By AARON DORKSEN — 3G Cardio Fitness Editor
It would be hard to name a better investment for a home gym than purchasing a treadmill.
Having your own treadmill allows you to exercise when and how you want, in the privacy of your own residence, office, etc.
To keep your treadmill working at an optimum level, it’s important to follow several easy maintenance tips.
*The 3G Cardio engineers recommend lubricating the running deck regularly. As a general rule of thumb, the more rigorous use the treadmill gets the more often it needs to be serviced.
3G Cardio recommends lubricating the running deck as follows for a single user, who averages 30-45 minutes per workout, three to four times per week: walking (every 8-10 months), jogging (every nine months), running (every four months), and commercial use (every month).
For advice on which lubricants to use, consult your owner’s manual, dealer or a specialty fitness store. Only use 100 percent pure liquid silicone.
- * Make sure to clean perspiration off the console and treadmill surface after each and every workout. You should clean the treadmill once a week with a water-dampened, soft cloth. Refer to your owner’s manual for more detailed cleaning instructions for the motor and treadmill belt.
- *If it’s been a while since your treadmill was used, it should get a good cleaning. First, unplug the machine so that you can do some deep dusting. Remove the motor cover and vacuum out all debris. (Consult the owner’s manual if you can’t locate the cover.)
- *Check the walking belt to make sure it’s centered and at the correct tension. The hex key that came with the treadmill can be used to tighten or loosen the bolts at the back of the machine. The belt might also require lubrication.
It’s also common for the running belt on a new treadmill to need adjusted.
*Go the extra mile and find a high quality treadmill mat to protect your floor and make exercising a more enjoyable experience.
Most treadmill manufacturers recommend purchasing a mat and the majority of fitness enthusiasts and bloggers like myself concur.
For surfaces such as stone, tile, concrete, wood, vinyl, laminate, or any other hard floors, the 3G Cardio owner’s manual states that it’s recommended to a place mat underneath your treadmill. Yeah, I know that’s basically every type of floor listed above, so the message is that you should indeed get a treadmill mat.
Treadmill mats are also recommended for carpeted floors. The carpet fibers and dust often get into the air when the treadmill is in use, but a treadmill mat can keep them from getting into the motor and other electrical parts.
A good treadmill mat will prevent excess dust from building up underneath the treadmill and the motor compartment. The mat will also help cut down on vibrations and noises. Make sure to know the measurements of your treadmill and get a mat that will be the proper size.
Look around at most health clubs and they’re almost certain to have mats under all treadmills, if not the entire exercise area.
Even a good treadmill can “inch” forward across the floor over time if a mat is not underneath it.
If you put a mat down, though, it will increase the friction between the treadmill and floor and prevent the machine from moving around.
Even extremely hard surfaces can be dented or damaged over time from a treadmill if there’s not a mat underneath it.
The small feet of a treadmill will bear down into an unprotected floor from the combined weight of the treadmill and force of the runner or maybe even walker. It can result in dents, chips or cracks.
3G Cardio fitness editor Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. Consult a doctor before making any significant changes in your exercise routine or diet. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@3Gcardio.com.