The benefits of regular exercise for seniors are well established. The Center for Disease Control recommends that seniors do 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. With the aches and pains of old age, finding the ideal exercise form can be a challenge.
A treadmill is a smart choice for seniors. It offers a low impact, user friendly form of cardio which is functional and gentle on the muscles and joints. It is vital, however, that seniors find the right treadmill for them. In this article, we discover the best treadmills for seniors.
The Top Three Treadmills for Seniors (Detailed review of each below)
- ProGear HCXL 4000 Treadmill
- Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill
- Weslo Cadence R5.2 Treadmill
The Best Treadmill for Seniors
ProGear HCXL 4000 Treadmill
- Wide running track
- 400 lb max weight capacity
- Easy access controls
- Emergency shut off
- Extra long handles
- No auto incline
We’ve rated the ProGear 4000 as the top treadmill for seniors, because it is an easy to use unit with a wide track that is very user friendly and well padded.
Wide Running Track
As a senior you don’t want to be restricted when you are walking on the treadmill. The ProGear 4000 provides you with a track that is 20 inches wide and 40 inches in length. The track is also well padded, providing you with a good level of cushioning with each foot strike.
The ProGear 4000 comes with a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds. This will be plenty for the vast majority of users. This high level of weight capacity is a good indication of the strength and rigidity of the unit.
You need to have a user friendly set of controls and the ProGear 4000 definitely provides it. With speed control buttons and on / off buttons on the handle bars, the control is always at your finger tips. The speed adjustments are incremental at rates of one tenth of a mile.
Max Speed 4.0 MPH
While the mx speed of 4.0 miles per hour may not be enough for younger, fitter users, 4.0 mph will be an ideal upper level for most senior users. It also provides protection against error induced max speeds that could be dangerous.
It is vital that your treadmill have an easy to reach emergency cut off system. The ProGear 400 provides you with a large, centrally located button that will safely stop the treadmill immediately.
The ProGear 4000 provides you with a large, clear display that gives you an ongoing readout of your time elapsed, distance walked, calories burned, speed and pulse monitoring.
Extra Long Handles
The ProGear 4000 comes with extra long hands that provide you with a high level of support. In fact, they are twice the length of most other treadmills. You also get full controls on the handlebars
With the ProGear 4000, you get a two level manual incline which allows you to increase the intensity of your walk by increasing the walking angle. Setting the manual incline is quick and easy. Once set, the angle is rigid and secure.
The ProGear 4000 is virtually fully assembled out of the box. All you need to do is to attach the computer and you are all set to start exercising.
The frame of the ProGear 4000 is rigid and secure. It has been reinforced to accommodate a max user weight of 400 pounds.
No Auto Incline
Although you do get an incline with this treadmill, it is not an automatic incline. That means that you will either have to set the incline before you start working out or will have to get off the walking belt and make the adjustment. For seniors who want to incline the angle midway through their workout this will be a hassle.
Exerpeutic TF 1000 Walk To Fitness Electric Treadmill
Our second favorite treadmill for seniors, the Exerpeutic TF1000 is a great choice for those who are safety conscious. It provides you with an extra long pair of handle bars, along with a 20-inch wide walking belt and a max speed of 4 miles per hour.
- Pre assembled
- 400 lb max weight capacity
- Heavy duty design
- Emergency shut off
- Extra long handles
- Large running belt
- No auto incline
The Exerpeutic TF1000 comes virtually assembled right out of the box. This allows you to get started on your workout right away. All you have to do is to attach the LCD computer monitor panel and you’re all set to go.
Heavy Duty Design
The Exerpeutic TF1000 is a heavy duty treadmill that is designed to accommodate up to 400 pounds of user weight. It has a solid, robust heavy duty steel frame with wide side rails.
This treadmill comes with an easily accessible large red emergency stop key. This puts you in total control of the operation of the running belt, allowing you to stop it at any time.
Large Running Belt
The running track on the Exerpeutic TF1000 is 20 inches wide. This is similar to what you would find in a commercial fitness facility.
Extra Long Handle Bars
This treadmill provides you with 18 inch long handle bars. This is twice as long as you would get on most other home use treadmills. This makes the Exerpeutic TF1000 an ideal choice for seniors who may need that extra level of security while walking. It means no more losing your balance on a treadmill. Getting on and off this unit is very easy and safe.
The on-off switch is right on the handle bars for easy access when your workout is completed.
The Exerpeutic TF1000 has a two position manual incline feature. This allows you to adjust the incline position very easily to change the intensity level of your workout.
The Exerpeutic TF1000 comes with a smart computer, complete with an LCD display that is large and clear. The functions of the display are elapsed time, calories burned and speed. Speed controls on the handle bars allow you to adjust from one tenth of a mile per hour to up to four miles per hour for a vigorous workout.
This treadmill is powered with a 1.5 hp high torque motor. The motor makes use of Exerpeutic’s ‘Quiet Drive.’ This technology allows you to watch TV or listen to music while walking.
The Exerpeutic TF1000 is easy to fold and store. It features a hydraulic shock absorber and transportation wheels, making it easy to relocate the treadmill when you are finished using it.
No Auto Incline
As with the ProGear 4000, there is no auto incline feature on the Exerpeutic TF1000. The manual adjustment works well but it will require you to step off the treadmill to make the angle adjustment.
Weslo Cadence R5.2 Treadmill
The Weslo Cadence 5.2 is our bronze medal treadmill for seniors. While not offering the length of handle bar support of the our top two models, this unit does provide you with a superior level of cushioning and joint comfort. It also has a larger console, loaded with more workouts than the other two treadmills. On the downside the walking track is limited to 16 inches, which may be a little restrictive for taller users.
- 5 hp motor
- Extra belt cushioning
- Space saving design
- Large display monitor
- Limited running belt width
At 2.5 hp, the motor on the Welso Cadence treadmill is a full one hp stronger than the top two treadmills for seniors. This provides the power for interval and speed training that fitter seniors may be looking for. The motor also reduces noise as it cools internal components. This makes it ideal if you are wanting to watch TV or listen to music while you’re exercising.
Extra Belt Cushioning
The running belt on the Weslo Cadence comes with the unique comfort cell cushioning system. This reduces the impact on your joints, making it a safer option for seniors with arthritis or osteoporosis. It also allows for faster recovery time between workouts.
Space Saving Design
The Weslo Cadence has been designed for ease of storage and compactness. It features a space saver design that allows you to fold it up and walk away in one easy step. It also has wheels for easy transport. Despite its compact nature, this treadmill doesn’t compromise on functional strength and frame rigidity.
Large, Clear Display
This treadmill comes with an oversized LCD display monitor which features large digits. This makes it easy to read from all angles for seniors. The readout tracks your speed, distance and calories burned.
Limited Track Width
Even though you get a generous 50 inch running track length, it is only 16 inches wide. This may prove to be somewhat restrictive for taller seniors.
The Exerpeutic TF2000 is a step up from the previously mentioned TF1000, with a few extra additions that cater specifically to the senior user. It features extra long side handles and a white dash on the tread belt that make this a super safe option!
The motor on the TF2000 goes up to 5mph, making it more of a walking treadmill, but slow jogs are still possible! What I really like about the Exerpeutic TF2000 is that it is adjustable in increments of as little as 0.1 miles per hour, so finding just the right speed for you is easy.
- Extra long side rails for stability
- Quiet but strong motor
- Adequate cushioning
- LCD display
- The belt is narrower than some other options
- Does not fold
49″ Extra Long Hand Rails
49” extra long walking assistant hand rails with added foam padding making walking on this treadmill a breeze.
Extended Treadmill Belt with White Dash
The thoughtful addition of a white dash on the extended treadmill belt makes it easy to keep track of how fast it’s going, making this truly one of the best treadmills for seniors.
5″ Low Deck Height
The deck is only 5” high, making it easy for those with limited mobility to step onto this treadmil.
Doesn’t Fold Up
The Exerpeutic TF2000 doesn’t fold up, so ends up being a bit bulkier than other options.
ProForm Performance 300i
The last entry on our list of best treadmills for seniors is the ProForm Performance 300i Treadmill. With a top speed of 10 miles per hour, this isn’t just a walking treadmill! Whether you’re looking to just get your steps in from the comfort of your own home, or practice running for that next 5K, the ProForm Performance 300i has you covered!
I like that it has a motorized incline feature which makes upping the difficulty easier, without resorting to increasing the speed. Walking at an incline also helps those with sore knees, so this is doubly appreciated.
- Up to a 10% incline available
- Accommodates both walkers and runners
- Adequate cushioning makes for a comfortable stride
- Bluetooth speakers and a tablet holder included
- No LCD screen is small and not backlit
- The belt may be too short for taller runners
Powered Adjustable Incline
The ability to increase the difficulty of your exercise without the need to increase speed through the addition of the powdered and adjustable incline is a great addition.
Designed With Small Spaces In Mind
While some of the other treadmills for seniors we’ve reviewed so far can take up a lot of space, this is not the case with the ProForm Performance 300i. Featuring a folding deck and their SpaceSaver Design, you don’t have to worry about this treadmill taking up too much gym real estate.
No Backlit Screen
The screen on this treadmill is smaller than the other options and isn’t backlit, making it more difficult to read stats like heart rate.
What to Look for in a Seniors Treadmill
The size of the motor determines the amount of power that you will get from your treadmill. If you are looking for a treadmill that will allow you to simply walk and do some light jogging, then a 1.15 horse power (hp) will be sufficient for you. For a slightly more intense experience, go for a treadmill between 1.75 and 2.0 hp.
If you are a senior who does not have joint issues, then you will want to a treadmill that is around 2.5 hp. However, people who weigh more than 225 pounds, will need a treadmill with a minimum of 3.0 hp.
The size of your running track will determine whether your range of motion is fluid and natural or restricted and cramped. Obviously, the taller you are, the more track size you will need. The width of treadmill tracks runs between 16 and 22 inches. Shorter people should look for a width of about 18 inches, with most people finding a 20 inch width to be about ideal.
Your average home treadmill will give a max speed of 12 miles per hour. For most seniors, however, a max speed of 8 miles per hour will be more than sufficient.
As a senior, it is vital that the track that you are running on provides you with a high level of cushioning to absorb the impact of your foot strike. A good level of cushioning will provide an adequate level of cushioning protection for your spine, knees, hips and joints.
A treadmill that provides you with a high level of cushioning can reduce your impact by up to 40%. To discover the quality of the cushioning, you really need to try it out for yourself. If you are buying online, look for reviews that specifically mention the level of track cushioning.
As senior you will want a console that is clearly back lit and that provides you with large digits that are easy to read. You will also want it to provide you with feedback on such training diagnostics as your speed, calories burned, workout time and heart rate.
You should expect your treadmill to provide you with a number of custom built workout programs that have been designed by fitness professionals. The majority will come with about fifteen built-in workout programs. You should also have the option of customizing your own workout program.
Depending on the price that you are willing to pay, you can also get the following features with your treadmill. Decide in advance if the following features are important to you:
- A television screen
- A USB port
- A tablet holder
- A fan
- An MP3 port
- A water bottle holder
- A chest strap heart rate monitor
The max weight capacity of the vast majority of home use treadmills is between 200 and 400 pounds. Make sure that the one you buy has a max capacity which is at least 50 pounds heavier than your own weight.
Portability is an important consideration for many home users. They need a treadmill that is compact enough to be folded away for easy storage after use. It also needs to be lightweight and should have transportation wheels so you can simply wheel it way when you’re done exercising.
Sometimes home use treadmills tend to compromise their stability and strength in favor of their foldable portability. A foldable treadmill will inevitably be less solid than a non-folding treadmill.