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Treadmill Buying Tips
By: Gary Gresham

These treadmill buying tips will make you aware of important considerations before you go treadmill shopping. A treadmill is the most popular piece of fitness equipment today and will last for many years. So you want to look for everything you want now as well as everything you'll need as you become more fit.

Treadmill Buying Tip # 1 Your Workout Area
Make sure the treadmill is going to fit in the room where you will be using it. A treadmill can look small in the store but can become huge once you get it in your workout room at home.

Get the treadmills measurements and make sure it fits well in your room and isn't crammed in a small space. Your workout area should be pleasant so you will enjoy it and workout more often.

Treadmill Buying Tip # 2 Price
You get what you pay for in a treadmill but make sure you get the best in your price range. Read the treadmill reviews and ratings because these usually come from unbiased sources.

Treadmill Buying Tip # 3 Motor
One of the most important elements of any treadmill is the motor. Look for a motor with a continuous duty power rating. You'll see other ratings such as, peak duty and treadmill duty but they don't mean much. Continuous duty power rating is a more accurate measure of motor power and this kind of motor will give you better performance with longer life.

Most treadmill motors range from 1.5 HP to 3.0 HP with the less expensive treadmills offering lower power motors that simply will not last. Look for at least a 2.0 HP continuous duty motor and this should be adequate. If you run a lot on your treadmill you might want to get a 2.5 HP motor.

There are AC and DC motors with most home treadmills using a DC motor because they are quieter. AC motors are mostly used in commercial treadmills and require much more power. The AC motor will also require a dedicated power line and will be much noisier.

For a home treadmill, look for a DC motor with a minimum 1 year warranty for a quieter workout. A lot of people watch TV or listen to music while working out so motor noise is a very important consideration.

Treadmill Buying Tip # 4 Running Or Walking Surface
Common mistakes made when buying a treadmill is thinking all running or walking surfaces are the same. They are not the same and here is what you look for.

Look for a 2 ply surface belt with a minimum width of 17 inches. If you are a runner, get a running or belt surface length of 60 inches as a minimum. If you just want to walk on your treadmill look for a minimum belt surface length of 48 inches. These lengths will provide a more comfortable stride for walking or running.

Treadmill Buying Tip # 5 Inclines
Look for an electronic incline that can be adjusted by pushing a button on the console. There are manually adjusted inclines but they have to be set before you begin using the treadmill. Quality treadmills will have this automatic electronic incline feature and you'll be much happier with it. Look for the incline feature to range between 0% and a minimum of 10% but higher is better.

Treadmill Buying Tip # 6 Low Impact Deck
Treadmills with low impact or have a shock absorption system are much easier on your back and all of your joints. But a treadmill deck should not feel too soft or spongy. Read the treadmill reviews and ratings to know the type of cushioning system each manufacturer uses.

Treadmill Buying Tip # 7 Frame
Look for a high alloy steel or a heavy aluminum treadmill frame. Steel is the best choice because it is heavier, sturdier and will last the longest. The weight of the steel frame also gives your treadmill more stability.

Treadmill Buying Tip # 8 Warranties
Most quality treadmills offer lifetime frame warranties, but with regular use, your treadmill will require service at some point. Look for a warranty with a minimum of 1 year labor and 1 to 3 years for parts on the motor, deck, belt and electronics.

Motors and belts may require to be serviced by a technician. So make sure you purchase your treadmill from a company that provides accessibility to a technician.

Even if you purchase your treadmill from the Internet, several manufacturers work with quality fitness service companies close to where you live.

Treadmill Buying Tip # 9 The Overall Feel
The treadmill you choose should feel sturdy, be comfortable for you to walk or run on and be easy to use.

Options like heart rate monitors, electronic displays, custom programs and interval training are something only you can decide on.

These buying tips are for the critical considerations like structure, motor, belt and frame. Buying a quality treadmill means you will have fewer breakdowns while experiencing a much better workout.

The bottom line is shop around, read the treadmill reviews and ratings and look at your treadmill as a long term investment in your overall health. That is the best treadmill buying tip you can get.

About the Author

This article is supplied by where you will find valuable information, ratings, reviews, articles and buying tips before you make the investment in quality fitness equipment. For more fitness related articles go to:

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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape


Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.

Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:

Dave Snape

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