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Repair or Replace?– October 28, 2010

Over 10 years ago, my doctor figured out I had Fibromyalgia. When you combine that with my years of playing football through the college level, I have some severe aches and pains on a regular basis. My doctor suggested I get a hot tub in order to ease the aches and pains. Since I didn't have much money at the time I found an Icon - Image hot tub for about $500. Five years and about 15 repairs later, the Image hot tub finally gave up the ghost. That was about another 5 years ago.

The next time, I picked a better spa - still the cheapest model I could find at Costco. Last year, the circulation pump and the main pump were worn out so I replaced them. This year, the other main pump went out and I thought for a moment - I wonder if I should get a new hot tub. Like many of you, I looked at either spending a big amount of money on a new machine or fixing what I had.

To make a long story short, about 60 minutes of work last Saturday and a new pump from Spa Depot got my hot tub back up and running for about $250 instead of having to spend MUCH more on a new tub. I went ahead and did the regular maintenance I had been putting off and then thing is running like new again.

All of this to say - I understand all of you guys and gals that buy parts from us because I do it too?there's nothing like the satisfaction of being able to get more life out of a product that has served you well for years and that you still really like.


Treadmill Desks Tips from Treadmill Doctor – October 27, 2010

There has been some excitement of late about treadmill desks or simply using treadmills while working in order to burn calories while you are getting something done. The idea is to walk very slowly for a long period of time while you work. It won't get you a good cardio workout but it burns calories and it beats the alternative of sitting on your butt and beginning by looking like a human but slowly transforming in a shape that resembles a gourd. Like I've said some times- I'm in shape- round is a shape, isn't it?

Treadmill Doctor is starting to get more questions about this and right now, no one we know of is mass-marketing a quality purpose built machine for this task. Most people are getting a regular treadmill and then modifying the area around it to make it work. Some high end providers that are making the whole workstation are Steelcase (the office furniture company) and Woodway (a high-end provider of commercial treadmills). New to the fray is Landice who is making a treadmill desk accessory package that is very nice but all of these options are quite expensive. Some cheap alternatives are out there but the quality is less than that of a department store treadmill on the whole.

Treadmill Doctor provides a couple of important points to keep in mind when designing your workspace:

  1. Do not create a condition where you could be trapped. People have fallen when using a treadmill so always use the safety cord and don't build your desk where you could be trapped on top of a running treadmill if you forget to use the safety cord or if something malfunctions.
  2. When creating the work area make sure not to close the area around the motor off to a good circulation of air (more of this in the next point).
  3. Remember that low speed use for extended periods of time is the hardest on a treadmill. Most people think sprinting on a treadmill for 10 minutes daily really wears a treadmill out. That is not necessarily the case. We regularly see more problems on treadmills that are used at very low speeds for extended periods of time because little air circulates to cool the motor and electronics and the heat has a cumulative effect, causing component failure.
  4. It is important to keep the treadmill clean and also keep the belt well lubricated because dirt and friction are the two biggest causes of failure on machines used at low speeds for extended periods.
  5. We also suggest additional cooling. Whether you install a fan in the motor cover (what I would do personally) or simply have an external fan keeping the air circulated around the motor area, it will help the treadmill last years longer.
We hope this becomes a healthy habit for you and if you follow our recommendations you will have much more success from a reliability standpoint than if you just wing it.


Midnight Madness.. It's almost here!!– October 13, 2010

Although we normally blog about treadmills ellipticals or other fitness equipment, this week's blog is about our excitement about the start of the college basketball season. It's the middle of the Major League Baseball playoffs, and the college football season has begun and as a sports nut I am bored. If you're like me ... not a baseball nut and your college football team is not doing so wonderfully.... There is Hope! Midnight Madness is this coming Friday October 15th ! Whew! And not a moment too soon.

The first time I attended the Midnight Madness was last year and I still wonder why they call it Midnight Madness since it starts at 7 pm and finishes before midnight. My husband is a big fan of Memphis Tigers and he recruited me to be a big fan too! He even taught me the words to their fight song. Can't marry him unless I am a big fan of Memphis Tigers. It was in the prenup!

So what is Midnight Madness and how did it get started? Midnight Madness is an annual event on college campuses that celebrates the first day in October that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) permits formal basketball practices each college basketball season. In some cases, the name has literal meaning since an event is scheduled starting at midnight at the very first moment that is allowed. Maryland Terrapins head coach Lefty Driesell started the tradition at 12:03 am on October 15, 1971 with a 1.5 mile run. Can you believe 3,000 Terps fans showed up at the track to watch the guys run?

So...where I will be for Madness this year? Of course you know the answer. In Memphis, the home of Treadmill Doctor we call it Memphis Madness.... and madness it is! Last year we filled up the FedEx Forum and people were turned away due to too many fans wanting to attend.

The Memphis Tigers have one of the top recruiting classes in the nation this year, so our Madness is certain to be electric! Our class includes elite shooting guard Will Barton from Baltimore, and electric guard & home town hero Joe Jackson giving the Tigers the most dynamic back courts in the 2010 recruiting class. Read more about the class here at Rivals.

Well, if you are desperate for some college basketball action like me, you can follow some of the Madness events being broadcast by ESPN. ESPN will cover Connecticut, Duke, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Kansas State, and yes our Memphis Tigers at the FedEx Forum.

Duke looks ready to defend their title. Check out their website here:

Will Butler make it to the Final Four? Will the young Memphis Tigers return to the Dance and make a deep run? Just thinking about it brings back the goose bumps and the memories of my favorite time of year....

let the march to the madness begin!