It’s easy to think of a treadmill as something just for jogging and running, but make sure that you don’t overlook walking as a valuable form of exercise. As California State University discovered in a 2012 study, running a mile only burns 26% more calories than walking a mile. While running does burn more calories in a shorter span of time, walking long distances is still incredible exercise.
So, if you’re comparing treadmills to figure out which one will be best for your walking regimen, here are a few things to consider:
1. There’s Less Need For A Powerful Motor
Many treadmills tout their powerful motors and with good reason; when you’re running, you want something that can keep up with you day after day.
However, walking puts a lot less stress on the motor because it doesn’t have to work as hard. You don’t need as much power, which is good because that typically means a lower price. You want a durable motor, but you don’t need a particularly powerful one if you’ll be using it solely to walk.
2. Consider How Much Incline You Want
The incline is a huge factor in how many calories you burn. In fact, setting your incline at 15 percent increases calories burned by 150 percent when compared to walking without an incline.
That’s right, 150 percent!
If that sounds good to you, then you definitely want to make sure you get a treadmill that has an incline. Most have an incline between 0.5% to 12%, so be sure to get something that will challenge you and help you burn more calories.
3. Will You Use Complex Programming?
Some people love the various settings. Other people could care less. Think long and hard about the settings that you would use and the ones that you wouldn’t. Heart monitors? Interval training? Custom workouts? Often times, the complexity of the programming can mean a higher price, so if you’re going to pay more for it, make sure you’re actually going to use it.
4. How Does It Feel?
When comparing different products, it’s easy to ignore something like comfort, which is a more subjective factor that’s harder to measure. Make sure you hop on the treadmill itself and test it out. Do you like how it feels under your feet? Are the controls and cup holders easily within your grasp? Make sure it passes the “feel” test before you take it home.