After my dad died of a heart attack, I’ve had this fear that I will share the same fate. After all, it’s hereditary. I’m not sure if it’s because of the constant worrying that I might be diagnosed with some heart disease, but my fear turned into a real nightmare.
About two years after my dad’s passing, I started experiencing shortness of breath, heartburn and back and jaw pain. Symptoms were getting worse yet I simply assumed it was all due to stress. However, a month ago after running up the stairs to check up on my kids, I felt so nauseous I threw up. After going through many tests, the results showed that things were more serious than I could ever have the courage to admit to myself – one of the arteries was partially blocked.
My doctor immediately prescribed a therapy and recommended daily walks. Therapy – that I could follow, but walking 45-60 minutes every day… now that was going to be tough since I had to take care of two small children. Instead of letting me find more excuses to stall my “getting healthy” process and meet my dad’s fate, the cardiologist suggested exercising on a treadmill. At that point I didn’t think I’d end up searching the internet and buy treadmill online so I started looking through stores around.
On my first visit to a store, I have to confess I got a little dizzy with the variety of options manufacturers offer today and couldn’t decide on anything. I tried online shopping also, with the hope the reviews of other costumers could help with my decision, but the temptation to buy treadmill online didn’t work as well. So, I realised it was time to ask for the help of an athletic trainer, to indicate the best treadmill for my daily dose of walking.
The athletic trainer explained to me that best treadmills for walkers don’t bury you under an avalanche of features. They come with the fundamentals and offer a smooth and quiet ride. Here are the main factors he said I should consider when looking to buy treadmill online or from local stores.
- Speed – Most treadmills have top speeds of 10-12mph and they often incline between 10 and 15%. Treadmills that speed up to 12 mph and incline to 15% are considered the best options.
- Maximum weight – Top scoring treadmills are able to handle up to 180 kilos.
- Running surface area – Although runners require longer strides and a deck that is long enough to keep their feet from hitting the motor, walkers who have a console that is too narrow at the front of the machine encounter restrictions in moving freely closer to the control panel. Good treadmill choices have a running deck of 1.50m or longer and overall widths of 90cm or more.
- Health metric display – This is considered a standard feature on most treadmills. A walker should look for a display that shows four basic metrics: heart rate, calories burned, pace and mileage.
- Touch screen panel – This may sound like a luxurious feature, but a touch screen makes it easier to control the console while you are in motion, which also means the equipment will be more responsive.
Like my athletic trainer said, it’s not difficult to find a treadmill that comes with all the above. Since I’ve purchased my treadmill, I’ve been walking every day for at least 45 minutes and sometimes I get to walk the whole hour. Not only am I feeling better know, but my clothes have actually become a little looser, something that really makes me happy.
The new cardiology testing results also showed that the condition of my artery has improved a lot. With all these benefits, what I have to say is I will continue with my daily walks to be able to stay by my family’s side for whenever they need me and eliminate the chances of a heart attack. If you’ve had a similar experience, it’s not too late to join the club of treadmill walkers and reap the benefits.