Walking, one of the best low impact exercises available, is always a great idea. Unfortunately, the weather doesn’t always cooperate. Many people don’t have easy access to safe walking paths, and some simply prefer to walk indoors. A treadmill solves all these problems and more. Like any piece of fitness equipment, however, you need to know what you’re looking for before choosing the best treadmill for your walking routine.
Benefits of Walking on a Treadmill
The ground is hard and inflexible. It has no mercy on joints, and even a low impact exercise like walking eventually takes its toll. This is especially true for power walkers. A low impact treadmill offers a slight spring to every step, and the platform the belt revolves around usually dips slightly under every step. This makes it easier to walk longer.
Walking on a treadmill provides exceptional measurement tools, as well. Treadmills make pacing effortless. You have tools to adjust speed and incline at your finger tips. Many treadmills also come with health monitoring tools to help you track your heart rate and estimate how many calories and how much fat you’ve burned during your walk. This encourages walkers, testifying to the subtle health benefits you may not be able to see in the mirror or on the scale just yet.
Ease of Use
Great features are only useful if they’re in easy reach. A well-designed console can make the difference between a relaxing walk and pre-fall panic. Since your vision bobs with your moment, you need large, easy-to-read buttons and screens. You may not need a lot of buttons, but be sure you can figure out how the treadmill’s operating system works before you buy it. If it isn’t easy to figure out through pictures, it won’t be easy to figure out when you’re standing on it.
Incline allows you to mimic walking uphill. This is one of the simplest ways to increase the intensity of your workout without increasing speed. If you don’t want to become a jogger, there’s only so fast you can go, so it’s very important to find a treadmill with a good incline range.
Most treadmills can fold up for storage, but not all. If you want to keep your treadmill in your home, but you don’t want to lose half a room, look for storage smart options. Many models fit against walls, using little to no space when folded, and a few dismantle entirely. If you plan to work as you walk, you may even consider a walking desk treadmill, which usually disassembles even more easily than other machines.
A walking treadmill doesn’t necessarily need a wide belt. Walkers use a fairly narrow path, and wider belts were designed with joggers and runners in mind. If you have a walking disability, an unusually wide gait, or struggle with balance, you may benefit from a wider belt. Pay close attention to measurements if this is a concern, because all treadmills are not created equal.
Best Treadmills for Walkers
ProGear HCXL 4000 Review
An extra wide belt, similar to those found in fitness clubs, allows a variety of pace and ease of use. This fairly small treadmill fits well inside a home, and uses a quiet motor that won’t disturb family members. The motor allows you to jog at up to four miles per hour, which is great for walkers. The motor has a five year warranty, too, which protects your investment. The system only has two incline positions.
Users praise the machine’s weight capacity, which allows walkers up to four hundred pounds to walk safely. Previous buyers also say it is easy to set up and runs quietly, as promised. According to users, the machine is sturdy and well constructed. It strikes a balance between affordability and function.
- Safe for users up to four hundred pounds
- Extra wide belt
- Easy to set up
- Sturdy construction
- Doesn’t appear to fold up for storage
- Only two incline angles
3G Cardio Fold Flat Treadmill Review
Although it’s designed for runners, this treadmill still works very well for walkers and provides some of the best storage options on the market. It can fold down to fit under beds, and it rolls in its collapsed state, making it easy for a single user to operate. Soft suspension protects joints and limits stress damage. A fifteen percent maximum incline allows walkers to up their intensity without becoming runners. It reaches a top speed of eleven miles per hour.
Previous buyers left glowing feedback for this product. Not only did the treadmill work well, but it also stored beautifully. The only serious critique came from users who had difficulty sliding the folded treadmill under their beds. They easily solved this problem with a few sliding pads, however, and continued to use the product.
- Easy storage
- Easy set up
- Sturdy construction
- Fifteen percent incline
- Wide belt
Like many products, you get what you pay for on the treadmill market. While the ProGear allows new walkers access to a sturdy, reliable machine, it has next to no incline options, and those who plan to get fit by walking need more of a challenge. Since the ProGear doesn’t fold, it doesn’t store well. It’s the cheaper of the two items on the list, but it won’t serve a walker looking to push themselves for very long.
On the other hand, the ProGear is an excellent home treadmill for those with knee, back, or leg injuries looking for rehabilitation and a moderate fitness improvement. The 3G is perfect for walkers looking to stay fit indoors. Since it folds up to fit under beds, it’s a great addition to small spaces like apartments or condos.
Its incline range allows walkers of all fitness levels to continue challenging themselves well into the future. The ProGear isn’t a bad machine, but the best option for walkers is the 3G.