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Three Reasons to Try the Treadmill

Running offers one of the best overall workouts. But it does have its drawbacks. Temperature and weather extremes can make it hard to stick to your training plan. The exercise machine industry has filled this need by creating many types of indoor running machines. The most popular one continues to be the treadmill. Here are three reasons why:

Motorized vs. Non-motorized Treadmills

When buying a treadmill the biggest decision is whether to get one that is motorized or a non-motorized. A motorized treadmill is large and requires you to keep pace as the machine's motor moves the treadbelt at your selected speed. A non-motorized treadmill is compact and requires you to push the belt with your feet, so you will only go as fast as you can push.

There are other differences, too. Most non-motorized treadmills are under $200. High quality motorized ones range from $1,000 to $9,000. It depends on the features you want. There are models under $500, but you'll need to make sure they are safe and will last.

Non-motorized treadmills help you burn calories more efficiently, since you supply the muscle power to move the treadbelt. But this means you'll also move slower and get tired more easily unless you are in good shape. This may mean you burn fewer calories. These models also have other drawbacks. They need to be tilted on an incline in order to use them. This can make running hard if you are out of shape or not used to running. Finally, you will push harder on one leg as you get tired. This can make the motion of the treadmill choppy and harder to run on.

Making a Choice

It is usually better to buy a motorized treadmill unless you are in good shape. People who choose to buy a motorized model should consider these features:

You've read about all the options. Here are three points to consider. First, try to buy a machine that includes a free trial period. If not, make sure there is a return policy. Be sure to understand the warranty. Second, think about buying a used treadmill. Check your local want ads. Local health clubs may also have some when they upgrade to better machines. Lastly, you should always talk to your doctor before you begin any new exercise program.


American Council on Exercise

Consumer Reports


Health Canada

Healthy Alberta


How to choose a treadmill. Consumer Search website. Available at: Accessed October 12, 2021.

Selecting and effectively using a home treadmill. Check Your Health website. Available at: Accessed October 12, 2021.

Should you invest in a manual treadmill? Treadmill Talk website. Available at: Accessed October 12, 2021.

Treadmill comparison and rating guide. Treadmill Talk website. Available at: Accessed October 12, 2021.

Last reviewed October 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board  Last Updated: 10/12/2021