Plus more helpful maintenance tips
By AARON DORKSEN – 3G Cardio Fitness Editor
Any time I decide to commit the funds to make a major purchase, it seems more questions inevitably follow. Should I get a warranty, or insurance on the purchase, upgrades or accessories? When it comes to treadmills, a fairly common question people wonder is this: Should I buy a treadmill mat to put under the treadmill?
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.
Treadmill mats generally cost between $25-50. One of the mats I like the best is the JoBa Fitness Treadmill Mat, which is available through At Home Fitness. Make sure to know the measurements of your treadmill and get a mat that will be the proper size.
Read on to learn three reasons why a treadmill mat is a great investment, plus some more helpful hints about keeping your treadmill in optimum condition:
GOOD VIBRATIONS – The faster and harder you run on a treadmill, the more significant the vibrations and noise will be.
The size of the person will also affect how hard the impact will be between the runner, the treadmill and the floor. A treadmill mat will go a long way toward dampening the vibrations.
Obviously, high-end treadmills are built to be more sturdy and will do a better job cushioning the impact of a runner, but even they are more enjoyable to train on if there’s a high quality mat underneath.
Treadmill mats also cut way down on the noise. Look around at most health clubs and they’re almost certain to have mats under all treadmills, if not the entire exercise area.
STAYING PUT – 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.
PROTECTS YOUR FLOOR — 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.
That can be prevented by putting a treadmill mat down.
MORE HELPFUL HINTS
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.
There’s arguably not a better investment a person can make for their home gym than purchasing a treadmill. You can exercise when and how you want, in the privacy of your own residence, office, etc. Go the extra mile and find a high quality treadmill mat to protect your floor and make exercising a more enjoyable experience.
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.