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Foldable treadmills offer a convenient and space-friendly way to get the mental and physical benefits of exercise.

Regular exercise, including running, improves cardiovascular fitness and can reduce the risk of many health conditions. However, treadmills do pose the risk of injury, so people should take care to use them properly.

This article discusses the pros and cons of foldable treadmills, including the health benefits and risks. It also lists some of the foldable treadmill models currently available to buy and suggests some alternative cardio exercises.

One of the primary benefits of a foldable treadmill is that it saves on storage space. People can fold the treadmill up and store it away while it is not in use, which may particularly benefit those living in smaller properties. Foldable models often have wheels on the bottom, making them easier to move 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 do 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 and result 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 difficulty over time.

It is important to maintain good 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 important to stop any form of exercise after sustaining an injury.

Many different foldable treadmills are available to buy online. Below, we look at four models in more detail.

Please note that the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based.

NordicTrack C 1650

The NordicTrack C 1650 model comes with a 10-inch Smart HD touch screen that allows users to stream different workouts with personal trainers.

This product 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. Additionally, people can choose the type of scenery they want to view as they run.

The use of a hydraulic shock with EasyLift Assist technology makes the treadmill relatively easy to fold away.

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
  • 300 pound (lb) user weight capacity
  • Bluetooth connectivity and tablet holder
  • 10-year frame, 2-year parts, and 1-year labor warranties

Horizon T202

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 product gives a person access to a free app. People can use the app to control their workout. It also records workout data that people can share with other fitness apps, such as Fitbit.

The Horizon T202 folds up using one-step hydraulic technology.

Additional features of the Horizon T202 include:

  • ultra-quiet, 2.75 CHP motor
  • 60-inch deck with shock-absorbing three zone cushioning
  • 0.5–12 mph speed
  • 0–12% incline
  • 1-year parts and labor warranty plus a lifetime frame and motor warranty
  • measures calories, distance, time, and weight loss
  • 325 lb weight capacity

Pro-Form Carbon T7

The Pro-Form Carbon T7 includes a touch screen with a built-in 1-year iFit membership. This membership 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.

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
  • 300 lb weight capacity
  • 10-year frame warranty and 1-year parts and labor warranty

XTERRA Fitness TR150

The TR150 model by XTERRA Fitness has a 5-inch 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.

Additional features of the XTERRA Fitness TR150 include:

  • 0.5–10 mph speed
  • three manual incline levels
  • 250 lb weight capacity
  • 2.25 HP motor
  • lifetime frame, 1-year motor, and 90-day deck, parts, and labor warranties

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.

Benefits

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that participation in physical activity is an important part of a person’s overall health.

Exercise sessions give immediate benefits in terms of 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 even running for just 5–10 minutes a day at slower speeds results in a significant reduction in health risks.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute states that regular physical activity helps prevent unintentional weight gain. Physical activity also reduces the risk of certain health conditions, such as diabetes.

Risks

Using a treadmill carries some risk of injury. The surface of a treadmill may place 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 over 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.

A 2018 study suggests that people should warm up before physical activity. Warm-ups increase blood flow and raise muscle temperature, which can reduce the risk of muscle and tendon injuries.

It is also important to wear appropriate and comfortable footwear while using gym equipment.

A 2020 article suggests that different types of footwear affect running performance. For instance, softer or thicker shoe soles may have a cushioning effect, which may reduce the pressure on the joints during physical activity.

People who would prefer not to work out on a treadmill can choose from many other cardio exercises instead. These include:

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.