Our Guide to Buying Your First Treadmill
You’re ready to dive in and start a new fitness routine. A treadmill is a great place to start, but as a beginner, you may be wondering which machine is best. After all, you don’t want to spend a small fortune on a treadmill that’s designed for professional athletes if this is your first time using a treadmill.
LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill
Our favorite for 2020
Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill
A great value option
ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill
A high-quality electric treadmill
To help make the process a little easier, we’re going to share five of the best treadmills for walking and running. But before we get there, let’s take a moment to discuss some of the key factors you want to consider when comparing these models:
- Running or Walking Speed: First and foremost, you want to consider your capabilities. If you’re a beginner, you likely want a treadmill with a lower starting speed and may not need a high maximum speed. If you do have some fitness experiencing, you may want a higher max speed (around 12mph), and if you’re injured, you may want a very slow starting speed.
- Durability: If you’re serious about working out, you’ll likely be using your treadmill at least three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. Durability is important if you want the treadmill to last more than a few months. It’s worth the extra cost to invest in a quality machine.
- Foldable Design: If you’re short on space, you’ll want to consider whether the treadmill is foldable. A foldable design allows you to save on space in between uses, and some models have transport wheels that let you move the treadmill into a corner when you’re not using it.
Reviews – The Best Beginner Treadmills for 2020
LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill Review – The LifeSpan TR1200i is a folding treadmill that offers support for up to 300 pounds (perfect for those losing weight), a 20” x 56” running surface, and a multi-colored LCD console that allows you to track your speed, time, calories, distance and a whole lot more.
Awarded a “Best Buy” award in 2011, this treadmill is robust and durable, yet folds nicely in the corner of a room.
Six support shock absorbers minimize the impact on the joints when running, and the programmed options include 21 exercises for everything from burning fat to boosting endurance. And when it comes time to listen to music, there is an audio jack as well as a USB port to play the music you like most.
This is the ideal treadmill for beginners and advanced users. Speeds range from 0.5 – 11 MPH, and there are 15 incline levels, too.
Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill Review – The R 5.2 is lower end model, making it the right choice for budget-friendly shoppers. The walking belt is 16” x 50”, the comfort cell cushion deck allows for impact absorption when running, and the space saver design is ideal for smaller homes.
There are two adjustable incline positions and six pre-programmed treadmill workouts for beginners.
A nice addition to this treadmill is the fact that you can adjust any of the programmed options to your personal speed. The built-in monitor includes speed, distance and time tracking, so you can get a robust workout in at all times.
Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill Review – Sunny Health & Fitness offers a powerhouse of a treadmill that comes with a 2.20 HP motor, 15.75” x 48.82” running surface, and handrail controls that make speed adjustments and stopping the machine effortless.
There are 3 incline levels offered for an enhanced workout, and the maximum user weight that the machine can support is 220 pounds.
A large LCD screen allows for calorie, distance and speed monitoring as well as 9 built-in workouts for users. With an easy fold and release option, you can store this treadmill away in just minutes.
Speeds range from 0.5 MPH – 9 MPH.
Horizon Fitness T101-04 Treadmill Review – Anyone that thrives when pre-programmed workouts are offered will find that the T101-04 is one of the best treadmills in the business. This treadmill offers 30 different programs from distance, to step, calorie and interval workouts as well as a manual option.
Built-in speakers are offered with MP3 compatibility, and pulse rate monitoring is done through the pulse grips.
A maximum user weight of 300 pounds is supported. Speeds range up to 10 MPH, and you can go up to a 10 percent incline for an even more difficult workout. With pulse, calorie, distance, speed and time monitoring, this is a complete treadmill for beginners and athletes alike.
ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill Review – The ProForm 2000 may be the most complete and advanced treadmill on the list, but it’s high-end status makes it out of reach for many consumers. This model offers up to 12 MPH speeds, quick speed controls, 15% incline, 3% decline and 32 workout apps that will whip anyone into shape.
A workout fan keeps users cool while running while the music port can support an iPod.
The display also lets you monitor your entire workout while also allowing you to run using Google Maps for scenic motivation. Quiet and robust, the ProForm is also designed to fold up neatly, and provides endless training possibilities thanks to the iFit technology.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Home Treadmill for You
You’ve read the reviews and compared the models – now what? Which model do you choose? While buying a treadmill is a personal decision, there are several things you should be on the lookout for:
- Workout Programs: You’re a beginner, so you may not know the best way to maximize a treadmill’s benefits. Built-in workout programs can help you challenge yourself while varying your workout and helping you achieve the best results possible. We recommend looking for treadmills that offer at least a few workout programs.
- Weight Capacity: Whether you’re fit or overweight, the treadmill’s maximum weight capacity needs to be considered. Some models can hold 400 pounds or more, while others have a 200-250 pound limit. Make sure you choose a treadmill that can accommodate your weight.
- Extra Features: Do you want a treadmill with an iPod port, speakers, cooling fan and extra-large LCD screen? Most beginner-friendly models don’t have a whole lot of these extra features, but some have at least a few. Decide how important these features are, and keep in mind that they add to the overall cost of the treadmill.
- Heart Rate Monitoring: Machines that offer heart rate monitoring can be beneficial because they allow you to gauge the difficulty of your workout. Many models offer monitoring, but not all do.
- Price: Finally, don’t forget to consider the cost of the machine. Price shouldn’t be your only concern, but it will probably be the deciding factor in which treadmill you choose. Always opt for quality over price.