How to Know What Treadmill Is Right for You:
The Top 3 Questions When Shopping for Fitness Equipment
Ready to get fit? Great! There’s nothing more important than making the decision to take control of your health. But after making that choice, you have to figure out a strategy and get the tools you need to make it happen.
Today, there are so many different pieces of at-home exercise equipment out there that it’s hard to know which one is best for you. How do you know which equipment will fit into your game plan? How will a particular piece of fitness equipment help you meet your fitness goals and tackle your health challenges?
Here, we’ll discuss three things to keep in mind when choosing a treadmill, exercise bike, or other piece of fitness equipment to help you make the smartest decision for your health.
1. Know Your Goals
Everyone has different reasons for pursuing fitness. What do you really want to accomplish with your exercise program? Answering this question will help you maintain motivation and point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing fitness equipment.
Perhaps the biggest reason for exercise is health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that only 23% of American adults are getting enough exercise. Experts recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous workouts.
Specific health reasons for investing in exercise equipment include:
- Seeking weight loss
- Feeling increased energy
- Improving mobility
- Strengthening cardiovascular health
- Reducing stress
Whatever your reasons, start by setting measurable, realistic, and challenging goals. Do you want to fit into a new dress for an event in a couple months, or would you like to lower your resting heart rate by a certain number of beats per minute? The clearer you are on what you want to accomplish, the easier it will be to decide on the right kind of equipment for you. Often times, talking with your doctor or even a personal trainer will help with this process.
Be wary of products like those “as seen on TV” gadgets that promise a quick fix: Good health and fitness are long-term goals that will take both time and effort to reach. If a piece of exercise equipment only targets one muscle group or proposes you can lose a lot of weight without much effort, keep looking.
2. Know Your Style
If you dislike, say, a stair-stepper motion, you’re not going to be very inspired to exercise on a step machine. You’ll want to choose machines that support motions or exercises that you enjoy and are comfortable performing on a consistent basis. Consider your own personal style in terms of both looks and feel before investing in equipment.
Wondering how to know what treadmill is right for you? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Does the treadmill have the speed and inclination settings you want?
- Do you want a heart rate monitor on your treadmill?
- Do you want your treadmill to be able to stream shows?
- How comprehensive are the treadmill’s built-in safety features?
- Is the treadmill large or small enough for your home workout space?
As another example, when it comes to how to pick an exercise bike, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How many speed settings does the exercise bike have?
- Is the bike seat comfortable enough?
- Is the bike the right size for you?
- How sturdy or flimsy does the bike feel?
- Do you want a monitor on your exercise bike to see your heart rate or stream?
In general, when picking fitness equipment, you should always look to try a machine before you buy it to get a feel for the device. You should also buy from reputable companies that have a long history of satisfied customers. Spend some time to ask questions and learn about the features of a particular piece of equipment.
3. Know Your Challenges
When shopping for fitness equipment, you’ll run into a variety of challenges or concerns that might include:
- Financial limitations
- Previous injuries that make certain movements painful
- Joint concerns that may be worsened with specific repetitive movements
- Health concerns or conditions that limit the intensity of your workouts
- The amount of space in your home workout room
- Your particular workout routine or set of exercises
Keep these challenges in mind as you select fitness equipment to ensure you make the best possible decision for your health and your budget.
Most importantly, remember that fitness in and of itself is a challenge. You’ll have to push yourself hard every day to become healthier, and you’ll want to buy equipment that will keep you motivated, let you perform the exercises you need, and push you in all the right ways.
Buy Equipment to Fit Your Plan
There are many pieces of fitness equipment to choose from, including:
- Exercise bikes
- Free weights, such as dumbbells and barbells
- Exercise benches
- Resistance bands
- Fitness clothing
- And more
Whatever gear you choose to buy, make sure that it will work to help you stick to your exercise plan, meet your health challenges, and achieve your ultimate fitness goals.
Spending money for a moderately intense walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes every day is better than buying an exercise bike you’ll use once every two weeks. Purchase equipment that will work for you and that you plan to use on a consistent basis.
If you’re on a budget, look for equipment that offers full body workouts. For instance, rowers can help provide a strong core workout when you pump your legs and arms at the same time, building intensity and endurance. Treadmills and exercise bikes might help you work your upper body, as it helps to stabilize your lower body movement, but may not be the best choice if you’re looking for a more comprehensive workout.
Finally, remember that not even the best equipment will perform miracles. At the end of the day, your ability to reach your health goals lies with you and your ability to commit to a healthier lifestyle. That said, sticking to a realistic, trackable fitness plan that incorporates the right exercise equipment to fit your lifestyle will certainly help you reach your fitness goals.