What to look for when buying a treadmill…for walkers, joggers, and runners

Running Outdoors

Thinking about buying a treadmill? With so much choice available, it can be challenging to know just where to start. Whether you’re a keen walker, jogger, or an enthusiastic runner and want to use a treadmill in the safety and comfort in your own home. Here’s our top tips to consider when buying a treadmill.

Who’ll be using the treadmill?
First consider the weight, height, and fitness goals of each person who’ll be using the treadmill. And then look at meeting their needs by looking at the function and form of the treadmill.  So start with a baseline to meet the needs of the person who is the fittest, the tallest and the heaviest. If your budget is your first consideration, and your family members are heavy, tall or fit, then a treadmill priced at $1,000 is not going to be fit for purpose. Perhaps consider a bike instead. Back to treadmills, your fitness will also improve over time, so you want to look at more than just meeting the basic requirements so you get more bang for your money.

Runners.  If you’re an elite athlete or aspiring marathon runner, or a novice with a large build (90 kgs or more and you want to jog or walk), you’ll need a strong sturdy frame construction of more metal than plastic and support struts (it will weigh around 110-130 kgs) so it doesn’t bounce when you run, a solid deck ply, at least a 3 hp continuous motor power so it doesn’t overheat if you’re a long distance runner, good cushioning to the deck to absorb impact, and long deck length to accommodate a longer stride from running. As you and/or your family will be using it regularly, you’ll want comfort, low maintenance, and multi-programs such as interval training, adjustable incline and maximum speed 20 km per hour, performance tracking and regulating your workout based on your results to support your fitness goals. You’ll be looking at the commercial range of treadmills such as Johnson’s Matrix or the Marathon treadmill.

Joggers.   For joggers with a light jogging style of average height and weight (up to 80 kgs) look for mid-range treadmills with a good solid frame construction, sufficient deck length to accommodate your stride, cushioning to absorb the impact, adjustable incline and speed up to 16 km per hour and multi-programs. Look for a motor of at least 2 hp motor power continuous. You’ll be looking at the domestic range of treadmills. Check out the treadmill range from entry-level and Choice Award winner Apex, mid-level Johnson Horizon and Matrix .
If you’re a jogger with a heavy hitter style of jogging or running, you might be focussed on the price rather than focussing on the product that is going to meet your needs, so look for the heavier duty treadmills in the commercial range and you won’t be disappointed. If you do get a smaller motored treadmill, the mat is likely to slip whilst you’re running which is so unsafe, and what’s more, the hard board deck can be damaged and the motor prone to burning out. What’s more, your warranty could be compromised because it hasn’t been used in accordance with the product specifications.

Walkers.  For walkers, who will only walk, and of a small light frame (under 60 kgs) look for treadmills with a reasonable frame construction (more plastic than metal), sufficient room around the console so you can swing your arms and a deck long enough so that you don’t feel like you’re going to fall off. Options to add some variety include adjustable incline and speed up to 10 km per hour, multi-programs, cushioned track, and a motor 1-1.5 hp motor power continuous. There’s a range of quality light range treadmills from Johnson.

If you’re in between a category, then it’s best to go up one level so you can meet your fitness goals. There’s no point getting a small and low horse-powered treadmill to walk on and then realise that you do really want to take up running or family members want to join you in improving their fitness too!

Options. OK, now that the basics are covered, it’s time to consider the range of options. Look for low noise and vibration and consider dense rubber matting to absorb the noise and protect your floor. Consider simple, timeless unique design with running rate, running music, training programs, running logbook, adaptive running surface, energy-saving function with high technology inputs including compatibility with mobile devices and tracking. If an automatic folding deck with multi-directional wheels to move a 100 plus kg piece of equipment is important to you, plus the high technology capability, then you might want to look at the quality treadmills for the home, such as the Horizon Matrix treadmills, from Johnson (made in USA).

If you’re looking for more detail, then check out the Treadmill buyer’s guide in Choice. If you’re returning from injury or illness, or just starting out your fitness work out, then the Victorian Health Department’s guidelines are a good read to help your fitness journey starts safely.

Running Indoors

Experience Elite Fitness Perth. The team at Elite Fitness have a range of treadmills from a range of leading brand names to cater for all fitness levels for the home, studio or workplace. The Elite Fitness Equipment Perth store displays and sells a range of leading brand names with a known history. This means you can be confident of purchasing from manufacturer’s with a long history of designing and making fitness equipment that is fit for purpose, and can resolve any conditions covered by your warranty, and getting genuine replacement parts should they be required in the future.

Perhaps you might be looking for that special treadmill to use on a ship or in a remote location? The friendly and informed team can help you with any questions and even source a treadmill to meet your specific requirements. What’s more they can also take the hassle out of delivery and assembly and arrange this for you. So what are you waiting for…bring in your runners and pop into the store so you can try out their range.








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