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Exercise

Treadmill Shopping: Key Factors To Consider During Your Search


Treadmills are one of the hottest pieces of aerobic equipment on the market today. Rather than heading out to the gym, more and more people are bringing the gym into their living rooms.

In fact, consumers spent more than $2.6 billion on treadmills in 1997 alone, according to the Sporting Good Manufacturers Association.

Treadmills are excellent for burning fat and calories. They are ideal for walking or jogging indoors with significantly reduced impact. And, workouts can be programmed to fit doctors' recommendations and are a safe way to achieve exercise goals.

If you're planning to buy a treadmill, take the time to see what's out there. Some key factors to consider during your search, according to Utah-based ICON Health & Fitness Inc., which produces such well-known brands as ProForm®, Image®, HealthRider® and Reebok®, include:

Deck space should be wide enough to allow you to move naturally and freely during the workout.

A durable cushioning system can reduce impact on knees, hip joints and ankles.

Easy-to-use electronics provide motivation and keep the workout on track with feedback of speed, time, distance, total fat and calories burned and pre-programmed workouts.

Safety features, such as an automatic shut off switch and clothing clip are a must.

Built-in heart monitoring systems, such as grip sensors, make it easy to determine pulse rate during the workout and stay in your target zones.

Space-saving features allow the treadmill to fold up compactly to maximize floor space.


© 2001 Health Resources Publishing