Choosing the right TreadMill [PEx*]
Choosing the right treadmill from a market infested with Asian and European imports can be quite a tough task. The dealer is not to be relied upon. He would want to push the product off the shelf and to do that he will bluff all he can. So, How do you know which one is right for you?
First stop, the wallet. If you can afford around 10k for a tread mill, go for a manual tread mill. But manual tread mills are recommended only for slow/brisk paced walking. Never jog or run on a manual tread mill. On the long span, your knees and back joints are susceptible to injury if you do so. Never go for treadmills with rollers in them.
If you can extend your budget to 25k, then a basic motorized model would fit in the bill. Motorized treadmills can be used for walking, jogging or running. If budget is not a concern, the options are limitless. Home user Treadmills are available in the market starting from 25k to 2Lakh.
The difference between the basic models and the advanced models are basically more HP motor, more programs and brand value. But if you are going to spend only about 30 minutes or so on a treadmill and looking for the basic body fitness, the basic model is your match. If you are a professional athlete, actor or a multi-millionaire go for the top end models.
But if you are not willing to spend, you have better options. Hit the Gym nearby or strap the shoes on and go for outdoor workouts. Nothing can match the fresh morning air and the natural way to workout.
Finding the best match
Make sure you walk for a while on the machine before you choose it. Look out for comfortable placement of hand bars, low noise at high speed, smooth and non-jerky operation and a stable base. A fold-able model is good for easy storage. But be sure it has a soft-drop during unfolding. Free drop unfolds can be risky in a house where children are around, plus its aesthetic to have a pneumatic drop. These machines are not manufactured in India, but the parts are imported and assembled in India. Check the sturdiness and finishing of the entire frame. Test walk / jog before you swipe that plastic.
Be it the basic model or the advanced model, what is it that one must look for in a treadmill?
Basic models typically tend to have lesser running area. For safety reason, its advised to have a minimum or 16″ width and 45″ length in the running area. Any treadmill which has less than 42″ length is not advisable for high speed jogging.
A D.C. motor is less noisy and a continous power of minimum 1.5HP/2HP is a must. If the pamphlet tells you that the machine can carry upto 90 kg and you weigh around 70kg, don’t assume that this would suffice. While jogging, gravity acts along with your body weight and the load may go beyond 90 kg for a person weighing 70 kg. An average male would need atleast 120kg load supporting motor. Choose a motor that and carry 40% more than your stable weight.
Warranty and Support:
Most dealers don’t provide warranty for the roller mat. So check for the replacement’s price. Roller mats are durable and long standing, but incase the rats decide to get naughty or you cousin wears a spike shoes on it, you could end up paying a fortune (4k-8k) for the replacement. Look for a dealer who provides atleast 2 years warranty on the motor and console. Check for service and again don’t rely on the dealer’s promise. Check out user reviews and ask around the neighborhood. Its advisable to buy from dealer who deals exclusively on Gym and Sports equipments.
Good to have:
Its good to have a heart/pulse reader and a Body fat calculator in the console. Speed must be adjustable in steps. For instance, you must be able to jump down from 8km/hr to 3km/hr instantly. Gradual decreasing of speed would be difficult when you want the machine to slow down during vigorous workouts. Automatic motorized elevation is a good to have feature. But it come along with increase in the price tag.
And last but not the least, haggle a lot. These machines are not made in India. They don’t have an MRP and the price is usually set by the dealer for a higher profit margin. Get quotes and specifications from multiple dealers before you decide on a single dealer. Bargain and the dealers may knock off 20-30% from the initial quoted price.
*PEx – Personal Experience