heavier than manual ones, requiring more space for use and storage. This can be a significant consideration for those with limited living space.
- Electricity Dependency: Motorized treadmills require electricity to operate. This means you need to place the treadmill near an electrical outlet, and if there’s a power outage, your workout plans may be disrupted.
- Noise Levels: The motorized components of these treadmills can generate noise during operation. While many models are designed to be relatively quiet, the noise level can still be a concern for those living in apartments or shared spaces.
- Potential for Technical Malfunctions: The electronic components, control panels, and motor in motorized treadmills can be susceptible to technical malfunctions. This may lead to issues with speed control, incline adjustment, or other features.
The benefits of either type of treadmill are ample, but if you are looking at buying a new treadmill for your home gym, you are likely wondering, “How much does a treadmill weigh?”
How much does a treadmill weigh?
The weight of a treadmill heavily depends on the type of treadmill you are buying. If you are looking for a lighter treadmill, like a standard manual treadmill, the average weight is 60 pounds.
The weight of a curved manual trainer is roughly between 275 to 320 pounds. So if you are looking to run at top speeds, don’t forget your lifting belt to move it into place.
The average motorized treadmill weight is between 200 and 320 pounds.
What to Consider Before Buying a Treadmill
If you are looking for home treadmills, consider the following:
- Space: What is my space like? Do I have a power source? Is it easy to get into this room while wrestling with exercise equipment packaging?
- Budget: Each type of treadmill comes with a different price range; purchase wisely.
- Different purposes: Are you just looking to get more steps in or a fitness enthusiast looking to push the boundary?
- Maximum user weight: Are you a heavy person looking to start your fitness journey? If so, that’s amazing! But you will need to understand the weight limit of a treadmill before you look at purchasing one.
- Different features: Are you someone who likes the best features on all of their electronics? Great features like heart rate monitors, LCD screens, Bluetooth, etc. If so, your best option is to go with a more high-quality treadmill. If you are more minimalistic, you may find the lower-end treadmills to be the best option for you!
Doing research and finding out what is right for your situation is crucial to finding the best treadmill for you. Take a serious look at your situation and be honest with yourself; this allows the decision-making process to be as fruitful as possible.
Best Treadmills Comparison
Becoming the best version of yourself is a good reason to consider buying your own treadmill and ditching the local fitness centers. Here are the best treadmills currently on the market:
70"D x 33"W x 64"H
76"D x 37"W x 63"H
50.4"D x 23.5"W x 5.9"H
23"D x 49"W x 50"H
Reasons to Use a Treadmill
Using a treadmill can offer a wide range of benefits for your overall health and fitness. Here are several reasons why incorporating a treadmill into your fitness routine can be advantageous:
- Convenience and Accessibility:
- Treadmills provide a convenient option for indoor cardiovascular exercise, allowing you to work out regardless of the weather or time of day.
- Having a treadmill at home eliminates the need to travel to a gym, saving you time and making it easier to stick to your fitness routine.
- Cardiovascular Health:
- Treadmills are excellent for cardiovascular workouts, helping to improve heart health by increasing your heart rate and enhancing circulation.
- Regular cardiovascular exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels.
- Weight Management:
- Treadmill workouts contribute to calorie burning, making them effective for weight management and fat loss.
- The ability to control speed and incline allows you to customize your workout intensity, optimizing calorie expenditure.
- Joint-Friendly Exercise:
- Many treadmills come with cushioned surfaces, reducing the impact on your joints compared to running on harder outdoor surfaces.
- This makes treadmills a suitable option for individuals with joint issues or those recovering from injuries.
- Versatility in Workouts:
- Treadmills offer various workout options, including walking, jogging, running, and interval training. You can adjust speed and incline to create diverse and challenging workouts.
- Programs and features on modern treadmills, such as pre-set workouts and heart rate monitoring, add variety to your routine.
- Consistent Pace and Monitoring:
- Treadmills allow you to maintain a consistent pace, making it easier to track and measure your progress over time.
- Many treadmills come equipped with built-in monitors, displaying metrics such as speed, distance, time, and calories burned.
- Mental Health Benefits:
- Regular exercise on a treadmill has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression.
- The rhythmic motion of walking or running on a treadmill can have a calming effect, promoting mental well-being.
- Customizable Intensity:
- Treadmills offer adjustable speed and incline settings, allowing you to tailor the intensity of your workout to your fitness level and goals.
- This adaptability makes treadmills suitable for individuals at various fitness levels, from beginners to advanced athletes.
Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or concerns.
Whether you are looking to buy a heavier treadmill with a powerful motor or a smaller folding treadmill, remember either type is a great addition to benefit your physical and emotional life. The different sizes and types make sure that everyone can get the exact piece of equipment they need for where they are in their journey.
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About the Author
Hi there! I’m Dr. Keagen Hadley, OTD, OTR/L. Straight out of the University of Mary, I’m all about blending my know-how in knee health, well-being, and medical technology. As a licensed occupational therapy doc, I’m here to translate complex concepts into clear, actionable insights – whether it’s knee care or groundbreaking healthcare tech.