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Foldable treadmills offer a convenient and space-friendly way to get the mental and physical benefits of exercise.
- Best vertically folding treadmill: NordicTrack C 1650
- Best for one-step, hydraulic folding: Horizon T202
- Best with a built-in shock system for folding: Pro-Form Carbon T7
- Best for a pull-knob folding function: XTERRA Fitness TR150
Regular exercise, including running, improves cardiovascular fitness and can reduce the risk of many health conditions.
This article discusses the pros and cons of folding treadmills, including the health benefits and risks. It also lists some of the foldable treadmill models a person may consider, and suggests some alternative cardio exercises.
One of the primary benefits of a folding treadmill is that it saves on storage space. People can fold the treadmill up and store it away when it is not in use, which may particularly benefit those living in smaller properties. Foldable models often have wheels on the bottom, making it easier to move them around.
Foldable treadmills may also be easier to clean than other models, as people can lift them and access the area underneath.
However, these treadmills have some disadvantages. Some models may have a less sturdy frame, and those that have stronger frames may be more expensive.
People should ensure that they use the safety locks on these models, especially if children and animals use the space around them. If a person does not lock the treadmill into place, the deck could fall, resulting in injury.
It is advisable to warm up before using a treadmill and cool down afterward. People should also wear comfortable running shoes that provide the correct support and cushioning.
On most treadmills, a person can change the settings to adjust various factors, including speed, resistance, and incline. To reduce the risk of injury, people should start at lower settings and gradually increase the level of difficulty over time.
It is important to maintain proper posture while using a treadmill. Pumping the arms alongside the legs rather than holding onto any treadmill handles will lead to a more effective workout.
If a person becomes dizzy or overly tired, they should stop using the treadmill. It is also advisable to stop any form of exercise after sustaining an injury.
Many different folding treadmills are available to buy online. Below, we look at four models in more detail.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All product information is purely research-based. The information in this article is correct at the time of publication.
The NordicTrack C 1650 model comes with a 10-inch (in) smart, HD touch screen that allows users to stream different workouts with personal trainers.
It folds vertically using a hydraulic shock with EasyLift Assist technology that makes the treadmill relatively easy to store.
The footprint of this treadmill is as follows:
|Length||79.1 in||42.4 in|
|Width||35.8 in||35.8 in|
|Height||60.6 in||71.2 in|
This foldable treadmill records heart rate, elevation, and intensity, allowing people to track their workouts. It stores up to four profiles so that each user can have a personalized workout.
The screen uses Google Maps workout technology. Moreover, people can choose the type of scenery they want to view as they run.
Additional features of the NordicTrack C 1650 include:
- 3.5 continuous horsepower (CHP) motor that has reduced noise and is self-cooling
- 0–12 miles per hour (mph) speed
- 0–12% incline
- user weight capacity of 300 pounds (lb)
- Bluetooth connectivity and a tablet holder
- 10-year frame, 2-year parts, and 1-year labor warranties
This machine is available for purchase online for around $2,000.
The Horizon T202 treadmill comes with Bluetooth speakers, a charging port, and a device holder. People can use these features to stream fitness classes, music, and other entertainment during their workout.
Purchasing this folding treadmill gives a person access to a free app that controls their workouts. It also records workout data that people can share with other fitness apps, such as Fitbit. The treadmill measures calories, distance, time, and weight loss.
The Horizon T202 folds up using one-step hydraulic technology and has the following footprint:
|Length||75 in||47 in|
|Width||34 in||34 in|
|Height||58 in||65 in|
Additional features of the Horizon T202 include:
- ultraquiet 2.75 CHP motor
- 60-in deck with shock-absorbing three zone cushioning
- 0.5–12 mph speed
- 0–12% incline
- 1-year parts and labor warranty and a lifetime frame and motor warranty
- weight capacity of 325 lb
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $12,999.
The Pro-Form Carbon T7 folding treadmill includes a touch screen with a built-in 1-year iFit membership. This gives users access to interactive training sessions, including global and studio class workouts.
The touch screen also tracks workout data, helping people set and reach fitness goals.
The Carbon T7 folds up using an EasyLift Assist mechanism. It also has a built-in shock system to assist with lifting the deck in one move.
The footprint of this treadmill is as follows:
|Length||73.5 in||measurement unavailable|
|Width||35.2 in||measurement unavailable|
|Height||57.5 in||measurement unavailable|
Additional features of the Pro-Form Carbon T7 include:
- 0–10 mph speed
- 0–10% incline
- 2.6 CHP motor that stays cool and quiet during use
- weight capacity of 300 lb
- 10-year frame warranty and 1-year parts and labor warranty
This machine is available to purchase for around $1,000.
The TR150 model by XTERRA Fitness has a 5-in LCD monitor. This monitor shows various workout metrics, such as speed, time, calories burned, distance covered, and pulse rate.
The TR150 uses a pull-knob to release the deck when a person wants to fold or unfold the treadmill. It also has wheels on the bottom to make it more portable.
This machine has the following footprint:
|Length||63.4 in||28.5 in|
|Width||28.75 in||28.75 in|
|Height||51.4 in||61 in|
Additional features of the XTERRA Fitness TR150 include:
- 0.5–10 mph speed
- three manual incline levels
- weight capacity of 250 lb
- 2.25 CHP motor
- lifetime frame, 1-year motor, and 90-day deck, parts, and labor warranties
This folding treadmill is available to purchase for around $430.
Using a treadmill can be a convenient way of reaching health and fitness goals. However, as with all physical activity, there are some health risks.
Exercise gives an immediate boost to brain health. Physical activity can improve a person’s thinking and learning, and it can also reduce anxiety.
A 2014 study shows that running regularly can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and death from all causes. The study suggests that running even for just 5–10 minutes per day at slower speeds results in a significant reduction in health risks.
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Using a treadmill carries some risk of injury. The surface of a treadmill may put pressure on the joints, such as the knees and ankles. Some brands offer cushioning technology to reduce this impact.
According to a 2018 study, many injuries that occur in a gym are treadmill-related. The authors note that there has been an increase in treadmill-associated head injuries in recent years.
People aged 50 years and older are more likely than younger people to experience head injuries while using a treadmill.
A person can take several steps to limit the risk of injury while using a treadmill.
It is also important to wear appropriate and comfortable footwear while using gym equipment.
People who prefer not to work out on a treadmill can choose from many other cardio exercises instead. These include:
- team sports, such as soccer, tennis, and volleyball
- rowing machine workouts
- long walks, ideally at a brisk pace and with some hills
- group classes, such as Zumba or high intensity interval training
It is important to stop any exercise if a person sustains an injury.
People can treat many minor sports injuries by themselves. However, it is necessary to seek medical attention for more serious injuries.
Many fitness equipment brands offer foldable treadmills. People who live in a small property or have a limited workout space may find these models beneficial.
Other forms of physical activity, such as swimming and walking, are good alternatives to running on treadmills.
It is important to remain safe while working out. People should wear suitable shoes and take care to use gym equipment correctly to reduce the risk of injury.