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Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Winter Time Exerciser's Best Friend

The days of fall are gorgeous. 
Walks are long, runs have a dream like quality and we want these days of crisp air and easy temperatures to last forever. 

But the rain, the snow and short, dark days on their way. 

Don't want to crimp your exercise style, but don't know how to manage all of the things that need to fit into those short day lit hours?

Consider a treadmill purchase to extend the hours available for exercise.  It is the most versatile aerobic machine out there and can be adjusted to meet all of your needs including walking at an incline, mimicking natural weight bearing activity you would do on the ground (unlike a lot of other exercise machines) and can be an automatic pacer (preventing any "unintentional" slow downs!).  A treadmill is also versatile enough to fit a household of soccer players, basketball players, weight loss maintainers, rehabilitators and those who are just getting started on an aerobic journey. 

Ready to buy a treadmill?  Here's a few things to consider:
-Do you want to power the belt on your own, or do you want a motorized option?
--A walker will need 1.0-1.5 horses under their motorized belts, while runners will need 1.5-2.0 ponies to keep up with them.

-Is manual incline okay or would you prefer power incline?  Will you want to change your incline without stepping off of the treadmill?  Powered options generally offer a range of 0-10 while manual incline will generally provide four different options.

-Do you need bells and whistles or is a base model going to keep you motivated?

-Long legs abound in your house?  Opt for a treadmill belt length closer to 60 inches.  Shorter legs can get away with shorter treads; 45 inches in length is the shortest.

-Live in a small space?  Look for a treadmill that folds up and can hide away.

Need a good deal?

-Try and  Be safe when you test drive either of these options.

-Check out last years models in online store clearance sections, online auctions and used stores like 2nd Wind.

-Local gyms will sell older, well used models when they are replaced by newer models.  These treadmills have usually been well maintained and used by everyone from professional runners to the first time gym rat.  If she can figure it, you probably will be able to do it pretty easily, too.

Always, always try out a treadmill before you agree to hand over your cash.  It may look good and sound good, but you might hate the bounce in your step or the way your toes graze the console.  Try before you buy!

The most important treadmill feature is not the fan, the type of belt you run on, the heart rate monitor or whether or not it has a TV on it.   The most important feature is your ability to use it and continue to exercise.  If you purchase a treadmill and don't use it, it will be the most expensive clothes hanger your shirts have ever landed on.  Use the treadmill five times a week, and it can join your list of top ten best life time investments. 

Happy shopping!

Next Monday...Another indoor exercise option:  Jillian's 30 Minute Shred!

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