Benefits of walking on a treadmill at home
Having a treadmill either at home or the office means you can exercise at whatever time is most convenient for you. You can set your exercise hours and exercise multiple times a day if you like.
You no longer have to commute to a commercial gym to exercise. It’s a time saver.
You can exercise even when the weather is too harsh to go outside.
Treadmill walking allows you to stay fit, burn calories, and build leg strength without over-exerting your body.
Many treadmills come with fitness trackers that monitor miles walked, heart rate, and calories burned, providing an easy way for you to track your fitness level and progress.
With a treadmill, you decide and set the pace, duration, and intensity of your exercise.
Anyone in the house can use the treadmill without having to adjust its setup. You don’t have to adjust the height or change weights as with some other exercise equipment. It’s extremely user friendly.
Walking programs to try
For the 20s and 30s age group
At your age, your body can tolerate extreme levels of exertion, so make use of the incline feature to make your walk a little more challenging. You will need to increase the incline of your treadmill by 1% for one minute and then roll it back to zero for one minute before inclining it once more to an angle that’s 1% higher than before, then rolling it back to zero. Begin with a 5-minute warm up at 2.5 mph, and increase your pace to 3.0 mph. While still walking, incline the machine at 5% and walk for 1 minute, then lower it down to 0% for another minute. Incline it at 6% for a minute, and then lower it to 0% for one minute. Repeat with inclines at 7, 8, 9, and 10 percent, or go as high as your body can tolerate. Finish with a 5-minute cool down session.
For ages 40 and up
Go with a workout that ramps up the speed at intervals to push your body harder. This technique is also ideal for people in their 30s who have just started working out after a long period without exercising. For greater impact, incline the treadmill at 1%. Start with a 5-minute warm-up at 2.5 mph. Follow this with a 1-minute walk at 2.5-3.5 mph and increase it to 3.5-4.5 mph then bring it down to a 2-minute slow pace at 2.5-3.5 mph. Repeat this 7 times, and then do a 4- to 5-minute cool down at 2.5-3.5 mph.
Aim to walk for 30 minutes. If you cannot do all 30 minutes in one go, break your sessions into 5, 10, or 15 minutes depending. Start at a slow walking pace to warm up, say 1.5-2 mph, and maintain this for 5 minutes. Then increase the pace by 0.5 mph and maintain it for two minutes. Keep increasing your speed by 0.5 mph each minute until you reach a speed where your breathing becomes harder but you can still walk comfortably. Maintain this pace for 10 minutes. If it gets too hard, reduce the speed to a pace where you’re more comfortable. At the end of your session, reduce the pace gradually to 2.5-3.0 mph as you begin your cool down and take it down gradually.
Walking treadmill prices range from hundreds of dollars to $1,000+. Manual varieties are cheaper than motorized ones since they do not have as many components. Basic models of the motorized variety are cheaper than high-tech treadmills. The unwritten rule to bear in mind when comparing any two treadmills is that the more features a treadmill has, the more expensive it’s going to be.
Features to consider while buying the best treadmill for walking
Below are the features you need to consider when buying a treadmill for walking:
Speeds and programs
Treadmill walking speeds range from 0.5-5 mph, with the lowest speed being a slow pace. Mid-range speeds between 3.0 and 4.0 mph indicate a fast-paced walk, while 4.5-5 mph represents a fast walk. Speeds higher than 5 mph are for jogging and running. If your treadmill has these, it means you can use it for walking, jogging, and running. Your treadmill may also come with pre-installed programs. With these, you simply select a program and follow the workout.
The incline feature on a treadmill provides a more challenging workout, forcing you to walk as you would when going up a hill. Not all treadmills have an incline function. When you incline the treadmill, you simulate a hilly terrain. Most treadmills allow you to incline up to 12-15 degrees. A few can incline several degrees higher than this. On the other hand, some treadmills can only incline at a 1- or 2-degree angle.
If you intend to relocate the treadmill after use, opt for a model that is not too heavy so that moving it is easy. XTERRA Fitness TR150, GOPLUS Walking Treadmill, Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7610, and ProGear 190 are good options. A treadmill with wheels is easier to move than one without, so this is another detail you shouldn’t ignore. Some treadmills with wheels include Sunny Health & Fitness T7917, LifeSpan TR1200-DT3, XTERRA Fitness TR150, GOPLUS Walking Treadmill, Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7610, and ProGear 190.
Some treadmills are longer than others. Some are wider than others. Ensure you have enough space to fit the treadmill and leave room around the machine for access and safe operation. The size of the belt is just as important as the overall size of the treadmill. Since you’ll be using the machine mainly for walking, you don’t need an overly long belt, but it should measure at least 48 inches. If you’re taller, the belt should be at least 50 inches long to accommodate your longer stride.
The best treadmills offer a lifetime warranty on the frame. Some extend this to the motor, and others give a guarantee that’s close to a lifetime warranty on the motor. The NordicTrack T 9.5S is an example. It gives a lifetime warranty on the frame, 25 years on the motor, and 1 year on parts, a little short on parts but as good a deal as any. In contrast, the XTERRA Fitness TR150 offers a lifetime warranty on the frame, a 1-year warranty on the motor, and a 90-day guarantee on parts and labor. The EXERPEUTIC TF2000 gives a 5-year warranty on the motor, a 3-year guarantee on the frame, and a 9–day guarantee on parts.
A number of treadmills have short warranties. For example, GOPLUS Walking Treadmill and ProGear 190 come with a 1-year warranty, with the latter throwing in a 90-day guarantee on parts. To benefit from the manufacturer’s support over a considerable period, choose a model that’s guaranteed for an extended period.
If you’re exercising in a room where space is limited, choose a foldable treadmill so you can fold and store it away when you’re done exercising. Your room stays uncluttered, your movement inside the room is unobstructed, and you can just bring out the treadmill when you want to exercise.
Choose a treadmill that can support your weight. We have treadmills that can withstand up to 350 lbs., like the Sunny Health & Fitness T7917 and LifeSpan TR1200-DT3. Others have a much lower weight capacity. The GOPLUS Walking Treadmill and Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7610, for example, have a 220 lbs. weight limit. If your weight is close to 300 lbs., go for a model like NordicTrack T 9.5S or EXERPEUTIC TF2000.
Many treadmills come with plenty of accessories, some functional, others for entertainment. If you enjoy your workouts better when combined with entertainment, choose a treadmill with a TV screen that you can connect to your cable, Bluetooth, a music port, or a USB port that you can connect to your smart devices for audio and video entertainment.
If you or someone who will be using the treadmill is recovering from illness or elderly, consider a treadmill with handles. EXERPEUTIC TF2000 has full-length handles that are closed on both ends to ensure that your hands won’t slip off and make you vulnerable to falling.
Where possible, choose a treadmill with an emergency stop plug that can instantly stop the treadmill in an emergency, such as when an accident happens.
Some treadmills come with preset programs that you can use for your workouts. If you’re new to using a treadmill, these can prove useful as you get accustomed to using the machine, and you can use them as a guide to customizing your own workouts in the future.