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How to Choose the Best Treadmill for You

Updated on February 18, 2012

Buy a Treadmill for Home Use

There are many reasons you might want to buy a treadmill. You may be looking to start a new exercise program or you may be too busy to use your gym membership and want to work out at home. You may even want to combine the gym with at-home training for greater results. Whatever reason you are considering the purchase of a treadmill, you will want to find the best one for your needs.

There are a lot of differences in treadmills and the one you will want to buy will depend on many factors. Here is a look at some of your options so you can know the best choice to buy.

Get a Workout with a Treadmill

Motorized vs. Non-motorized

One of the most obvious differences in treadmills is how they operate. The motorized versions plug into an outlet and use electrical current for them to run. You can program them to a setting and they will work whether you are on them or not.

Non-motorized treadmills require body movement for them to function. They only work when you are moving on them. Both kinds will have the belt that you walk or run on; non-motorized treadmills will require you to move the belt with your feet.


Merit Fitness 715T Plus Treadmill
Merit Fitness 715T Plus Treadmill

Home treadmill for the budget conscious.



Some treadmills come with preprogrammed workouts that will change the pace and incline level for different results. Most of these only come with motorized versions, but not all motorized ones have the same amount of workouts. The higher priced models may give you 10 or more and even allow you to create your own customized workouts.

Another feature that varies is the level of incline. Some models only change the incline one or two percent, while other models can create an incline up to ten percent or more to mimic the steepness of going up a steep hill. Using an incline will work other muscles than just walking or running.

Speed is another variation that you will want to consider. If you want to run on your treadmill, you will want one that can go 10 or 12 mph. Along with the speed, you will have to consider the length of the belt. Some treadmills are not comfortable for taller people or those with a long stride.

You may be interested in the bells and whistles that come with some of the models. You can get machines with speakers and an iPod docking station. Some of the treadmills have televisions built in and cooling fans.


One of the biggest deciding factors for most people looking to buy a treadmill is the cost. You will find treadmills that only cost two or three hundred dollars, but you will also find ones that are the price of a used car.

When it comes to deciding on how much you will spend, you should buy the best one you can afford. The cheaper models often lack some of the features or may not last as long. There are good treadmills in the budget category, but many of them will not work as well for competitive runners.


Deciding to get in shape is one of the best things you can do for your health. Purchasing a treadmill is a big step towards that goal; make sure to choose one that you will use and benefit from for many years.

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    • jm72writes profile image

      jm72writes 5 years ago from Missouri

      I've been wanting to buy one myself and have done a lot of research, which is why I wrote this hub. Thanks for the vote!

    • kayyluh profile image

      kayyluh 5 years ago

      Great simple informative hub! I am always walking on the treadmill at my gym with the incline at 15. I have been looking for one to buy for my own house and this article helped me out! Thank you for sharing your information with us, I voted up!