Features Available on Treadmills

Minimally, a treadmill must have a belt and a deck. The belt spins while the deck supports the weight of the walker. Most belts are built to last. However, some machines are built with a single-ply belt that is not durable. When looking to purchase a treadmill, be sure to test it out to be sure the length and width of the belt are comfortable for your stride. The width of a belt should be a minimum of 18 inches. (This is a treadmill not a balance beam.) Some treadmills come with a very wide belt that will accommodate a dog as well as a person. The deck should be thick (at least 1/4-inch) yet still be flexible to allow a bit of cushion for the walker.

Healthy Heart Treadmill JoggerMost treadmills will have a motor (unless they are manual treadmills). For walking, a 1.5 horse motor is minimal, while for running 2.0 hp should be adequate for people under 180 pounds. It would be difficult to find a treadmill that did not have a display panel and controls. These will usually indicate at least distance and speed and will normally also control some of the more advanced features.

The ability to incline the machine allows the user to simulate uphill walks and can increase the difficulty level of a workout. Most treadmills will not incline more than 10 percent grade. However, some of the advanced models may have an incline of up to 15 percent. Modern treadmills can have different workouts built in to help maximize the benefit of the time spent on the machine. Speed, incline, and time can all be made to change automatically over the course of an average session on the treadmill.

Built-in fans are becoming more and more common. The fan helps to keep the walker from overheating. Also, built in monitoring devices can prevent over-exertion, by allowing the walker to regulate his or her pace. There are a huge variety of models available for home use. A person looking into buying a new treadmill should be aware of his own needs and try to match them with the best quality treadmill available.

< Walking and Cardiovascular Health | Manual Treadmills >

Interesting Fact:

Inclining the treadmill increases the difficulty and intensity of a workout.


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