The simple act of walking is one of the best ways to maintain fitness, invigorate the body, and stimulate the body’s blood flow and energy use. Keeping the heart strong and burning excess fat are very important matters for people of all ages, and the fact that the speed of walking can be easily adjusted to match the needs of the svelte or the heavy, the young or the old, means that it is also one of the most versatile methods of exercising as well.
Although a brisk walk (or even a slow amble) outdoors is, in many people’s opinion, the ideal form of walking exercise, the fact is that there are many times when striding along a pleasant country lane is simply not an option. Work schedules may mean that the only time available for walking is late in the evening, while bad weather, slippery winter ice, crime on the streets, or a host of other obstacles may prevent us from keeping to a regular, healthful walking regimen.
Fortunately, exercise treadmills are offered by many companies in our modern age. Treadmills are always available to us in the warmth, comfort, and safety of our own homes. Walks can be taken at any time of the day or night, regardless of the weather or other local conditions. Some of the more recent models provide a range of different walking and running speeds, safety features, informative monitors, and solid, warranty-backed construction for years of continuing use.
One such is the Schwinn 860 Treadmill, a state-of-the-art, professional grade treadmill which can bring all the health benefits of a thorough gym workout to the livingroom of the home user.
What I Liked About The Schwinn 860
A large, sturdily-made treadmill, the Schwinn 860 offers an array of features that makes getting a thorough workout on it not only possible, but comfortable, efficient, and easy to calibrate to your needs. The heart of the system is, of course, the treadmill walking surface itself, and this has been designed to provide many different levels of speed while ensuring that the least possible stress is placed on the body.
The walking surface is fifty-eight inches long, or about 4.8 feet. Since the typical human walking stride is around 2.5 feet, and the human running stride is 3.5 feet, there is ample room to walk or jog on the surface without risking stepping off the back or striking the foot or leg against the front. The walking area features a cushioned surface and a suspension deck as well, meaning that jarring of the joints is lessened hugely and the possible negative effects of walking or running are minimized. This is also a pleasant feature for those who arrive home footsore from standing at work all day, since they can loosen their muscles with a walk or jog without their sore feet jarring unpleasantly on an unyielding surface.
What Else Do You Need To Know
Whether shuffling along at ½ mile per hour, or dashing at 12 mph, the user of the Schwinn 860 will find a speed setting that meets their needs. Speed is adjustable between the two extremes, and the incline can also be adjusted for a slope of up to 12 degrees. Preprogrammed “courses” are also included with the Schwinn, which vary speed and incline during the “course” once it is activated – however, it should be noted that only one of the two variables (speed or incline) can have its maximum set by the user for a specific course, limiting how much the preprogrammed “courses” can be customized.
The solid 3-horsepower engine provides a moving surface that can handle user weights up to the 300 pounds at maximum. Heavier users will need to reduce their weight in some other way before finishing their weight loss program with the Schwinn 860 treadmill. The treadmill must be assembled by the user, which many users agree is something of a workout in itself, but if assembled correctly, it runs quietly, unlike some of its competitors, which produce various annoying sounds while operating. The system is sturdily built and features a 10-year warranty on both frame and motor, and a 1-year warranty on the electronics.
Bells and Whistles of the Schwinn 860 Treadmill
The basic features of the Schwinn 860 are already enough to mark it as a solid entry in the home exercise market. However, it also features an array of other features that make it yet more attractive to the potential buyer.
Working out is beneficial, but being able to monitor the exact effects of your exercise while you are exercising allows even greater control over your efforts and, by extension, your health. One of the finest features of the Schwinn treadmill is that its electronic display shows both the user’s heart rate (as long as the heart monitor belt is worn or the handgrips are held) and an estimate of number of calories being burned. These two measures give the user the information needed to truly get the amount of exercise they need, rather than simply guessing.
Other features are designed simply to make the Schwinn more comfortable or less boring to use. However, these can also be viewed as making the treadmill more effective, because if the use of the device is as pleasant as possible, people are more likely to continue their exercise program rather than slacking off after an initial period of zeal. Not everyone has nerves of steel or the attention span of a meditating monk, and heat, thirst, and boredom are all foes of long-term exercise programs that have foiled many good intentions over the years. I think these features add considerably to the value of the machine because they make it more likely to be used.
A built-in two-speed fan lets the sweaty user cool themselves, and enjoy a jog even in hotter weather. A water-bottle holder keeps refreshment ready to hand, preventing a mid-session drift to the refrigerator, and a magazine rack provides the chance of something to do while exercising other than stare off into space – especially if there is nothing good on television. Finally, the Schwinn’s walking surface can be folded up out of the way to reduce clutter and allow vacuuming – but then lowers gently to the floor on hydraulics when it is needed again.
A Few Problems
Although the Schwinn 860 treadmill is a fine piece of work in most ways, I have discovered that it has a few quirks that the potential user should be aware of. It is extremely heavy, at over 350 lbs, and once it is assembled, moving it from place to place can be difficult, despite its built-in wheels. The preset courses can be confusing for beginning users, and the power switch is located in an inconvenient place at the front of the machine near the floor, rather than on one of the handles.
Where Can You Get The Best Price?
I checked several stores and the best price appears to be at Amazon.
Schwinn 860 Treadmill Review Video