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Treadmills are the number-one selling piece of cardiovascular equipment on the market today. Their versatility, durability and ease of use make them a top draw for exercisers.
If you have ever worked out at a fitness facility, then you know that treadmills are a vital part of the cardio equipment offered by every facility out there. Along with exercise bikes and elliptical trainers, they are the most popular piece of equipment to own.
But working out at the gym is a different matter than working out at home. Most gyms have adequate space to accommodate the equipment which they purchase for client usage. When buying exercise equipment for your home, there are a lot of things to consider.
If you can afford - and have space for - only one piece of equipment, a treadmill is a wise investment.
Treadmills are designed to provide compression-type exercise. What that means is that you are helping to make your bones and muscles stronger through a high-impact exercise. The impact felt when using a treadmill helps to keep bones strong and prevent the onset of osteoporosis. The downside to having a high-impact workout is that it may not be best for people who have joint, hip or knee pain. For those people, using a treadmill can aggravate your condition and should be avoided in favor of another piece of equipment, such as a recumbent bicycle or an elliptical trainer. Those pieces of equipment provide low-impact cardiovascular exercise, which is easier on the joints.
If you've decided that adding a treadmill to your home gym is in the cards, then there are a few things to consider before purchasing one.
The most important thing to consider is how much space you will need to not only use, but to store, the treadmill.
If you live in cramped quarters, purchasing a treadmill that can fold up for easy storage may be your best option. Folding treadmills are generally the same size as their non-folding counterparts; however, the benefit is that when you are finished using them, they fold up into a standing position. In folding position, they can save three to four feet of floor space. While folding treadmills tend to not be as durable or long-lasting as their larger counterparts, they are better than nothing if your living quarters do not allow for a larger unit.
The average length of most commercial models of treadmill is between 70 and 82 inches. Included in the measurement is the motor - which is situated in the front of the machine - the control panel and the running belt. Treadmills are generally 30 to 40 inches wide, which includes the width of the running belt and the safety side mounts. If you are having trouble picturing just how large that is, consider the size of an average loveseat, and that is how much space you can expect a non-folding treadmill to occupy.
In addition to the size of the unit itself, it also is important to leave adequate space around the machine while it is in use. Most treadmill manufacturers recommend providing at least two to three feet of floor space around the front end of the unit, and three to eight feet behind it.
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