Treadmill Buying Guide

So you want to workout at home, but you don’t have a lot of space, and you are wondering what you should get?

For some people, I would recommend an exercise bike, but for most people, I suggest a treadmill. (Especially to those people who are visiting a running website!) Skip the elliptical machines and weight benches, get a treadmill!

You can walk, jog, and run, all in one place. Running is a natural movement unlike elliptical machines, which will quickly get boring.

If you’re not familiar with treadmills, start with a low price model to be sure you like it. Or, get a trial membership to the local gym and test out all the treadmills they have. This will give you an idea of the features available. Then you can decide what fits your needs and what isn’t necessary.

Some treadmills have built-in heart rate monitors and calorie counters, so if you like to play with numbers, these might be for you. On the other hand, you may want a simple treadmill that you just get on and start moving. If you are used to running hills, look for a treadmill with an incline/decline feature.

A few key points to keep in mind while shopping:


Most likely, you don’t have that much space to devote to exercise equipment. Be sure to measure out how much space you actually have. Some of the high-tech treadmills take up more room than you would expect! If you’re really cramped, look for a model that folds up when not in use.


Treadmills come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. Be sure you test out some models before purchasing. Remember – you’ll be using this for years. You don’t want to buy an expensive one and not use it, but you don’t want to buy a cheap one and have to upgrade it a year later, either.


Other than testing treadmills on your own, look to other people or websites for reviews. Consumer Reports usually does a treadmill test, which is probably the most reliable info you can get. (Smooth Fitness brand treadmills scored very high last year.)

There are websites with treadmill reviews, too. One to check is


Also, don’t forget, you’ll still need proper running apparel, especially shoes. Check out Road Runner Sports or your local running shop.

Leave a Comment