Buying a Treadmill for Your Exercise Program

Treadmills have improved a lot in quality over the years and are now the most popular workout machine in the U.S. According to Consumer Reports, they are also the most likely exercise machine to actually be used instead of abandoned.

See one man's treadmill weight loss success story here.

There are three basic types of treadmills based on price categories. The cheap treadmills sell for between $300 to $700. They are good for walking workouts but not usually sturdy enough for running. They usually include a 10-mph top speed and a ten percent maximum inline, a display for speed, distance, time and calories.

The midrange treadmills sell for between $800 and $1,800 and are much sturdier than the cheaper basic models. They are good for walking as well as occasional running. They have all the features of basic treadmills, plus a heart-rate monitor and exercise programs.

The high-end treadmills are good for regular running and usually have a more powerful motor as well as a sturdier construction than the mid-range models. They retail for about $2,000 to $3,500.

Consumer Reports recommends you actually try out the treadmill before buying one. If you plan on running on the treadmill, make sure the belt is at least 18 inches wide by 50 inches long. Buy one with a safety key if you have small children around.

Treadmills prices are dropping. There will probably be lots of sales and discounts offered around the New Year. The treadmill shown aboveis a Horizon brand and just went on sale for $800 (regular price is $1,300).