How to Find the Best Treadmill for Seniors (2017 Version)

Treadmills help seniors stay active without forcing them to leave home. But seniors have special concerns when it comes to the safety and design of a treadmill. We’ll help you find the best model for your needs.

Goplus 2.25HP Folding Treadmill Electric Support Motorized Power Running Fitness Jogging Incline Machine (Classic)

The best all-around treadmill for seniors

Exerpeutic TF1000 Ultra High Capacity Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill

The best walking treadmill for seniors

Confidence Fitness Magnetic Manual Treadmill

The best manual treadmill for seniors.

The Benefits of Treadmills for Seniors and How to Buy One

Why should seniors use a treadmill and how do you even go about finding the right one? There are many things to consider when buying a treadmill for a senior, but it’s important to understand the benefits this workout equipment offers.

How Seniors Can Benefit from Using a Treadmill

Improved Cardiovascular Health

One of the most obvious and top benefits to using a treadmill is improved cardiovascular health. When seniors walk, jog or run at a speed that gets their hearts pumping, they work their hearts and strengthen this essential muscle.

Over time, cardiovascular training enlarges the left ventricle of the heart because it gets used to pumping out a higher volume of blood (something that happens when your heart rate rises and more blood circulates through your body). When this happens, your resting heart rate drops because each heart beat delivers more blood. That means fewer beats are needed to circulate your blood, according to the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center.

Better Mood

Exercise triggers the release of endorphins and serotonin – the body’s feel-good chemicals.

Endorphins decrease feelings of stress while creating a feeling of euphoria. Some people call this feeling the “runner’s high,” but you don’t have to be running to experience it. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, says WebMD.

Serotonin is also released during exercise, and is another natural mood booster. Serotonin helps combat depression.

Man running in the treadmill

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Exercise is part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Active seniors are more energetic, are better able to maintain muscle tone and flexibility, and may also benefit from a stronger immune system.

Regular exercise also helps seniors maintain a healthy weight and can keep disease at bay.

Improves Blood Flow and Flexibility

Aerobic exercise, like what a treadmill provides, helps improve blood flow and keeps muscles loose.

Any exercise that increases heart rate also improves circulation. That’s because the heart is forced to pump more blood through the body as it contracts at a higher rate.

Contrary to what you may have heard, you don’t have to run or engage in intense exercise to improve circulation. Simply walking on the treadmill is enough to boost blood flow and help strengthen the heart.

According to Science Direct, aerobic exercise also improves cerebral blood flow, which may help prevent or improve age-related cognitive decline.

How to Choose a Treadmill for Seniors

Seniors have different needs and concerns when it comes to exercise, which means you’ll need to consider several things when choosing a treadmill.

These considerations include:

Walking Speed

Motorized treadmills have a set range of walking speeds, while manual treadmills will only go as fast or as slow as you can move. With motorized models, consider the low and high range.

Seniors with a low fitness level or mobility issues may need a model with a very low minimum speed. Seniors with a high fitness level may require a higher top speed to benefit from the treadmill.

Hand Rail Length

Most treadmills have hand rails, but some are longer than others. For seniors, the length of the rails can make a world of difference when it comes to safety.

Treadmills with longer hand rails are generally safer than those with short rails. Longer rails provide more stability for seniors who have balance issues.

Safety Features

When choosing a motorized treadmill, it’s important to consider other safety features.

  • Does the treadmill have an emergency stop key?
  • Does the treadmill have an emergency stop button?
  • Are there hand controls on the rails?

Safety is of the utmost importance when anyone uses a treadmill. Make sure that the model you’re considering has the right features for your needs.

Manual or Motorized

Do you want a manual or a motorized treadmill? Some people prefer manual treadmills because they are a bit safer and allow seniors to walk at their own pace. Others prefer motorized because it requires less effort to move the belt and the workouts may be more challenging.

Decide which type is best for the senior using the treadmill.

Folding and Transport

Seniors who have limited space may prefer a treadmill with a folding design. Many models also have built-in wheels that allow for easy transport into a closet or the corner of a room.

These space-saving designs make it easy to keep the treadmill out of sight when not in use.

If space is an issue, you might consider a folding design. But do keep I mind that treadmills – even ones that fold – are still quite heavy. Seniors may need help moving them.

Man running in the treadmill at home

The Best Treadmill for Seniors Reviews

The Best All Around Treadmill for Seniors – Goplus Folding Treadmill

The Goplus folding treadmill is our top pick for the best all-around treadmill for seniors. This model boasts a number of safety features, slower speeds, a high weight capacity and a convenient foldable design.

Features

  • 2 HP motor
  • Weight Capacity: 220-pounds
  • Foldable design
  • Adjustable, 3-level incline
  • Speed: 0.5-7.5 MPH
  • 12 workout programs
  • 5″ LCD display
  • 16″ x 47″ rubber tread belt
  • iPad/smartphone holder
  • Safety key
  • Emergency stop button
  • Cushioning design

The Goplus treadmill comes equipped with a 2.25 HP motor, and can accommodate users up to 220 pounds. It’s quiet, too, and has quite a few safety features that help make it a practical choice for seniors.

These safety features include an emergency stop button, and a safety key that stops the treadmill belt if the user falls. The cushioning design also helps reduce impact, so walking is a little easier on the joints. Cushioning also helps minimize noise and vibrations.

The Goplus model offers a nice range of speeds, from 0.5 MPH to 7.5 MPH. The slowest speed is great for seniors who are just getting started with a fitness routine or have mobility issues. The treadmill also offers 12 workout programs, so users can work their way up to more challenging workouts and allow for more variety.

Goplus included a three-level, adjustable incline feature to mimic the act of walking uphill.

A 5″ backlit LCD display allows you to view your workout stats at a glance – even in low-light situations. There’s also a convenient iPad/smartphone holder that allows you to watch your favorite shows or talk to your friends and family while you exercise.

Pros

  • Excellent safety features
  • Multiple workout programs for variety and challenge
  • Folding design
  • High weight capacity
  • Low walking speed
  • Cushioned design
  • Handrail controls

Cons

  • Hand rails are not long

Long hand rails are ideal for treadmills used by seniors, which is something this model doesn’t have. But this model does have a number of essential safety features, a folding design and other features that make the Goplus treadmill a practical choice for seniors.

The Best Walking Treadmill for Seniors – Exerpeutic TF1000

The Exerpeutic TF1000 is truly a walking treadmill, offering slow speeds and an extra-wide belt.

Features

  • Speed: 0.1 MPH – 4 MPH
  • 20″ wide treadmill belt
  • 18″ safety handles
  • LCD monitor that displays distance, time, speed, calories and pulse
  • Max weight: 400 pounds
  • Folding frame
  • 5 HP motor
  • 2-level manual incline

The Exerpeutic TF1000 offers extra-slow speeds, which makes this truly a walking treadmill. This model goes from 0.1 to 4 MPH, and speeds increase at 0.1 MPH increments.

These slow speeds make this model great for seniors who have mobility issues or are just getting started with fitness. The slow speed also allows for enhanced safety.

The 20″ wide treadmill belt gives you plenty of space to walk, and the high weight capacity of 400 pounds means that just about any senior can use this treadmill.

The folding frame is a nice feature that makes it easy to store this model in between session. It saves on space, too, so the equipment doesn’t have to take up the entire living room.

A 2-level manual incline helps make workouts more challenging, and the LCD monitor displays important workout stats, like speed, calories, distance, time and heart rate.

Pros

  • Manual incline makes workouts more challenging
  • High maximum weight
  • Long hand rails
  • Really slow walking speeds
  • Wide treadmill belt
  • LCD monitor tracks workout stats
  • Frame folds up for easy storage

Cons

  • Not ideal for seniors with a higher fitness level

With slow speeds, folding design, easy-to-read display, long handles and a high maximum weight, this model is a top contender for a walking treadmill.

The Best Manual Treadmill for Seniors – Confidence Fitness Magnetic Manual Treadmill

Manual treadmills are a great option for seniors who value safety, energy savings and ease of use. The Confidence Fitness treadmill combines all of the features that most seniors want in a treadmill, including resistance, folding design and higher weight capacity.

Features

  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Weight capacity: 220 pounds
  • Folding design
  • Computer displays speed, calories, distance, time, odometer and scan
  • Locking pin design allows for transport and easy storage
  • Built-in wheels

The Confidence Fitness magnetic manual treadmill is quiet and smooth thanks to the magnetic resistance system. With 8 levels of resistance, seniors of all fitness levels can enjoy a challenging workout.

The folding design of this treadmill also saves on space and makes it easy to store in between uses. The lock-and-pin design makes it easy to fold, while the built-in wheels allow for this model to be transported just about anywhere with ease.

A multifunction computer is included. While there are no built-in programs, the computer does display calories burned, time, distance, speed and odometer. There’s also a scan function.

With a weight capacity of 220 pounds, this treadmill can be used by most seniors without an issue.

Pros

  • Resistance makes workouts more challenging
  • Manual operation
  • High weight capacity
  • Included computer allows you to keep track of your workout stats
  • Easy to store and transport

Cons

  • No workout programs

The Confidence magnetic manual treadmill does not have any built-in workout programs, but this model comes at a budget-friendly price and includes most of the other features seniors want in a treadmill.

The Best Treadmill for Seniors with Safety Features – Exerpeutic 100XL Manual Treadmill

The Exerpeutic 100XL manual treadmill offers a number of features that make it worth considering if safety is your top concern. From extra-long handles to a long and wide belt, seniors may appreciate the design of this treadmill.

Features

  • Dual 6″ diameter flywheels
  • Weight capacity: 325 pounds
  • Wide treadmill belt
  • Extra-long handles (2x the normal length)
  • 3-level incline
  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • LCD computer display included

The 100XL from Exerpeutic is another manual treadmill, which – in terms of safety – offers a few advantages. Because the belt is powered by the user – not a motor – it can only move as fast as the user is capable of moving.

This model has twin 6″ flywheels for a smooth and consistent workout every time.

The 100XL comes equipped with extra-long handles (2x the length of a regular treadmill), so users can stay balanced. The handles also feature control buttons for easy controlling of the treadmill.

Although this model does not have a motor, it does have eight levels of magnetic resistance to make workouts more challenging. There’s also a 3-position manual incline feature that moves to 8, 10 and 15 degrees.

A high weight capacity of 325 pounds allows for nearly all seniors to use this model with ease.

An LCD computer is included that displays important workout information. There’s also space to store a TV remote on the computer console, so users can stay entertained as they exercise.

Pros

  • Extra-long hand rails with hand controls for added safety
  • Smooth and quiet workout
  • Resistance levels make workouts more challenging
  • Manual incline included
  • Wide treadmill belt
  • LCD screen displays important workout stats
  • Folding design for easy storage and space savings

Cons

  • Treadmill shakes when running at high speeds

The 100XL shakes when users run at high speeds, but that’s to be expected with a manual machine. Seniors with a high fitness level may want to consider a different model. Seniors who are just getting started with a fitness routine should have no issues with this treadmill.

The Best Foldable Treadmill for Seniors – Merax JK1603E

The Merax JK1603E is a foldable treadmill that can help seniors save on space without having to sacrifice their health or fitness levels.

Features

  • Folding design
  • Multi-function display
  • Emergency stop key
  • Cushioned treadmill belt
  • Built-in wheels
  • 3 workout programs
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds

The Merax JK1603E offers a space-saving design, with a folding mechanism and built-in wheels for easy storage in between uses.

Along with a compact design, this treadmill also offers safety features, a higher weight capacity and built-in workout programs to make exercise more interesting.

The multi-function display allows users to view their calories burned, time, speed, heart rate and distance at a glance. It also allows users to choose between three built-in work out programs, including two interval training programs and one manual program. The interval training programs alternative between high and low intensity periods.

For added safety, this machine comes with an emergency stop key, and also features controls on the hand rails.

With a maximum weight of 250 pounds, this treadmill will accommodate most seniors.

Pros

  • Folding design saves space
  • Built-in wheels allow for easy transport
  • Built-in workout programs add interest and challenge
  • High weight capacity
  • Emergency safety key adds to the overall safety of the machine
  • Cushioned belt minimizes impact

Cons

  • No incline

The JK1603E does not have an incline function. This may or may not be a drawback for you, but it is something worth noting if you were looking for an incline feature.

That said, this Merax treadmill still offers workout programs, important safety features and a high weight capacity, which may make it a good choice for seniors.

Conclusion

The Goplus folding treadmill is our top pick for the best all-around treadmill for seniors. It offers low walking speeds, a high weight capacity, folding design and important safety features, like an emergency stop key.

For walking, the Exerpeutic TF1000 is our top choice. It has a very low walking speed, extra-long handles, a wide treadmill belt and important safety features.

The Confidence magnetic manual treadmill is our top choice for a manual treadmill because it offers resistance, incline levels and a folding design.

We like the Exerpeutic 100XL for its safety features. This is a manual model, so there’s no need for emergency stop keys or buttons. The long handles improve stability when needed, and the treadmill belt is just the right size.

The Merax JK1603E is our pick for the best folding treadmill. As you might have guessed, this treadmill has a folding design. But it also boasts a nice number of resistance levels, a manual design and a high weight capacity. It also has extra-long handles, although it does lack an incline function.