If you are concerned with your joints being protected as best as they can (like I was/am) for when you are running & working out on a treadmill (to minimize potential damage) -- then you will want a model that has a specialised cushioning system & strong deck structured suspension to reduce the impact & strain felt on your body (this obviously makes them a fair bit more expensive than your standard treadmill however).
The following group of treadmills is a selection that (through a quite vast amount of research, when I looked into buying a treadmill myself) I regard as offering some of the best 'protection' & technologies to help provide support for your knees etc. (so it should save you quite a bit of time). You will hopefully find the ideal model from the range, that suits all your exercise preferences etc. & at the least give you a more solid idea as to what you're after in a treadmill.
The 505 CST Treadmill By ProForm
This is the best inexpensive treadmill I have come across that provides you with a fairly decent support mechanism for protecting your joints -- where it is fitted with a unique cushioning technology they name ProShox Lite 3 (which is basically an array of three unique shock absorbers fitted along the front end of the deck) that act to maximize the support with every stride taken. It 'softens' every stride landed & acts to 'spring' with each release.
It is fitted with a 2.25 HP motor that enables it to reach speeds of up to 10 mph (as well as a 10% incline adjustment) -- all easily controlled through its LCD control panel which details all the relevant diagnostics too (e.g. your heart rate. distance travelled, calories burned etc.) along with being able to choose from an array of 15 fitness programs. Moreover, it is foldable so can be stored vertically & is also light enough to be wheeled away to store in a cupboard to help save you on space. For those who are on a bit more of a restricted budget, the 505 CST packs a lot of bang for its buck -- certainly worth considering.
The Power 995C By ProForm
The 995C is an award winning treadmill (referred to as a best buy from the treadmill doctor for "Best Treadmills Under $1000") and is an upgrade & update to the 505 CST just mentioned. It basically offers more safety to your joints too -- through utilising a reconfigured & improved ProShox technology that can "reduce impact by up to 28%", allowing you to work out more comfortably & for longer.
It is also literally packed with useful features too. My favourite being its iFit compatibility (the 505 CST is compatible as well) -- where you can basically take the treadmill & your workout online with it being linked with Google Maps, so you can run virtual courses all around the world (with the treadmill adjusting the incline levels according to what stage you are in the race & the terrain etc.) -- and compete in races with other iFit members. It records all your workouts & keeps an automatic log so you can view the progress made when you log into iFit.com. It also has a great integrated coolaire fan that blows a refreshing airflow directly at you, making the grueling work out experience that bit more comfortable. In all, a really awesome treadmill.
The F80 Folding Treadmill By Sole Fitness
This treadmill is as about as solid as they come (with its frame being precision welded & being fitted with a high torque motor and flywheels -- manufactured & engineered for relentless forceful heavy usage), generating literally no vibrations which in turns means additional straining & therefore less chance of injuring yourself whilst working out. Also, its running deck is implemented with a unique & patented -- Cushion Flex technology -- that independent studies have shown to protect your joints through reducing impact by a huge 40% (as compared to running on asphalt).
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Coming with a powerful 3.5 HP motor it allows you to reach speeds of up to 12 mph with incline levels reaching as high as 15% (and user weight capacities of 375 lbs). Moreover, its LCD console allows access to all the relevant diagnostics etc. (distance travelled, calories burned, speed etc.) & a range of fitness programs that have been designed by leading health & fitness professionals. It also has an MP3 sound system, so you can plug in your iPod listen to some music or an audiobook as you are running -- to help keep you on track with the workout. An expensive piece of equipment, but worth it for those who are concerned with keeping their joints as best protected as they can with running on a treadmill.
The Home Series 9.23 By Precor
If you are looking for the absolute best (and are willing to pay top dollar for it) to provide protection for your joints, then I have to recommend the Precor range of treadmills. This basic 9.23 series is the cheapest version but integrates much of their mechanical features that go into supporting your body whilst running such as the unique (& patented) shock absorbers, the ground impacts technology & stride support. There really isn't a much better brand & range of treadmills on the market, that takes protecting your body as seriously (or carry out as well) as Precor treadmills. This being said, they are expensive -- but aren't you & your health worth it? Let me know & why.
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(price as of Sep 30, 2013)
Which Treadmill Will You Choose & Why?
Also, if you have any remarks, concerns or questions regarding either the showcase article of the best treadmills for joint protection or about any of the models mentioned above then please do not hesitate to make them in the comments section just below and we will be sure to respond to you as soon as possible.
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