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Finding Treadmills Bargains

How to find cheap treadmills or use them for free

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Updated April 06, 2012

Smooth 9.65LC Treadmill

Smooth 9.65LC Treadmill

Courtesy of Smooth
Do you want to use a good treadmill, but can't afford to buy a top-of-the-line model new? Motorized treadmills for home use cost from $750 to $5,000, and generally the more you pay, the better you get. Most motorized treadmills under $1,000 have underpowered motors and are less sturdy and have fewer options for adjusting the incline, programmed workouts.

Finding the Treadmill Bargains

You can often find a good used motorized treadmill for a huge discount and get a better quality treadmill for your dollars. Many people sell their almost-unused treadmills as the New Year's Resolutions wear off. You can find practically new treadmills sold as used.
  • Local Classified Ads: look in your local newspaper or shopper newsletter.
  • Charity Thrift Stores: such as Goodwill.
  • Play It Again Sports: stores throughout the United States and Canada sell used treadmills. Many other exercise equipment stores do as well.
  • Craigslist, eBay and Online Listings: try to connect with a local seller as shipping costs would be high for this heavy item.
  • Local Gyms and Fitness Clubs: they may sell their used equipment, which is usually of the most sturdy construction, although they may have seen hard use.
  • Before You Buy a Treadmill: Whether buying new or used, here is what to look for in a treadmill.
  • Top Picks for Budget Treadmills: Up to $1500.
  • Top Picks for Mid-Range Treadmills: $1500 - $3000.
  • Top Picks for Quality Treadmills: Over $3000.

Use Somebody Else's Quality Treadmill

You may be thinking of a home treadmill for convenience, but you will find far better treadmills at gyms, schools and fitness clubs. Treadmills built for club use are far more sturdy and often have more options for programmed workouts, incline settings, etc.
  • Fitness Clubs: Shop for a club with a low monthly fee and join them to use their equipment.
  • School Gyms: Check into getting access to a school gym, including local community colleges. You may have to volunteer or sign up to audit a course, but this can be a relatively low investment to use their facilities.
  • Work Fitness Centers: Check with your employer or those of your immediate family to see if they have an on-site workout room or if they give discounts to use local gyms or fitness clubs.
  • Community Centers: Check with the local senior center, parks department, after-school program centers, etc. to see if they have facilities available to the public for free or for a low fee. If you don't meet the requirements, ask about volunteering to earn the perks of using their equipment.
  • Health Programs and Medical Centers: Check with your health plan, HMO, or local medical centers to see if they have workout facilities available. You may find a free or inexpensive fitness or weight loss program they are offering as well.
  • Recreation Centers: Check with your close friends and immediate family who live in apartment or condo complexes, senior living facilities, etc. as many have fitness centers. Check the rules of use.

Just Walk

Your feet and the local sidewalks or indoors shopping malls are free. While you may have been thinking of a home treadmill for convenience, staying out of the weather, and personal security, you do still have the free option of just walking.

Other Home Fitness Equipment

If your goal is to burn calories, burn off fat, get a good cardio workout, and tone your body, then you may want to use an elliptical trainer or exercise bike instead of a treadmill. But if you are training to walk or run, then you need to walk or run on a treadmill or outdoors, and other equipment provides crosstraining rather than being a substitute for walking or running.
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