Treadmills have been and continue to be one of the most popular pieces of sports and fitness equipment and methods of cardiovascular exercise for people, both in their homes as well as in fitness facilities. When learning how to buy a treadmill, you'll need to consider a few basic factors as you make your treadmill comparisons to ensure you find the best treadmill to buy for your needs.
>> How will you use a treadmill?
If you're going to shop for treadmills for personal use, take into consideration how often you'll use it, at what intensity and where you'll keep your treadmill. If you are a serious runner, you'll need a different treadmill from someone who takes a 30-minute walk three times a week.
>> Check the motor power
The power the motor can deliver (measured horsepower (HP)) plays an important role in how long the treadmill lasts and how fast it lets you run. The type of treadmill for personal use usually has a motor of 2-3 HP.
>> What type of treadmill to buy?
There are three main types of treadmills you'll come across in learning how to buy a treadmill: manual, powered and step.
A manual treadmill is one in which you create the movement of the belt. This most closely mimics walking or running on the ground and creates a much more challenging workout.
The second type of treadmill is the powered treadmill. This type moves the belt mechanically with a motor. Powered treadmills are much more common than manual ones and are generally the best treadmill to buy, unless you have special needs.
One final type of treadmill is the step treadmill, or revolving staircase, which imitates climbing stairs. It provides a more intense workout, since you raise your legs much higher that you do on traditional treadmills.
>> Consider treadmill size and noise
As you decide which treadmill to buy, consider how much room it will take up. Space is limited in most homes, so measure the dimensions of space before shopping. Also, think about a folding design, so that you can store the treadmill in a place that won't block access to part of the room or a closet. If you plan on moving the treadmill often, make sure that it not only folds but has wheels to make moving it easier.
If you can try a treadmill out in a store, you can hear how much noise it makes. All powered treadmills make some noise, so it's a good idea to place it on a mat designed for the weight of the treadmill.
>> Choosing the features of a treadmill
There are different treadmill sizes, which allow either a smaller space for the machine or more surface area for those with stockier builds or longer strides.
Many people are familiar with the incline feature of a treadmill, which allows you to adjust the incline to make your workout more difficult. However, some treadmills allow you to have an adjustable decline as well, enabling you to work different muscles.
Modern treadmills can incorporate a lot of technology. Even basic types of treadmills display speed, time, distance and incline and let you manually adjust the speed of the belt. More advanced models have built-in exercise programs that automatically vary the speed of the belt throughout the program to give you a gentle warm-up, an intense middle section and a gentle cool-down. These models also let you choose the difficulty of the program, so that it follows the same general pattern, but with more or less speed. The most sophisticated treadmills have touchscreen controls and sensors that you can grip to get a pulse readout. Some treadmills are even compatible with heart monitors that you attach to your body, and they communicate wirelessly with the treadmill.
To help you pass the time, some types of treadmill offer entertainment features, such as iPod docks.
As you learn how to buy a treadmill, take a close look at a treadmill's safety features. A crossbar is one of the safety features you'll want to consider for balance and stability. A treadmill should also have an automatic cutoff mechanism to prevent injury from a moving belt if you slip. This mechanism is usually a flat key inserted into the tread mill by a cord to a clip that you attach to your shirt. Usually, you must insert the key to start the machine.
When you shop for treadmills, you be sure to check treadmill comparisons and this treadmill Guide, as well as search sports and outdoor supplies sections of stores. A treadmill is a major investment, and you want to ensure that you find the right one for your needs.
Tricycle Guide: Don't Get the Wrong Tricycle
Adults and children alike benefit from the physical activity involved in riding tricycles. Purchasing the best tricycle for your needs will involve researching different types of tricycles and determining the best fit for your lifestyle.
>> Who wants a tricycle?
You can find a tricycle design to fit your needs at any age. From infants to adults enjoying their retirement, many people can find tricycles among the different bikes and riding toys on the market. Tricycles are used for recreation on their own or as part of a more comprehensive fitness plan. They are both a toy and a tool, depending on your age and needs. Looking at a variety of tricycle options will guide you to the right choice for your stage of life and lifestyle choices.
>> Consider adult tricycles
If you are an adult who is interested in activity outside, you might consider several different options when determining the right tricycle design for your needs. Adult tricycles are more stable than traditional bicycles because of the extra wheel and the wider wheelbase at the back. The flatter and wider seat on a tricycle is often more comfortable than traditional bicycle seats and this feature will allow you to spend more time on your new tricycle.
When you look for the best tricycle to purchase as an adult, you can also take a moment to consider how you will transport the tricycle from one destination to another. Folding tricycles compact down to fit into a smaller space, which is helpful when fitting the tricycle into a vehicle. You can measure the tricycle dimensions and make sure your purchase will fit where it needs to be stored, both at home and on the road.
You can also decide whether you want a standard tricycle design with a seat that sits perpendicular to the frame of the tricycle, or if you are interested in purchasing a recumbent tricycle with a seat that slants backwards toward the base of the back tires.
>> Consider toddler tricycles
You can purchase a tricycle for your toddler before your child even begins walking. Toddler push tricycles are a common way to introduce your child to the idea of active play inside or outdoors. Infant and toddler tricycles allow children to grow into the idea of pedaling. A tricycle design without pedals allows young children to use their feet for balance and propulsion.
Many of these tricycles allow you to buy tricycle accessories that extend the usefulness of the purchase and make the first tricycle purchase more like a stroller. These tricycles might come with adjustable handles for your pushing comfort, water bottle holders and snack trays for both yourself and your child, sunshades for protection on bright days and storage baskets for essentials. This makes them among the best tricycles for parents and toddlers.
>> Consider children's tricycles
When your child expresses the desire to move on past push tricycles, you can encourage the development of balance and coordination by looking for a tricycle design with pedals. The best tricycle for a child who is ready to ride independently is sized appropriately for comfort and safety. There is no standard sizing guide for tricycles. Children ride safely when they can easily touch the pedals through an entire rotation.
Tricycles for children are built from multiple materials, and the materials influence the cost of each tricycle. The most common materials for tricycle design are plastic and metal. Metal tricycles are sturdy and durable. Traditional metal tricycles have been the standard for generations, and Radio Flyer tricycles have a long history in film and photography. Consider the classic style and nostalgia of the metal tricycle when you shop.
Plastic tricycles have become more popular in recent years. They are an affordable alternative to the heavier metal tricycle design. Since they are lighter in weight, they make for a more portable toy that carries and stores easily. Big Wheels and tricycles designed with a large front wheel and smaller rear wheels are fast and often used for stunts and jumping. Often, after children have outgrown traditionally designed tricycles, you can still find them having fun and getting exercise on Big Wheels.
>> Consider tricycles that grow with your child
The best tricycle for your child is the one that gets the most use. Choosing a tricycle that grows with your child extends the life of your purchase and allows your child to enjoy a new toy for years. Tricycles are available that convert from infant rockers that lock on a base to standard tricycles that work for older children with better balance and greater leg strength.
Some tricycle brands work as strollers for infants and then have the handles removed to become stand-alone riding toys with typical pedals. Look for a tricycle with an extended age range for recommended use. Choosing a tricycle design that can convert from a push design to a pedaled tricycle will give your child the ability to grow in skill without outgrowing the tricycle model too quickly.
>> Choose tricycle colors and designs
Shopping for the best tricycle for your child goes beyond just choosing the most functional design. Your child can own a tricycle that suits her personality and color preferences. If your child loves princesses and things that sparkle, there are cool tricycles out there that are just what you need. The types of tricycles available for purchase today range from classic and refined to bright and outrageous. You can buy a tricycle featuring popular television or storybook characters, or you can choose to just go with an interesting colored design. Beyond tricycle design basics, you can customize your tricycle purchase by looking at tricycles with front or rear baskets, streamers in the handlebars, spinning or clicking beads in the spokes of the tires, bells and horns. Customization is one key component of choosing the best possible tricycle for your child.