Staying Healthy

What to look for in a home treadmill

Find one with a comfortable deck, a strong motor, and features you'll really use.

 Image: © Wavebreakmedia/Thinkstock

If you believe that regular walking, jogging, or running provides enormous health benefits — as you know we do — there are two good reasons to consider a home treadmill, according to Dr. Aaron Baggish, associate director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. First, exercise outdoors can be challenging and even dangerous in bad weather. Second, if the inconvenience and time required to go to a mall or indoor track keeps you from exercising, being able to do it at home makes it much easier. If you have any balance, heart, or lung problems, make sure your doctor clears you for a home treadmill.

Treadmill shopping

Dr. Baggish recommends avoiding nonmotorized treadmills and opting for a motorized model. "You can get a good starter model for about $1,000, but it's easy to exceed that if you want all the bells and whistles," Dr. Baggish says. Before you make the investment, do a little homework first.

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