Treadmill Safety Should be Non-Negotiable
A treadmill is a machine with many moving components and, because of that, the potential for injury is ever-present. The best treadmills take safety very seriously and include many failsafe features to ensure that your workout is a productive and safe one. If you’re considering the purchase of a treadmill you should always do your research to find out what kind of safety features they have built-in; if they don’t seem to have any then you should reconsider purchasing that treadmill.
You might be inclined to think that because a machine is more expensive it will have better safety features, but there are plenty of reasonably-priced treadmills that include very good safety features, so don’t let price cloud your judgment. I understand the constraints of a budget, but never sacrifice your own personal safety just to get a good bargain.
Tense That Belt
The consistency of belt tension is critical to your safety on a treadmill. Some of the less expensive treadmills may have belts that seem a little jerky or even skip ahead from time to time. This is obviously a potential safety risk and that’s why it’s always a good idea to try out a treadmill before you buy one. If that’s not practical because you’re buying one online, at the very least read a lot of reviews and try to find videos that demonstrate the treadmill in use. In general, if a belt’s too loose it will tend to slip, so it may just be a matter of tightening the belt properly, but it may also be a sign of poor construction.
Safety Is the Key
If you’ve ever used a treadmill in the gym you may have noticed an odd looking key with a string attached to it. Well, that’s not just there for show – it actually has a purpose. That safety key is meant to be attached to your clothing so that if you happen to fall off the machine, or even if you just lose your balance for a second, the key will pull out of the treadmill, causing it to stop. This is an excellent safety feature which almost all of the best treadmills include. In my opinion you should always look for a treadmill that has this kind of feature, as you just never know when you might take a tumble.
Hidden Power Switches
Our kids and grandkids are the lights of our lives and concerns for their safety are never far from our minds. That’s why we insist on training wheels on their bikes when they first learn how to ride. It’s also why we make every effort not to allow them access to a treadmill, with all its moving parts. It’s also comforting to know that your machine has some built-in safeguards just in case the little ones do gain unsupervised access to your treadmill. The better electric treadmills have kill switches which turn off all power to the machine when it’s not in use – these are generally located in a spot that’s not too obvious. There’s no substitute for keeping a watchful eye on your kids, but it doesn’t hurt to look for a treadmill that has this kind of feature to help you in your efforts.
Higher quality treadmills may also include a feature that automatically shuts off the treadmill as soon as you remove your feet from it. These types of treadmills often have tracks on either side that you can stand on to take a quick break; when you do this the treadmill will stop. This is accomplished by including pressure sensors that require a minimum amount of pressure before the treadmill will begin to move. As soon as you take your feet off the treadmill you release all pressure on the belt and the machine will stop. You won’t find this feature in the less expensive models, but if you can afford to spend a little extra on a treadmill you should definitely consider this as it’s a great safety feature.
Listen to the Warning Signals
A more common safety feature that you find on mid-level treadmills, as well as on the more expensive models, are warning signals that indicate to you when you’re working out beyond your stated heart rate range. This is especially important when you’re doing a cardio workout, as then you’re already operating close to your maximum heart rate. If you push your heart rate too far, even if you’re in the best of shape, you’re putting your health at risk. The signals may come in the form of a flashing indicator on the display screen or with an audible alert. If you can find a machine within your budget that offers this kind of safety feature it’s definitely something you should consider.