How to own a treadmill

Tips to treadmill ownership


1.   Keep your treadmill clean and dry

Sweat is very corrosive so you need to wipe down your treadmills running belt, treadmills console and arms with a damp cloth to help prevent repairs. Make sure your cloth is only damp, you don’t want to damage your treadmills electronics by getting them wet. Vacuum under the treadmill. Most home treadmills fold up and collect dust and debris under the treadmill’s deck . The motor has a cooling fan which sucks up air from under the treadmills base. If its dusty under there it will suck that right up as well. If the motor or motor control board (the circuit board that controls the motor) gets clogged with dust they will run hotter which will shorten the life of these components.

2.    Turn your treadmill off at the wall when your not using it

It’s easy to leave your treadmill in standby mode but remember that it still has electricity running through it.  If there’s a power surge or spike it could damage your treadmills electronics. Plugging your treadmill into a surge protection board will help protect it from power surges and spikes when you’re using your treadmill. Treadmill electronics are expensive to replace and after a short amount of time these parts may not be available. Some cheap imported treadmills may not have any parts back up and others may only have 2-4 years before the parts became obsolete. The purchase price is only one cost of ownership.

3. Stand on the treadmill side rails when you press start

If you think about pushing a car, its the getting started that takes all the effort. Once it’s moving it takes less effort. It’s the same for the treadmill motor. It takes more effort to get it started. So don’t stand on your treadmill belt when you press start, stand on the side rails. Once the treadmill belt starts moving then maybe press a quick speed key, say 4 km/h.  As it starts to accelerate then start walking on the belt. It will take quite a lot of strain off the motor and electronics over the treadmills lifespan and help to get more value for your money.

4. Incline your treadmill

If you set your treadmills incline to  2-6  it will help take a little stress off the motor and electronics. When its set on incline gravity is helping move your treadmill belt. You are still working out just as hard, if not harder. You may feel it in your calf mussels a little.  If you’re new to a treadmill make sure you don’t stain your calves too much. I did just that by running on incline and couldn’t walk properly for a couple of days.

5. Lubricate your treadmill regularly

The average user should lubricate their treadmill every 2 to 3 months . It will prolong the life of the running belt and deck. It will also help prevent the need to repair your treadmill. These parts are very expensive and if they get too worn they could burn out your motor and/or motor control board. At this point, your treadmill will not go. If your treadmill shuts down when you are on it, don’t restart it as you will be doing more damage to your treadmill. Call a technician and have your treadmills belt and deck tested. If you haven’t used your treadmill for a few months, lubricate under the treadmills running belt before you use it. The lubricant can dry out on your treadmills belt and deck and if you start using your treadmill dry you could do a lot of damage in a very short time.

6. Use your treadmill correctly

A lot of home treadmills are only designed to be used up to an hour a day,  especially cheaper treadmills. If you want to do some serious miles you’ll need to spend $2,500 -$7,000 to get something with a higher quality belt and deck,  bigger diameter rollers and bigger motor. So before you buy one think about your goals. Are you training for a marathon, just keeping active with 20-30 minutes of walking a day or maybe you have a weight loss goal?  Another factor is the weight limit of the treadmill. There seems to be a little sales competition with weight limits. The more you weigh the more stress the treadmill is under and the quicker the treadmill’s belt and deck will wear out. I think the weight limit of a treadmill is more what the treadmill’s frame will support. So if you weight 90 kg, go for a treadmill that’s rated at 120-130 kg. Leave a bit in reserve.

7. Children safety around Treadmills

Don’t let your children use your treadmill as a toy. People can get seriously hurt by a treadmill. Keep your safety key hidden away when you’re not using your treadmill. This way your kids can’t use it if you’re not supervising. Make sure your young kids are well supervised when your using your treadmill. If they walked in behind you, you may not notice them. Treadmill motors are very strong and if you get your fingers caught in the running belt you’ll need more than a plaster.

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