Top 10 benefits of having a treadmill at home

Mother using treadmill


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Are you going back and forth about investing in a treadmill for your home? Is a treadmill even right for you? We spoke with experts about the top 10 benefits of having your own treadmill. Whether you have a chronic condition, or are just generally allergic to working out, you should check out these insights before making your decision. 

And consider: People who own their own home-gym equipment rarely regret it. After all, you never have to search for a parking space at the gym again.

1. You might be more likely to work out

It’s simple: Having workout options you enjoy, in a familiar, low-stress environment — in other words, for most people, at home — might lead you to move your body more often.

2. You have options for low-impact, joint-friendly workouts

“Walking on a treadmill is considered a low-impact form of exercise,” certified personal trainer and fitness studio owner Lauren George told CBS Essentials. “Running is, by nature, a high-impact workout; however, selecting a treadmill with a cushioned belt and built-in shock absorption technology can lessen the impact and wear and tear on your joints.”

What’s a good low-impact workout option?

“For an excellent low-impact tread workout, incorporate hiking intervals,” certified personal trainer, certified nutrition specialist and “American Ninja Warrior” contestant Julie Lohre says. “Use the tread’s incline feature to adjust the slope of the deck. It is amazing how difficult a fast walk can be when you are at a high incline!”

3. It can help with your weight loss goals

“Adding walking, jogging or running into your daily activity can help with weight loss no matter how you do it,” Lohre says.

But if you want to take things a step further, try HIIT.

“I highly recommend high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for my online personal training clients,” Lohre says. “With HIIT on a treadmill, you alternate bursts of intense speed or incline which quickly elevate your heart rate with periods of recovery to allow a reprieve in the intensity. This gives you an overall average heart rate and calorie burn that is higher than steady state cardio, but more accessible with the rest or recovery periods. 

“My favorite treadmill HIIT would be to warm up for five minutes with light jogging, and then begin alternating 30 seconds of running or sprinting at a fast pace with 30 seconds of fast walking or jogging to recover. Repeat these intervals 10 to 15 times and cool down with five minutes of light jogging.”

4. You may see results in less time than you think

How long do you need to work out on a treadmill to see results?

“Participants can get in a great HIIT workout in less than 30 minutes,” George says. “Your body has to work harder to recover after a HIIT workout, so you increase your afterburn long after you push stop on your treadmill.”

5. You can work out safely at home

With a treadmill, there’s no need to leave the house to get some movement. That can be important for all kinds of people, but especially seniors.

“As a senior, it’s important to prioritize walking more in your daily routine to improve cardiovascular health, maintain mobility and balance, enhance mental health, manage weight, improve bone density and promote better sleep,” Lohre says. “Regular walking is a simple and accessible exercise, making it a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle. 

“Adding a treadmill can allow you to get in more activity daily, no matter the weather.”

So what kind of treadmill should a senior buy?

“You want to look for treadmills that prioritize shock absorption and cushion to keep joints safe and injury-free,” Lohre says. “Additionally, a low step height to the platform and a wider, longer deck can make entering and exiting the treadmill safer. Finally, safety features like handrails, emergency stops, safety keys and simple [operating] features can make a treadmill easier to use.”

6. You can work out on your own schedule

Lacking motivation when it comes to hopping on a treadmill? Then a treadmill with built-in workouts might be right for you. Many treadmills come with a screen; you can use them to stream workouts. Those workouts are usually designed by the treadmill brand, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. In fact, the best treadmills with built-in workouts offer more than just a variety of activities; they offer a community.

Some subscriptions offer live classes, and all offer on-demand workouts. Plus, some subscriptions even offer classes you can complete away from your treadmill. And if budget is a worry, there’s more good news: Many of these treadmills come with free trials of their corresponding programs. 

Treadmills with built-in workouts tend to run pricey, so another option is subscribing to the programs on your tablet and using your own more affordable treadmill to complete them. But some of the treadmills that have corresponding workouts can even be auto-adjusted by instructors, so you may not get the full workout experience by using the program with your own treadmill. 

7. The treadmill doesn’t even need to be an eyesore — you can invest in a folding treadmill to store away

“Extremely compact treadmills, like the models that fold in half and can be stored under a couch or bed, are best for individuals who plan on doing mostly walking or some light jogging,” George says.

That’s right: You can still jog on many folding treadmills, as they “still have longer, more cushioned belts that are ideal for running,” according to George.

8. You might save money in the long run

Gym memberships are pricey over time, but you can find treadmills that cost less than $500 for your home.

“If you are working with a more limited budget, you might consider forgoing the higher tech features like a touch screen to keep the quality where it counts, in the motor, belt and frame,” George says.

Who is a more affordable treadmill right for?

“There are a wide variety of treadmill features, some super helpful and others that seem superfluous or only necessary for serious runners,” Lohre told CBS Essentials. “Suppose you are a beginner to moderate exerciser looking to add more steps to your day or plan to walk or jog occasionally. In that case, sticking with a base model treadmill with incline and speed or some basic programs can help keep you within budget.”

9. You can conveniently train for races

If you’re training for a 5K or even a marathon, investing in a treadmill can help keep you on track to reach your goals.

“Will you be using [your treadmill] mainly for walking, or to train for a marathon?” George asks. “You get what you pay for with treadmills, so if you are going to be logging a lot of running miles, you definitely want to opt for a treadmill that is designed for higher use. A treadmill with a larger motor and a sturdier frame will hold up for longer and give you a better running experience. 

“You also want to look for a treadmill with a larger belt to accommodate a longer stride. Ideally, look for a belt 60 or more inches long and 20 or more inches wide.”

10. You can even work out… while working

Under-desk treadmills allow you to walk or even jog while working.

“If your goal is to up your daily step count without compromising your house decor, the compact WalkingPad is an excellent option!” George says. “You can fit it under a standing desk to accrue more steps while answering emails, or hop on for a stroll while watching TV. The belt is also designed for maximum cushion and comfort.”

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