The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that older adults complete at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Walking is one of the safest ways to fulfill this requirement because it’s a functional activity that is gentle on the muscles and joints.
Treadmills allow you to fulfill your daily activity goal year round, but how do you select the right treadmill for your needs? You can start by considering the size of the treadmill because you must make sure that it fits comfortably into your living space. The width of the walking belt is also important because you need room to hit your natural walking stride comfortably.
If you want to enjoy interval training and other walking exercises for seniors, the range of speed available on your treadmill is also important. While most seniors aren’t up for a treadmill run, it is reasonable to assume that you will want to pick up speed as you become more physically fit. Many seniors are surprised at how fast they can walk once they get accustomed to their treadmill.
Finally, look at the advanced features offered on some treadmills. You may want a built-in heart rate monitor to ensure that you’re working within your target heart rate zone, or you may prefer a console with pre-programmed workouts to ensure that you don’t get bored during your workout sessions. You may also look for a machine with a well-lit console to ensure that you can easily see the feedback delivered throughout your workout.
How to Choose the Right Treadmill For Your Needs
When used frequently, an electric treadmill is a wise investment that will help you fight against disease and illness while managing your mood and increasing your ability to continue daily activities without depending on your loved ones. While you may start shopping with your maximum budget in mind, it’s more important to find a machine that safely accommodates daily exercise and rehab for the elderly.
The treadmills recommended below are all suitable for older users because they have extra cushioning on the walking belts and safety features like the red key that locks the belt between workout sessions.
In addition to those basic features, you may want to consider the location of the speed controls and the start/stop button for added safety.
You should also think about the number of pre-programmed workouts that you will use and what type of programs will best fit your needs.
Some advanced treadmills now offer pre-programmed heart rate workouts that require you to walk with your hands covering the pulse sensors in order to create workouts based on your pulse. You may not need this type of advanced programming if you just want a basic treadmill to increase your daily activity level, but those interested in improving their cardiovascular endurance may consider investing in a treadmill with this capability.
Every senior will select a different treadmill based on their unique needs, so start by identifying what you want to accomplish with your machine. You can then match the available features to your needs and budget to select the best treadmill for your healthy lifestyle.
Best Treadmills for Seniors
The ProGear HCXL 4000 Electric Treadmill
The ProGear HCXL 4000 Electric Treadmill is a good pick for heavier users or any senior searching for a wider belt to ensure comfort while exercising at higher speeds.
The ProGear HCXL 4000 is approved for users up to 400 pounds, and the extra-wide walking belt measures 20 inches. It’s also equipped with a 1.5 HP motor that is designed to operate quietly.
The maximum speed for this treadmill is 4 mph, and that is adequate for most seniors walking at moderate to fast speeds. For an added challenge, you can manually incline the walking belt.
The 18-inch safety handles contain speed controls, and a key lock system secures the belt until you’re ready to begin your workout.
The Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill
Whether your goal is to get your heart rate up for weight loss or to just add more physical activity into your daily life, the Exerpeutic TF1000 delivers adequate speed and walking space to meet your needs.
With a maximum speed of 4 mph, pulse grips to monitor your heart rate and a 20-inch wide walking belt, this is a treadmill that you aren’t likely to outgrow as your fitness abilities increase over time.
This is also a wise choice if you’re concerned about safety during your walks. The extra-long safety handles extend along each side of the machine, and a bright red button on the console allows you to stop the belt at any moment. A safety key is also offered to secure the belt between workouts.
Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill
While this is one of the most affordable treadmills available to seniors today, the Weslo Cadence R 5.2 treadmill is far from lacking in advanced features. This includes a large console loaded with six workouts designed by personal trainers.
The walking belt is 16 inches wide and 50 inches long, and the belt is cushioned for added protection of your joints and muscles. That cushioning is important if you plan on speed walking or going for a light jog, and with a maximum speed of 10 mph, the machine is suitable for high-intensity workouts.
If you’re concerned about the amount of space a treadmill may consume in your home, note that this is a folding model. Some seniors may need help raising and lowering the walking platform, but you can fold it up against a wall or roll it between rooms as necessary.
Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill
The Sole F80 is a mid to high range item. It comes with a powerful 3.5 CHP motor and a two-ply walking belt designed to reduce the impact on your muscles and joints for a safer walking experience.
The large console is equipped with an advanced sound system that allows you to connect an MP3 player for entertainment. You can walk at your own pace or select from eight pre-programmed workouts, two of which are based on your heart rate.
The belt on this treadmill is a generous 22 inches wide, but it is a larger treadmill that will consume more space in your home. The manufacturer warranty is also quite impressive with lifetime coverage for the frame.
LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill
The LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill is a mid-market electric treadmill. It’s suitable for users up to 300 pounds and features a 20-inch walking belt, well-lit color console and speed controls conveniently located on the handlebars.
If you’re concerned that you’ll get bored walking on a treadmill, you’ll appreciate the 17 pre-programmed workouts and your complimentary membership to the online LifeSpan Fitness Club.
You can walk or jog up to 11 mph, and there are 15 incline levels to ensure that your body is continuously challenged over time.
With a 2.5 CHP motor, this is a high-quality treadmill that will keep up with most seniors.
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