Keeping active as you get older is incredibly important yet is something many people struggle to do as they age.
For one reason or another, many will end up living an increasingly sedentary life the older they get and have to deal with the health complications caused by this as a result.
While many of the reasons people hold for avoiding physical activity as they get older are valid, that doesn’t mean they don’t still cause the same problems.
It also doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to remedy the situation, without doing anything they are uncomfortable with.
One of the best options for helping senior citizens to avoid a sedentary lifestyle is a treadmill.
They are straightforward, easy to use, pose minimal risk, and can solve most of the reservations older people have about exercising, while still offering all of the benefits.
The question is, what is the best treadmill for senior walking to reap all of the rewards with as little risk as possible?
Well, let’s take a look at some of the best options available and decide for ourselves.
Best Treadmills For Senior Walking
When looking at the best treadmills for senior walking, you need to examine slightly different criteria to those that you normally would when examining a treadmill
For example, while things like the power, settings, and additional features are still important, greater attention needs to be paid to details such as the weight and price, how much space it takes up, how much bounce there is in the track, and any features which are included to help prevent slips or falls.
As people will all have their own wants, needs, and preferences, we have narrowed our search for the best treadmill for senior walking down to the following four options. This should hopefully have the perfect solution for everyone, no matter what they are looking for.
The best overall choice for the best treadmill for senior walking is the option capable of providing the best results, without worrying about factors that may put some people off, such as its size or price.
The Exerpeutic TF2000 is specifically designed for both fitness and recovery purposes, making it ideal for the demands of a senior’s body.
This includes a maximum speed and horsepower of 5 miles per hour and 1.5 HP respectively.
Full length, coated handrails and handles provide better grip when holding them, offering maximum support and reducing the risk of any slips or falls for older users.
The built-in cushioning on the deck of the treadmill also minimises the impact, making it more suitable for those with weaker joints or bones that are brittle or of poor density.
The Exerpeutic TF2000 also features a built-in heart rate monitor, so you can gauge how hard you are working and make sure not to push yourself too far.
Being made from aluminium makes the treadmill relatively lightweight, meaning many seniors will be able to move it around on their own if they require. It also supports users weighing up to 300 pounds, so should be suitable for use by the vast majority of people.
With a recommended retail price of $799, the Exerpeutic TF2000 isn’t by any means a cheap item.
However, for those seniors who are looking for the best overall walking experience and all the health benefits it provides, it is still an item that will be worth the investment for many.
Treadmill walking is an effective way to burn extra calories and achieve a healthy lifestyle. Especially designed for people in recovery and seniors who want safety, security and ease of use while walking. The Exerpeutic recovery treadmill features 49” full length walking assistant support hand rails with foam padding which provide safety and stability while walking, and a highly visual backlit LCD display showing time, speed, distance, calories burned, and pulse. With a 300 lb weight capacity, users can start walking slowly and increase their pace up to 4 mph. To reduce stress on the knees, legs and ankles, we have added 10 shock absorbing deck cushions. So let’s get started and get healthy and well again with Exerpeutic recovery treadmill.
- Highly visual backlit LCD display window features elapsed time, distance walked, calories burned, speed and Pulse
- 10 shock absorbing deck cushions with extra reinforcement for reducing joint impact while walking
- Extra grip, full length handrails minimise the potential for slips and falls
- Cushioned deck alleviates strain from the bones and joints
- Lightweight so can be moved without assistance
- Capable of holding users up to 300 pounds
- Built in heart rate monitor gives you an accurate gauge of how hard you are working
- Quite expensive
- Maximum speed may be too limited for more advanced users
Best Inexpensive Treadmill For Senior Walking
The best inexpensive treadmill for senior walking needs to offer as many of the benefits and features of our overall choice as possible.
However, it needs to do so while being priced in a range that makes it accessible to almost all potential users.
The Exerpeutic 100XL is the more budget friendly version of our previous option.
It includes similar features like a pulse pad to monitor your heart rate and long handles designed to provide maximum grip and support, however boasts a recommended retail price of just $290.
The base of the treadmill features a longer and wider design than most alternative models, which further helps to prevent slips or falls.
This is enhanced even more by utilising two flywheels, each measuring six inches in diameter, which helps the treadmill to provide a smoother walking experience.
The Exerpeutic 100XL also features a clear LCD display, helping you to keep track of important information throughout your sessions, such as the number of calories burned, distance walked, time elapsed, speed you are using, and your current heartrate.
Both lightweight and foldable, it is easy to move and store away after use. Meanwhile, with a weight capacity of 325 pounds, it will be suitable for the vast majority of users.
- Affordable price makes it attainable on all budgets
- Weight capacity is suitable even for those who are overweight
- Lightweight and foldable
- Extra grip handrails help to prevent slips or falls
- Monitors heart rate and shows you how your session is going
- Smooth walking motion
- Some complaints regarding the quality of the construction and belt
Best Compact Treadmill For Senior Walking
The best compact treadmill for senior walking requires a product which offers a high quality performance, while taking up very little space, even when in use.
The top part of the frame can be folded down to just 7 inches, to improve the portability and compactness of the treadmill even further.
This is then aided by the product weighing just 97 pounds, due to being made from a lightweight yet incredibly strong aluminum alloy.
The wide tread on the belt offers great support for your feet and will limit the chance of slips and falls.
It also boasts a shock absorbent design and incorporates noise reduction technology, making it both safe and comfortable to use, without disturbing those around you.
The Rhythm Fun Treadmill also decreases the maximum speed from 7.5 miles per hour down to 3.7 miles per hour when the handrails are down, which maximises safety without reducing its overall potential.
The smart remote control makes it easy to control the speed and settings of the treadmill. Meanwhile, its connectivity functions allow it to connect to a smartphone workout app, so you can keep track of your progress and follow specific programs.
The main drawback for most, however, will be the recommended retail price of $699, which puts it among the more expensive treadmills that are suitable for seniors.
- Incredibly compact and lightweight
- Can be used while doing other things
- Track is designed for maximum grip and comfort
- Noise reduction technology means you can use it without disturbing others
- App connectivity allows you to track your progress and follow workout routines
- More expensive than many similar models
- Can’t be used at full speed when the handrails are down
Best Folding Treadmill For Seniors
A folding treadmill is the ideal option for seniors who have limited space.
It is an option that provides all of the benefits of a regular treadmill, only the user can then easily store it away after a session.
The Goplus 2 in 1 is a multipurpose treadmill that features a two-in-one design which offers a smooth running and jogging experience, as well as the ability to walk while performing additional tasks.
The main frame of the treadmill is made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, to create a strong and sturdy structure, while alloy steel is used to reinforce it.
Meanwhile, the 40 x 16 inch, five layer, non-slip texture running belt provides a smooth, hazard free running experience.
The Goplus 2 in 1 has a built-in LED display, which provides an easy overview of important factors, such as the current calories burned, distance covered, duration, heart rate, and speed of the user.
The dedicated app then allows you to seamlessly link this data to your phone or smart device, so you can easily keep track of your progress.
The built-in Bluetooth speaker can be used to listen to music or other forms of media from the connected device while the user is walking on the treadmill, helping to make it a more enjoyable experience.
A light and compact design allows the treadmill to be used almost anywhere, and it is quick and easy to fold, ensuring all users can move it with the upmost ease. The design also uses a 2.25HP motor, so the treadmill does not generate as much noise as some of the other options on the market.
A range of seven available colours make the treadmill suitable for users with various different tastes and styles, while quick and easy installation and assembly ensures anyone can use it, regardless of their technical knowledge or prior experience.
A recommended retail price of $399.99 also makes it a product that, while still not cheap, will be affordable for the majority of users who are in the market for such an item.
- Available in a choice of seven different colours
- Lightweight and compact for easy storage and transport
- Accompanying app helps you to track your progress
- Built in speaker provides entertainment throughout your workout
- Large, non-slip running area
- Can be used in one of two different setups
- Weight capacity isn’t suitable for heavier users
- Requires the removal of the arms to be folded
- Some users find its level of power limited
Sedentary Behaviours Among Senior Citizens
Sedentary behaviours are incredibly common among senior citizens, with the lack of activity increasing at a similar rate to their age.
A 2013 study found that roughly sixty percent of senior citizens sit for extended periods each day, while almost two thirds admitted to sitting in front of a screen for a minimum of three hours in any 24 hour period.
Reasons For Sedentary Behaviour
The primary cause for many seniors that display sedentary behaviour is a lack of mobility. Issues that effect or impair mobility, such as arthritis or other joint problems, become increasingly prevalent the older a person is.
Similar studies show osteoarthritis effects 13% of women and 10% of men over 60, with the risk again increasing as they age.
Another common factor that causes sedentary behaviour as we age is tiredness. With older people requiring increasingly greater amounts of sleep, many simply won’t feel they have the energy to do anything active.
Fear also plays a role in the increasingly sedentary nature of activities older people choose to perform.
While many senior citizens may still desire to perform more active hobbies and activities, the increased risk of injury due to more brittle bones and joints will put many off, as the risk seems to far outweigh the reward.
The final major component many seniors cite as a reason for increasingly sedentary behaviour is a simply lack of things to do.
As we age, friends and loved ones slowly begin to pass away, limiting the options of many people to activities that have to be performed alone.
A side effect of this is also loneliness, which can lead to depression and further encourage people to switch themselves off from the outside world.
Complications Of A Sedentary Lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle can cause numerous adverse effects in the human body, no matter how old you are. However, these problems are usually much greater and more prominent in people of an advanced age.
Research shows that there are a number of notable dangers associated with sedentary lifestyles in older people.
Among the most prominent physical issues is a reduction in both bone density and muscle mass. This can lead to poor physical strength and weaker, more brittle bones.
These complications combine to not only make the risk of injury more likely but also to increase the likelihood that any injury sustained is more severe.
It will also produce a further reduction in mobility, leading to more falls, creating a vicious cycle which can be hard to escape from.
While not as easy to spot, a sedentary lifestyle also poses issues for your internal organs and the functioning of your system as well.
The chances of developing complications such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease increase dramatically in those who are sedentary, which can lead to severe illness or even death if not properly tended to.
A sedentary lifestyle will even have a negative effect on a person’s mental health as well. Exercise and physical activity both help to regulate metabolism and the release of hormones throughout the body.
This includes chemicals such as endorphins, which play a vital role in controlling a person’s mood. That means those who abstain from any physical activity are at a much higher risk of developing depression symptoms and similar problems.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
While you may now understand why it is important to stay active as a senior citizen, as well as which treadmill is the best option to help you do this, it is still important to be careful and know exactly what you are doing.
We will now look at some of the most frequently asked questions people have about the use of treadmills for senior citizens, to help you to stay active in the most safe and effective way possible.
Should Seniors Use Treadmills?
A treadmill is a perfect option to help a senior to stay active, as they can be utilised even by those that have limitations which may otherwise prevent them from exercising.
It gives them the ability to exercise without needing to visit a gym, which can often be loud, busy, and off-putting for older users.
Walking is a great way to keep active without putting their body at the sort of risk associated with other exercises, while the increased bounce and give in the track of a treadmill makes it much better suited than walking on the street for those who suffer from brittle or delicate bones and joints.
How Should Seniors Use Treadmills?
It is extremely important for a senior citizen to listen to their body and avoid pushing themselves past their own limits.
Not doing so can lead to serious injury and potentially end up creating greater problems than those you are trying to correct in the first place.
When you first begin using a treadmill, you should always start on a low setting and then gradually increase it from there.
This is especially important if the senior has been inactive for a long time or has no previous experience exercising or using this sort of equipment.
How Fast Should Senior Treadmills Go?
Slower speeds are generally recommended for seniors for a number of reasons.
For starters, if the treadmill is going too fast, the user may not be able to keep up, which could lead to a fall and potentially have disastrous repercussions.
Another issue with going too fast is that it puts increased strain on the joints and bones, opening them up to even greater risk of injury.
Increased speed will even put greater strain on the heart, which could be extremely problematic for older users with any cardiac issues.
The appropriate speed for the majority of seniors to use a treadmill at is between four and six miles per hour. This will provide a sufficient challenge to make use of the benefits of exercising and stave off the issues stemming from a sedentary lifestyle, without placing yourself at any unnecessary risks.
Is It Ok For Seniors To Use Treadmills Every Day?
Daily physical activity is particularly important for seniors, as it helps to keep their bodies functioning correctly and stops things from shutting down.
As using a treadmill at a low speed creates very minimal impact, it is appropriate for a senior to use one every day.
In fact, daily use of the treadmill will provide more health benefits than can be gained from using it infrequently, especially in terms of improvements in muscular strength and cardiovascular health.
How Long Should A Senior Walk On A Treadmill?
It is recommended that senior citizens aim for around 30 minutes on their treadmill every day.
This will ensure that everything is functioning correctly, their heart remains strong, and their circulation and metabolism stays efficient.
That said, if 30 minutes is too much then the person can start with five to ten minutes on the treadmill at first and gradually build up to the full thirty minutes as their fitness improves and they become more acclimatised to the equipment.
Even if you only feel you can manage short sessions on a treadmill, these are still better than nothing and are considered appropriate for a senior citizen as it helps to reduce sedentary behaviour.
Should All Seniors Follow The Same Advice Regarding The Use Of Treadmills?
Like people in any other age group, the actual physical abilities of a senior citizen will vary from person to person.
For example, someone who has played sport at a high level their entire life won’t suddenly be on the same level as a person who has never exercised just because they have both turned 60.
While the above suggestions are good guidelines for the majority of people, it is still important to listen to your body.
If you feel the recommended settings or frequency aren’t sufficient to challenge you, don’t be afraid to ramp things up – just make sure you don’t do so to a level that is detrimental to your health.
A treadmill is a fabulous option for a senior citizen who is looking to stay active and prevent the negative effects associated with developing a sedentary lifestyle that are common in people of an advanced age.
Among its benefits are advantages such as greater muscular strength, increased density of bones and joints, a healthier heart and circulatory system, and even improved mood and appetite.
Choosing this form of exercise also helps seniors to avoid the risks associated with other types of exercises, such as damaging their joints or bones by performing high impact activities.
This article will hopefully have given you all the information you require, not just to see the benefits a treadmill can offer for a senior but to also determine exactly which treadmill is the best option to help you achieve them yourself.
So, all that’s left is to go and purchase your model of choice.
That way, you can look forward to reaping the rewards as soon as possible and stave off any of the unwanted negatives most people go through as they age.
Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a bachelor’s degree in medicine from Alexandria university and is a practicing plastic surgeon. He’s our expert on all things nutrition, medicine, rehabilitation, and flexibility. Dr.Ahmed has been a medical content writer for more than 11 years and his work reached top publications such as the HuffingtonPost