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Buying a Treadmill
By: Frederick L. Waters

If you are considering buying a treadmill you need to take into consideration a number of factors that will determine the quality of the machine. You want to avoid buying a cheap treadmill, because they are not built for endurance and will probably breakdown after minimum use. Treadmills under $800 dollars are not built for endurance and performance and you will get an inferior workout and your machine will not last.

So what do you look for when buying a treadmill, and should you buy your treadmill from a dealer or on the Internet?

Buying a Treadmill from a Retail Store

The obvious advantage when buying a treadmill from either a large retail store or fitness equipment specialty shop is that you to try it out. You can try out all of the features, compare the belts and their impact, and get a feel for what works for you. But this comes with a cost. You are paying for two costly expenses. First, you have to pay for the retail overhead costs. Most retail fitness equipment stores are in prime locations. This cost of the building adds significantly to the price of the treadmill.

Second, when buying a treadmill you are paying for the commission to the salesperson. And since he is on commission you can't always be certain he is going to provide you with objective information. Together the retail costs and the salesperson's commissions can add up to 10% - 15% to the cost of your treadmill. If you feel a need to try it out then you just need to factor in that cost.

Buying a Treadmill Online

When buying a treadmill online you can save considerable money, but you have to be an educated buyer. But the reality is treadmills are like computers. They are composed of many of the same features and components. If you know what you are looking for in a treadmill, and you are familiar with the features you want, then you can easily shop and compare online. In the process you avoid having to travel all over town comparing prices and features. The whole process can be done at your desk.

These are considerations when buying a treadmill online:

Check to make sure the treadmill is a name brand, backed buy independent ratings and reviews. Also, check for customer testimonials, if available.

Make sure when buying a treadmill, it is built with quality components. Like computers, treadmill manufacturers built using similar parts. Make sure that the parts are reputable and that the overall construction meets or exceeds the standards required for your needs.

A warranty says a lot about the quality of a treadmill. Companies are not going to offer an exceptional warranty if the machine tends to breakdown in a short period of time. Warranties are a consistent factor in the quality of a treadmill. If the warranty is exceptional then it makes sense that the treadmill is built to last. Make sure you buy treadmill that comes with a reasonable in-home repair warranty. A one year repair warranty is a good indication. If you plan to buy a budget treadmill consider an extended warranty.

Make sure your treadmill is backed by exceptional customer service. Treadmills are complicated pieces of machinery. They do break. Whether if you buy online or at a retail store, make sure the company has an excellent customer service record. Online company reviews can be found at Shopping.com and BizRate.com.

When buying a treadmill do not get caught up by the salesperson. Do your research. Compare prices, features, reviews, ratings and warranties. That will give you a good indication on what to buy whether online or off.

About the Author

Frederick Waters - Fitness Consultant. Before you buy a treadmill check out all the ratings and reviews at Treadmill Ratings and Reviews (http://www.treadmill-ratings-reviews.com)


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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
shocks.

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
speaking.

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

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

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:
http://tinyurl.com/6c6kq
 

Dave Snape

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