Which treadmill should you choose? There are many factors that should be considered when choosing a treadmill. One of the most important factors is the size. Many people don't realize that a treadmill is a very compact piece of fitness equipment and purchasing a bigger model will cost more than purchasing a smaller one. Size is also a consideration if you have limited space in your home or office. Both beginners and experienced runners will benefit from owning a treadmill, and here is a general breakdown of how each type of treadmill compares.
Manual treadmill: A manual treadmill has a handle bar that allows you to set the incline of the walking surface. The larger motors on manual treadmill give them more power and allow for a much longer workout time than their electric counterpart. Most people who own a manual treadmill prefer to adjust the incline manually rather than relying on an electrical outlet to adjust the level of incline. If you have limited space but would still like to use a manual treadmill, consider getting a corded model. These require you to plug them into an electrical outlet but then allow you to adjust the incline on the fly.
With most models of electric treadmill, there is a change zone that allows you to adjust the speed and other factors such as the heart rate zone. A manual treadmill requires you to manually start and stop the engine. For those who don't enjoy the idea of starting and stopping the treadmill during your workout, a manual model may be the best choice.
Electric: An electric treadmill has no mechanical parts. There are two types of electric trolleys; non-electronic and electronic. Non-electronic treadmill units have paddles attached to the outside of the belt. An electronic treadmill has two or three electrical components that run on battery electricity. The two types of electrical components can either be belt driven or motor driven.
Belt drive electric treadmill: The belt drive motor is the most traditional type of motor found in manual treadmill units. The motor is mounted inside the walking surface and powered by a series of pulleys. Most of the time, the motor is powered by the energy from an attached external source. This type of motor is usually more expensive than the belt drive motor.
Motor driven treadmill: This type of electric treadmill is motorized with the help of belt tensioners. They allow the motor to change speeds depending on the level of heart rate. This is why this type of unit is called an exercise machine. Most exercise machines have a limit to how far you can work out before they become too heavy. This is why most electric walkers have a limit to the number of calories you can burn in your workout.
Adjustable heart rate sensors are the other differences between an exercise machine and a manual treadmill. Most manual treadmill units have only a single set heart rate zone. This zone is adjusted by you manually. An exercise machine on the other hand, can provide a constant pace and intensity regardless of the heart rate. Constant pace and intensity are essential to a great workout. An electric treadmill lets you vary the workout speed and/or the inclination of the feet to vary your workout.
Electric treadmill units can be expensive. However, they are also one of the most affordable fitness machines available. The only major downside of buying an electric treadmill is having to buy additional hardware. Since most manual treadmill units are powered by the force of the user and the belt's tension, extra hardware may be required to make them work. Otherwise, an exercise machine will take up quite a bit of space. An electric model will require little room and can easily be stored in a closet.