The best treadmills for seniors come with different features or specs, but they all share the same values of safety and comfort. One of the best features to look out for in the treadmills for seniors is high quality cushioning so that it doesn’t put extra strain on the joints. You can look for machines that have a power incline which shifts strain away from the knees and burn more calories even at slow paces. Some of the treadmills come with the added features like BlueTooth speakers, WiFi-enabled consoles, etc. You can choose according to your preferences. Finding the best treadmill for seniors is not an easy task. You have to bring various factors into consideration to make the right pick. You need the one that has safety stop mechanisms, long handrails, great cushioning, and other features that suit an individual’s workout needs. To help you in this quest for the ideal treadmill, we have put together a guide along with a list of some of the best treadmills for seniors in the market.
What To Look For In The Best Treadmill For Seniors
We respect people’s diversity and understand that individuals have varying workout needs and abilities. There are some treadmill qualities that are crucial for seniors for easy and painless usage. Following are some of the features you should look out for when buying a treadmill for the seniors.
Cushioning on a treadmill is important no matter which age group you belong to. It improves comfort and reduces the risk of a knee injury. For seniors, extra cushioning is important to make up for the reduced natural cushioning in the joints due to cartilage. Some low-quality treadmills have less cushioning for which you have to make up with orthopedic sneakers. Moderate quality treadmills have orthopedic cushioning. Some of the products in the market advertise a specific percentage of impact deflection as compared to walking on pavement. Some models have variable cushioning; a softer surface where you land your foot and a firmer surface at the strip’s back where you push off. The best quality treadmills offer excellent shock deflection. Cushioning is a feature that you can’t take for granted.
Regular treadmills have short handrails, but the treadmills for seniors contain long handrails to ensure more safety for them. These machines are often advertised as hospital treadmills or medical treadmills. Most of the treadmills for seniors feature an emergency stop cord, also known as safety lanyards. This comes in handy to stop the track in case you slip.
A strong motor might not be important for the seniors if they need it for walking or brisk jogging. A motor that can offer 1 and 2 CHP will be suitable for the seniors. But, these underpowered motors are usually noisier and can make your workout experience annoying. Though you don’t need a high-speed motor, it can alleviate the noise issues. For most of the seniors, 4 mph is a big enough top speed. It also offers various walking speeds and it can also move faster for jogging.
A treadmill incline sets up the track as if you walk uphill. It is a great way to reduce the strain on your joints. It shifts your body weight away from your knees and reduces pressure on them. Also, they are popular and effective for burning calories and toning muscles. With treadmill incline, you can burn calories twice as quickly as by walking on a plain surface. You can adjust the incline to different levels to work your muscles in different ways. Most of the regular home treadmills come with the maximum power inclines of 10-20%.
Heavy and extremely bulky treadmills are generally not suitable for seniors. If you are buying a treadmill for seniors, it should have a lighter frame that is easily manageable and can be moved around with ease. A treadmill with wheels or foldability is more convenient for seniors, especially if they have limited living space. For folding treadmills, look for the ones that are lightweight and have hydraulic assistance to make it easier for them to fold or unfold. You can find treadmills that have durable steel frames and still weigh less than 100lbs. Some treadmills have extended side rails, which is an important component for older adults.
The size of the belt can be an important factor to consider depending on the user’s height. Walking treadmills usually come with a belt length ranging from 40 inches to 50 inches. Belts that are shorter than 40 inches might keep the users from striding for fear of slipping off. If you take long strides or have a height above 6 feet, find a model with a belt of at least 45 inches. The width of the belt is another essential factor for consideration. The right width depends on the size of the person or his personal preference. Normally, tread belts are 15 to 20 inches wide, which is a perfect size for walking. However, some seniors might prefer narrower belts as it provides easy access to the handlebars and side rails.
Some treadmills brands like Cybex manufacture cardio machines specially designed for people with low vision and other physical or cognitive problems. Some beneficial features in treadmills for seniors have raised console icons and high-contrast track coloring.
Some of the models contain heart rate sensors and LCD screens. An LCD console allows you to have greater control over the treadmill and provide clear running statistics. These screens are more suitable for the seniors than the touch screens that many high-tech treadmills feature as they are simpler to operate. The heart rate sensors allow the user to measure his exertion levels more accurately.