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Essential gear to practice cardio training at home: buy your treadmill on HiFi-Tower

Have you decided to start practising physical activity at home but don't know which equipment to buy? If many people have advised you to choose an electric treadmill, there is a reason. It is, in fact, an ideal tool to use at home for physical activity to optimise time, but also costs. Excellent for losing weight because it is an activity that helps to achieve a caloric deficit, and perfect for getting started because you can start from scratches with long walks and then increase according to your level of training; in short, a treadmill is a must-have for every athlete.

If you decide to buy a treadmill, there are many advantages and your health will certainly benefit. One of the main advantages of an electric and folding treadmill is the ease of use of this product. A foldable treadmill is also easy to place in your home without taking up too much space. Also, the electric treadmills offer many exciting settings of use that have nothing to envy from the other treadmills that can be found in the gym. The latest generation treadmills for sale on HiFi-Tower are truly incredible in terms of function and use. If you are already familiar with ,cross trainers, excercise bikes and rowing machines, do not miss the opportunity to try a treadmill and discover a new world for cardio training at home.

Which treadmill should you choose for your home gym?

It all depends on how you want to use it. For those who train a few hours a day and prefer to walk rather than run, the most suitable models are the magnetic ones, which do not require the use of a motor to run, but only the strength of your legs. If, on the other hand, your goal is frequent training involving long, intensive sessions, there is no doubt that your choice should fall on the electric treadmills that feature more advanced characteristics suitable for those looking for high-performance training.

Many people look for professional running mats that can offer a series of advantages and optional extras, making the exercises complete, and very close to professional treadmills that can be found in gyms. In these cases, electric treadmills make it possible to run, reaching certain speeds and offering specific tools that can support a better and more complete training session.

The presence of a high-performance motor is fundamental in this type of treadmills; it makes the belt run without being moved by the force of the legs alone, as it is the case with magnetic treadmills. That said, however, there are many models of electric treadmills, but not all offer the same performance. As for every object you are going to buy, the choice always depends on the use and the goal you want to achieve.

If you train for a long time every day and you are looking for high performance, quality durable materials and various additional options, you are probably looking for a professional treadmill, and in this case, you should pay attention to a series of details of the treadmill to be sure not to make the wrong choice.

Which aspects to consider before buying your treadmill?

For professional or semi-professional use, electric treadmills must necessarily possess features that allow them to work perfectly in various conditions and with different stresses, even for long consecutive periods.

The motor is the first parameter to consider, but it is not the only one. The quality of the materials, the damping system and the maximum sustainable weight, are other characteristics that you should not overlook. We are indeed talking about a complex machine whose very function implies the need to provide the user with health, safety and maximum reliability; it must last over time and ensure good performance for a long time, without excessively rapid wear and tear on its components.

For professional treadmills, prices must, therefore, be weighted according to quality tobe sure to safeguard your joints even with frequent and demanding use of the machinery.

Main technical features of a treadmill

Engine power and performance

The basic assumption, however trivial it may seem, is that professional treadmills are only electric. Magnetic treadmills are not able to offer the same performance and safety for your back and joints. The type of motors, however, also varies from model to model, so it is essential to pay attention to some features.

The power is indicated with the horsepower (Hp), and in many models, two values are reported: the basic one and the peak, but the choice must be made considering the raw power. The motor has the function of sliding the belt, overcoming the friction between it and the running surface. Naturally, the friction depends on the weight of the user, so this parameter generally influences the choice of power. It’s important to stress, however, that treadmills designed to support a greater weight are also those that can count on the best materials and performance, so by choosing one of these models you will be sure to have a product that will last longer.

Most treadmills for domestic use are equipped with direct current motors, known as DC (direct current). In contrast, most professional treadmills are equipped with alternating current engines known as AC (alternating current). Alternating current motors are more suitable in case of intensive use of the machine, around 4-5 hours every day. For domestic use, the DC motor is recommended as, electronically speaking, it is easier to manage, and spare parts cost less in case of failure. Many manufacturers indicate a double-figure as engine power: a base power and a peak power. The one you have to consider for your choice is always the basic ones. Also, in this case, the choice is conditioned by the physical characteristics of the user and more precisely by the weight. The work done by the motor is to make the belt slide on the running surface, overcoming the friction that is generated between these two surfaces when we walk or run. The intensity of the friction increases proportionally with the increase in weight applied to the belt and therefore, the weight of the person. The choice of motor power must, consequently, be based on the weight of the user, and for this, you can refer to the following table which considers a continuous use of 1 hour:

Body weight Motor power
60-80 kg 1.75/2.50 HP
60-80 kg 2.50/3.00 HP
100-125 kg kg 3.00/3.50 HP
125-150 kg kg kg 3.50/4.00 HP

If use exceeds 60 minutes without interruption, the power should be increased by 0.25 Hp. Those who are oriented towards a professional electric treadmill are used to train in a sustained manner and for long periods, so it is advisable to choose the maximum power of the motor as in gyms where these machines are subject to lengthy training sessions with different people and must ensure complete functionality.

Damping system

A treadmill is always safer for the joints than ordinary roads because the impact is lower and the possibility of injury is reduced; nevertheless, the type of cushioning available is a crucial aspect in professional treadmills, as well as in entry-level ones; just to have an idea, an adequate damping system can reduce the consequences of the impact by 40% to preserve the health of the joints.

In professional treadmills, this aspect is taken care of in detail, so there should be no problems at the time of purchase, and it is possible to play it safe. You should also pay attention to the thickness of the belt which, for long runs and sustained walking sessions, should not fall below 4 mm.

Belt specifications

Like the motor, the belt is a fundamental element for a good treadmill. A European Directive states that the minimum dimensions for a running belt are 40 x 120 cm; below this value, the treadmill would not provide the necessary safety. Taking this value as a reference, you should choose the length of the belt according to your height and the speed you plan to reach. Runners need a more extended surface area than walkers. If you are going to use the treadmill for "fast walking" or "running" a belt length of 120/130 cm is undoubtedly enough; on the other hand, if you are going to use the treadmill for running, you can consider this table:

Height Maximum speed Belt length
150/170 cm 10 km/h 125 cm
150/170 cm 14 km/h 135 cm
150/170 cm 18 km/h 140 cm
150/170 cm 22 km/h 145 cm
170/190 cm 10 km/h 130 cm
170/190 cm 14 km/h 140 cm
170/190 cm 18 km/h 145 cm
170/190 cm 22 km/h 150 cmm

Currently the term 'running surface width' is more commonly used, indicating the sum of the space to the right and left of the belt, up to the side strips, and the width of the belt itself, which is usually about 20 mm wider.

The length of the belt depends on its use, but generally, it should be changed every 5 years under normal conditions or every 3500 km. After long use, in fact, the material in contact with the running surface starts to wear out and the treadmill motor may no longer work properly and overheat. To keep the treadmill efficient, therefore, it is advisable to follow the manufacturer's instructions and carry out the necessary lubrication. The wear rate is also affected by the weight of the user. Some professional models, however, are equipped with self-lubricating belts and, in this case, their natural life extends considerably, reaching up to 25,000 km of constant use.

Electrical incline: what it is and how it works

As hardcore treadmills fans surely know, this kind of device generally also allows adjusting the inclination of the belt up to 10/15% of the slope, thus simulating a sort of slightly uphill road. This feature can be very useful in the choice of the product because, thanks to the electric inclination we could increase the intensity of our exercises without having to increase the speed, and therefore saving the engine more energy.

Display, additional functions and materials

In addition to what we described so far, professional treadmills offer extra functionalities compared to standard models. The most important parameters can be set directly through the computer and not manually, and high-end treadmills allow the user to chose and set the specific programs, in addition to those preset by the manufacturer to simulate different various training sessions.

If you have specific needs, before purchasing, it would be advisable to read the instruction booklet to evaluate which programs are available and how far the capacity of the installed computer reaches. The most advanced treadmills generally have no less than 10 different speeds and a gradient that can reach 40%, simulating various types of conditions so that you can proceed to complete training with increasing physical effort and greater use of calories. In this type of treadmill, then, there are often HRC (Heart Rate Control) programs, i.e. those that allow you to control your heartbeat and adapt both speed and inclination in order to keep your pulse within a predefined range.

Besides these functions and the type of computer installed on the treadmill, you should also pay attention to the size and quality of the display, evaluating the various types of information it can provide, and which can facilitate the type of exercise you choose.

When choosing a professional electric treadmill, the choice of materials used is fundamental for its success over time, as are the handles that must meet high standards and an ergonomic line capable of supporting intense training.

Finally, in the total calculation must also be taken into account the space needed to accommodate this type of treadmill, which is rather bulky and obviously cannot be folded, and the consumption of electricity that can also have a significant impact, depending on daily use, on the normal costs in the bill.

Treadmill cardio training: the main pros and cons

Training regularly using a treadmill guarantees many benefits. Above all, it guarantees an improvement in your aerobic resistance, with many positive implications for your health. These can be divided into psychological and physical; let's have a look at some of them:

  • reduction of nervous stress

  • improvement of cardiovascular and respiratory fitness

  • improvement of joint muscle conditions, especially in the lower limbs

  • it prevents obesity prevention and therapy

  • prevention and improvement of many metabolic diseases

  • prevention and improvement of many joint diseases

  • increased oxygenation of tissues and heart

  • reduction of cardiovascular risks

  • improvement of balance

  • improved body composition and slimming potential

  • increased life expectancy and quality of life

Compared to running and walking in the open air, training with a treadmill offers several advantages:

  • it reduce rebound vibrations

  • it reduces the risk of falling

  • you can interrupt the execution with an emergency button in case of sickness

  • walkingpads are equipped with a handle to help you maintain balance

  • training is not affected by weather conditions, such as rain, wind, snow etc.

  • no risk of road accidents

  • you can save time

The use of treadmills, however, does not present particular contraindications. Running, in general, is not recommended for:

  • obese or evidently overweight people

  • cardiopaths affected by serious conditions

  • patients at high cardiovascular risk, including cerebral risk

  • people suffering from lumbago, other types of back pain - especially chronic spinal diseases - and intense cervical pain

  • people with compromised hip, knee or ankle - almost always those who have had joint replacement implants

The main disadvantage of treadmill use is boredom. Indoor sessions are generally characterised by the feathering of the surrounding walls and poor socialising skills. Last but not least, for athletes, the lack of similarity with the specific athletic gesture is evident. It may seem strange, but running on a conveyor belt is not the same as running actively.

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