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Buying A Treadmill - 3 Common Mistakes Most Buyers Make

Buying a treadmill? Congratulations on making an investment in your health!

But if you want to save yourself lots of pain and loads of money, steer clear of these 3 common mistakes that most treadmill buyers make when purchasing:

#1) Getting Taken in by the Icing

The 'icing' is all of the non-essential treadmill goodies that some lesser-quality treadmills offer you. These are meant to hide the fact that the essential factors of a quality machine aren't there.

So what if it's only a 1.5 HP motor - it comes with a free heart rate monitor! That 90 day warranty doesn't matter - it gives you 30 workout programs!

This is like buying a cake after only seeing the icing and then finding out that the icing is ALL there is. Focus on the core essentials of a quality treadmill first - then enjoy the goodies.

#2) The Old Motor Horsepower Trick

Some not-so-savory treadmill manufacturers or stores will try to impress you with the peak duty motor power. Wow - you think - a 3.0 HP motor.

However, what they're not telling you is that there are 2 measures of motor power: Peak Duty Horsepower AND Continuous Duty Horsepower.

Peak Duty Horsepower is the power potential of the motor - the highest power it can run at. However the treadmill cannot sustain this power and it will soon start to overheat. So this measurement is essentially useless to you.

Continuous Duty Horsepower is a more accurate measure of the motor power. This is the power at which the treadmill can continually, steadily operate for 24 hours without slowing down. Thus, this is the more accurate number to gage motor power.

I know of one extremely popular treadmill right now that is doing this and unfortunately people are buying it in droves because it seems like such a good buy.

Don't be fooled by a 3 HP peak duty horsepower rating when the Continuous Duty HP is only 1.5 HP! Just remember that the motor is the most expensive part of the treadmill to fix.

#3) Considering Price to be the Most Important Factor

Although price is an important factor, your health is the most important factor. And a treadmill is an investment in your health.

Do you want to wreck your joints or give yourself permanent back problems just to save a couple hundred bucks?

Unfortunately, this happens all too often. I know of one woman who did permanent damage to her hips because she bought a cheap treadmill with cheap cushioning and then ran on it. Within 4 months, she was in so much pain, she couldn't even walk on her treadmill.

But it doesn't have to be this way. You CAN find a high quality treadmill for a reasonably low price - if you know where to look.

While it's true that not all of us can afford a $4000 commercial treadmill, there are higher quality treadmills out there for under $1500 and even some under $1000. Don't sacrifice your health just to save a buck.

Bonus Mistake #4): Not Considering Your OWN Personal Workout Needs Before Buying

That's great that you found a quality treadmill for $999. But have you considered the fact that you are 6 feet tall and that treadbelt is only 52" long?

When shopping for a treadmill, many people fall into the trap of ONLY looking at treadmills and never looking at themselves.

For example, are you tall or are you planning to run a lot? Then you need to make sure the treadbelt is at least 55".

Are you, or is someone in your household a little on the sturdy side? Then it's probably best to get a treadmill especially built to take heavier weights.

Do you have back problems or a weak back? Then if you want a folding treadmill, it might be better to purchase one with a power folding option so that you can reduce the strain of heavy lifting.

Remember to consider your own needs when looking at treadmills

Regardless of which treadmill you choose - try to steer clear of these common mistakes and you'll save yourself a load of grief (and a ton of money!) Good luck and have fun!

Kathryn O'Neill is contributing editor for Treadmill Reviews a consumer oriented website focusing on the home treadmill market.

For more buying tips, brand reviews, and treadmill best buys visit


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