More than 2000 years ago, Hippocrates once said 'Walking is man’s best medicine’. Well, it turns out he was right. Walking provides a lot of benefits to your health, it lowers the risk of several diseases, improves your mood and can help to lose body fat. And the good news is, walking on a treadmill can offer you the same benefits as walking outside.
If you want to experience the benefits of walking in the comfort of your own home then buying a treadmill could be a good choice. To help you on your journey to finding the model that suits your needs, we’ve gathered all of the information you need to find the best treadmill for walking.
Our Top 5 Best Treadmills For Walkers
Weight Capacity (Lbs.)
How to choose a treadmill for walking?
A treadmill for walkers usually doesn’t have to be high-end. Most walkers will probably be satisfied with an entry-level machine.
By ‘entry-level’ I don’t mean low quality. Entry-level models just tend to have fewer features than those on the higher end.
When you’re looking for a treadmill which you are mainly going to use for walking there are a few factors you might want to consider. Let’s dive into them.
The power of the motor
The motor is one of the most important parts, even if you don't use your treadmill for running.
In my opinion, a 2.0 CHP motor is strong enough for walkers. If you want to use your treadmill for running as well, then I advise a 2.5 CHP motor or higher.
Also keep in mind that you may not use the treadmill for jogging or running at this moment, but if you start to enjoy working out on the treadmill you might want to use it for jogging or running in the future. Who knows? Just give it a thought!
As a walker, you may want to consider choosing a treadmill with an incline. Working out at an incline might be a bit harder, but does provide some benefits compared to walking on a flat surface.
For example, it will cost more energy to walk at an incline which makes it more effective for weight loss.
Even a small incline between 1 and 5 percent could already have its benefits. If you want to challenge yourself, then it’s probably a good idea to choose a model with an incline between 10 and 15 percent.
Just a few exercise programs are already enough to bring some variation in your usual training routine. A recreational walker or those who want to lose weight probably only need between 6 and 10 programs.
Remember you can always increase the intensity of your workout by going faster or steeper (if you have an incline).
These programs become increasingly important if you want to train for an event. Especially for events where you have to walk a significant distance, because these require decent preparation. Workout programs can help you with training for the event.
What are the benefits of walking on a treadmill?
Walking can be a safer alternative to running. We all know running is good for your health, but it carries a greater risk of injury as well. Just like running, walking is beneficial to your health.
Watch the video below to see why walking on a daily basis is a good idea;
In this short video, the specialists talk about some of the major benefits of walking. A few of the advantages which they mention in the video are;
- Increased bone health. It's a weight-bearing exercise and therefore makes you ‘work’ against gravity.
- It’s good for your heart. Walking increases your heart rate and blood pressure. Therefore, it strengthens your heart.
- It helps when you're depressed or anxious. Walking releases chemicals in your body which make you feel good and reduces the immune system chemicals that may worsen your depression.
- Lastly, but certainly not least; it helps to prevent diseases. In the video, the specialists say that it helps people with dementia. In addition, scientist now believe that being physically active (in general) could reduce the risk of dementia.
Another important benefit is the fact that it helps you to lose weight. According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), at a walking speed of 3.5 Miles Per Hour, a 200-pound person burns about 391 calories per hour.
Of course, you may say; “Well, these are benefits for regular walkers in general, so I could benefit from them even when I’m walking outside.”
You are 100 percent right. If you would just go out for a walk, you could experience these benefits as well. However, a treadmill can be a great alternative to walking outside, especially when the weather conditions are bad.
What is the best shoe for walkers (on a treadmill)
Walking requires different shoes than those intended for running. Aspects of a good shoe for walkers are;
- Cushioning; they should provide enough comfort to minimize the pressure on your joints.
- They have to be lightweight. Heavy shoes make it even harder to walk. You will want shoes that allow you to move quickly. Therefore the shoes should be lightweight. And they have to feel comfortable. So there must be a good fit between your shoe and your foot.
Good shoes complement your stride while uncomfortable shoes could lead to injury or blisters. If you wear good shoes, you’re also more likely to stick to your training routine. So it’s important to wear proper shoes.
The Best Home Treadmills For Walking And Jogging Of 2017 (Our choices)
The SF-T7603 from Sunny Health & Fitness is a folding treadmill and is particularly suited for walkers. It has three manually adjustable incline levels and nine built-in user programs. The incline and workout programs are especially useful if you want to vary your normal workout routine.
Furthermore, it has a 2.2 HP motor which is probably powerful enough for most walkers and joggers. If you’re looking for a basic home treadmill to walk on, then the SF-T7603 might be a good choice.
- Enough features to vary your training.
- Empty space for a water holder or remote control.
- A 16-inch (W) by 49-inch surface allows you to walk and jog.
- The incline has to be adjusted manually.
- The maximum weight capacity of 220-Lbs might be too low for some people.
If you are a heavy person, then you might want to take a look at the ProGear HCXL 4000. It's designed for heavy people who want to use their treadmill mainly for walking and light jogging up to 4 MPH.
The HCXL 4000 has a maximum weight limit of 400-Lbs. ProGear made sure it can hold this amount of weight by testing its limits. Another reason why it might be an attractive option for people who are overweight is the extra wide 20” (W) by 40” (L) belt.
- 18” extra long handles which provide more stability and safety during your walks.
- A relatively high maximum weight capacity.
- The two manual incline levels can help you to burn more calories.
- The 40-inch long tread belt is relatively short.
- Like the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603, this machine has a manual incline, not an electric one. So you’ll have to adjust it before your training or pause your training.
The 6.0 RT from ProForm is suited for a variety of users. The 6.0 RT could be a good option if you want to use your treadmill for walking and recreational running.
The 18” (W) by 55” (L) belt, eight workout apps and the 2.5 CHP motor provide most walkers with a comfortable experience.
- The non-slip belt provides users with extra grip.
- TreadSoft cushioning system to lower the impact on your joints.
- The 10 percent electric incline could be a useful feature for serious walkers.
- If you only want to walk, then it might have too many ‘bells and whistles’.
If you’re interested in a basic treadmill, then the Merax JK 1603E might be worth a consideration. The three workout programs, three incline positions and a maximum speed of 6.2 mph make the JK 1603E especially suited for walkers.
- A simple workout console which displays basic information about your exercise, like; your heart rate, speed, distance and calories burned.
- The motor and the frame have a one year warranty period.
- The quiet motor allows you to listen to music or watch television while you’re training without a lot of noise on the background.
- The relatively small 14” (W) by 44” (L) belt make this treadmill less suited for light jogging or tall people.
- If you are going to use it on a daily basis, then it might need some adjustments and regular maintenance to keep your treadmill in optimal condition.
Confidence Power Plus
The Confidence Power Plus is a relatively small. You could use it for jogging or running, although it’s mainly suited for walkers. The treadmill is 49” long and 24” inch wide, which makes it a good choice for apartments or small spaces.
To keep the treadmill as small as possible the belt is 14” (W) by 38.5” (L) which is probably large enough for most walkers, but might be too small for joggers.
- It weighs 53 pounds which make it easy to fold, unfold and roll away.
- The relatively compact size makes it a good choice for small spaces.
- Some users might want more features because it’s a pretty basic model.
- It doesn’t have sidebars, which you might want or need for more stability.
The diversity of capabilities and features in our list of best treadmills for walking shows that the market offers walkers a lot of choices. For some, it might be too much, while others are happy that they have a choice.
If you are uncertain which model to choose, then I do have a recommendation for you. In my opinion, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 is the best choice. The features, like the 2.2 HP motor, are more than decent enough for brisk walking and jogging. That’s why I would choose the SF-T7603.