A good quality treadmill should provide you with many years of use and will pay you back many times over in terms of overall fitness, healthy weight control and just sheer pleasure! As with most things in life you get what you pay for, so set your budget accordingly.

Another factor to consider is the weight of the heaviest person who will use the treadmill. Most treadmill review sites will include this in their product write ups and is usually shown as the maximum “user weight” for the treadmill.

It is important to pay attention to this as the “maximum user weight” is stated for a good reason. If you weigh 300lbs do not buy a treadmill that has a maximum user weight of 250lbs and expect it to perform as it should for very long!

Give some consideration as to where you will locate your treadmill in your home. If you are fortunate to have a room where the treadmill can enjoy exclusive use then this will not be a problem but, if you intend to place it in a lounge then you may be interested in a “space saver” or folding treadmill.

These can be folded up into an upright position when not in use and so occupy a much smaller floor space. There are now available “ultra compact” treadmills that are highly portable and can be stowed under a bed or inside a closet when not in use. The Smooth 4.25 treadmill is an example of this type of treadmill.

Walking and running although excellent ways of exercising can produce stress on the feet and joints. For this reason you should look at treadmills with a good quality shock absorption system.

Some treadmills now have quite sophisticated shock absorption systems. The Smooth 9.35HR treadmill for example uses a “Hydra suspension” system that be adjusted to the preferences of individual users.

Many treadmills have a bewildering array of electronic features to attract buyers. These include displays that measure calories used to the amount of energy expended in a fitness workout. Look for features that can stimulate and motivate.

The iFIT system developed by ICON fitness and installed in many popular makes including ProForm, HealthRider and Nordic Track allows the actions of the treadmill including the speed and incline elevation to be controlled by software programs that have been designed by professional fitness instructors.

Other popular features include user ID’s that can be customized and record past fitness workouts. The ProForm iLOG 500 is a treadmill that has this facility.

Of course selecting then buying your treadmill is only the start. The key to keeping fit is implementing a workout routine, get started and keep going. You’ll find that after a month, your treadmill fitness session will become part of your normal routine and you will be well on your way to achieving your New Year’s fitness goals!