Treadmills are one of the best home exercise equipment for seniors, and these cardio machines will bring many benefits for older people, especially those over 60 or 70.
But choosing a treadmill for seniors isn’t that straightforward because you have to consider some vital treadmill features: cushioning and stability. These two factors are the most important features when it comes to choosing a treadmill for seniors.
Treadmills with long handrails are specially designed to solve this safety issue. It ensures safety for aged people. While not everyone likes these handlebars as they think they would somewhat get in the way.
I compile some best treadmills for seniors below, and each of them is chosen by considering safety, comfort, and performance.
- SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS SF-T7857 with Multi-Grip Handrails for Balance
- EXERPEUTIC TF2000 Walking Treadmill with Full-Length Hand Rails
- SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS SF-T1407M—Best Budget Treadmill for Seniors Walking
- PLUS 1100W Electric Compact Folding Treadmill for Jogging
- SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS SF-T7603 with Easy Handrails Control
- PROFORM 505 CST TREADMILL
- NordicTrack T Series Treadmills (6.5S, 6.5Si, 7.5S)
See the overviews, pros & cons below.
Are Treadmills Safe for Seniors?
It depends upon the treadmill and the user, so we can’t give out an exact answer. But a treadmill offers more cushioning than running/walking outdoors, which can protect your knees from a bad injury. The effectiveness of the cushioning is varied from brand and price. But you will get better quality cushioning as your price becomes higher.
But if safety is the top priority, choose a treadmill with long handrails because there are many chances that older adults might lose balance. If that happens, you might face serious injury.
What Is a Great Treadmill Speed For Seniors?
A great treadmill speed for walking is two mph to 4 mph, and a good treadmill speed for jogging is four mph to 5 mph. But for the sake of safety, it would be better to start under four mph and then increase the speed gradually.
Speed and agility get depleted with time. Elderly people are quite limited to these two factors. To cope with a machine, seniors must take care and precautions.
On high revs, it becomes quite impractical to cope with the seniors. Besides, seniors competing with a powerful motor doesn’t sound smart.
Doing this might increase their heart rate to an alarming level. Therefore, to prevent bad things happen, you must regulate the motor’s speed.
Don’t increase the speed all of a sudden. Being a senior, if you want to make some effort, start from 1mph. Walk at this speed for 5 minutes, and gradually increase the speed.
But I am not saying that you can’t go for a treadmill speed of more than 4mph; you can choose your speed depending on your fitness level.
Why Should Seniors Walk on Treadmill?
Because compared with running/walking outside, the treadmill provides more cushioning for your joints and protects the bone and cartilage that have tolerated years of wear and tear.
And with the help of the advanced extended guard rails and safety ropes, seniors can enjoy the safety benefits and stay away from injury.
Seniors aren’t fit for all types of workouts. While jogging and walking are both great options. Although you can walk in the park or run in the avenue, you run the risk of tripping over rocks on the side of the road. While this thing happens rarely, a treadmill can help you away from these injuries.
Top 7 Best Treadmills for Elderly People
A product description is a piece of more detailed information that will ease your obsession. With an overview and the pros & cons, it becomes much easier to judge.
Keeping every aspect into account, I introduce you to the top 7 best small and compact treadmills for seniors.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7857 is a budget-friendly treadmill for seniors that also comes with two long safety handles. Coming to the dimensions, it has a height of 53” with a deck of measurements 58”×29”. So, there is plenty of space for you to walk or jog. The deck is specially designed to absorb shock and can accommodate up to 295lbs.
With the extensive side rails, safety is served at its best. Even at any part of the deck, you’ll have full access to the side rails. The handlebars are non-slippery that allow you to work out even with all sweat oozing out. So, say goodbye to slippery side rails.
It also has a digital monitor that will provide concise information about your performance. You will be able to understand even with a glance at it. Moreover, there are transportation wheels that help you in moving it with ease.
This feature allows for the effortless shifting of the equipment. When it comes to stability, the treadmill is mounted with a rubber floor stabilizer.
This feature will prevent annoying rattling. This treadmill also has an emergency magnetic stop clip that acts as a kill switch. During panic situations, this feature will serve you faithfully.
For a more detailed and concise understanding, I’ve laid out some of its pros and cons. It will ease your efforts in making a wise and fair judgment.
- Negligible rattling
- User-friendly design
- Relatively safer
- Value for money
- Difficult to fold
- Less durable
- Consumes more power
- Low fit and finish quality
The Exerpeutic TF2000 is an aluminum-made treadmill that is known for its sturdiness. The product stands 61.5” tall, and the deck measures to be 30”×15.5”.
So there is enough room for accommodation, where it can bear a weight of up to 300lbs. With a low deck height of 5″, seniors will find it easier to step on the equipment. However, a low deck height ensures safety which reduces the fear of falling.
Also, low deck height treadmills are great for low ceiling rooms. The machine draws its power from a 1.5hp motor that generates high torque.
Seeing the power figures, I thought this machine to be noisy. But, its quiet drive feature proved me wrong. Without any rattling, the treadmill rolls smoothly. Almost every senior doesn’t like a noisy machine. However, the Exerpeutic TF2000 meets all their standards.
Coming to the monitor, it has a backlit LCD that is quite informative. It shows your heart rate, calories burnt, and speed attained on the console with a more futuristic approach.
Senior individuals love technology that provides them with a less effort experience. So, the TF2000 stands firm on this expectation. The high-torque motor starts from 0.2 mph and has a maximum speed of 5 mph.
Since the treadmill is designed for recovery, I won’t recommend you to rev high. The deck is quite comfortable that has ten shock-absorbing deck cushions.
It reduces the excess stress on the knees, ankles, and thighs. In turn, it provides the necessary conditions for fast recovery. Don’t worry about leveling the equipment, as it has four adjustable stabilizers for uniform leveling. This will keep you to remain more stable than its other rivals.
- Good fit and finish
- Sturdy and rigid
- Powerful motor
- Low vibrations
- Hard to relocate
- Consumes more power
- Relatively less durable
- Relatively high cost
Manufactured by Sunny Health & Fitness, the SF-T1407M is specially designed for the aged. Being lightweight and compact, it is most suitable for hassle-free operations.
Besides, if you are running out of space, this product will serve you right. Due to its lightweight design, it is easy to fold and store.
The transportation wheels make it easier to relocate the equipment. The overall product stands 50” tall with length and breadth to be 49” and 23” respectively.
However, the deck has a 42”×13” dimension that enables you to walk or jog freely. With an inclined plane, the equipment allows us to have an engaging workout.
Unlike the above equipment, it has a simplistic display. The display console shows only three pieces of information that are speed, time, and calories burnt.
Thinformationion is assumed to be sufficient for a workout. The treadmill’s entire weight is inspected to be 26.4kg, and it can accommodate up to 220lbs.
The weight figures are not wide-ranged, but they will be a perfect option for mid-weight individuals. Being low-feature loaded, it consumes less power.
Its non-electric mode prevents hindrance to your workout. So, you won’t have to worry about your routine, if the power is cut. The SF-T1407M lacks an elongated side rail. However, this necessity is fulfilled by a graspable handlebar. Therefore, every senior individual has to have a firm grip over the handlebar to prevent slipping.
- Negligible power consumption
- Easy to assemble
- Relatively durable
- Consumes less space
- Creates rattling
- Less feature loaded
- Lower weight accommodation
- No side rails
Go plus 1100 watt is an electric folding treadmill that is quite convenient to use. Also, the transportation wheels make it more locatable.
The product stands 53.5” tall, with base dimensions to be 27.17”×10.24”. The belt is 39” long, 14” wide, and can accommodate up to 220 lbs. The equipment draws its power from a 1100W powerful motor that has a high-torque figure.
This will reduce the effort of the seniors to a large extent. It is hard to believe, but such a powerful design can be space-saving. However, it might cost a lot of effort to fold it. Wait, for the overview isn’t over yet. The LCD console will notify you with a lot of physical information like speed, distance, and time.
Moreover, it shows you your heart rate and calories burnt. So, you can easily maintain your calorie chart and burn unwanted fat. The real fun arrived when I inspected the handrails. It had a speed regulator from which you can accelerate up to 6mph.
So, the seniors will find it quite comfortable and convenient to use. It has a safety switch on the console panel in the form of a magnet. Besides, the safety switch has an emergency kills switch at the handlebar. This additional feature will provide you with double safety in panicking situations.
The handlebar is the soul of the equipment. Place your hand on it, and start jogging. The display console will reveal your pulse rate. However, if you love the combination of music and exercise, this equipment will serve you right.
You can store your mobile phone or your iPad at the top of the control panel. Watch movies, or listen to your favorite track, it’s all up to you. Let me help you to understand better by exposing some Pros and cons.
- Value for money
- More feature-loaded
- Better safety
- Difficult in folding
- Relatively less comfortable
- Base bends on heavyweight
- Low fit and finish quality
SF-T7603 is a powerful and reliable treadmill with three manual inclines. This powerful machine draws its power from a 2.5hp DC electric motor. It generates torque enough to make a 265-pound man walk and jog.
So, for seniors, this equipment is a chariot that will lead them to fitness. When it comes to the dimensions, the product stands 58” inches tall when mounted.
The base has a length and width of 41.75” and 29.5”, respectively. When it comes to accommodation, it can bear a maximum weight of 265lbs.
The walking deck has a running belt of dimensions 18”×51”. Within this surface area, the jogging will be hassle-free. The instrument cluster has a simple yet unique design. The display console has a length of 4.5” and a breadth of 2.5”.
These measurements are enough to provide you with more detailed and graspable information. These include: speed, time, distance, pulse, and calories burnt. However, there are no sidebars for this equipment.
Therefore, you’ll have to grip the handlebar on walking to ensure safety. The handlebar is loaded with features, just like the previous equipment. A pulse reader, an emergent kill switch, and the speed regulators are the components embedded in it.
The SF-T7603 has an impressive fit and finish. The deck is shock-absorbent and comes with three levels of inclination. These features will make you make some sweat-oozing efforts that will lead to fitness.
Assembling the equipment is butter smooth. The hydraulic mechanism allows the deck to lower itself slowly. So, you don’t have to worry about your floor again. Folding is easy, and so is its transportation. The wheels are of top-notch quality and don’t sound on relocation.
- Easy assembling
- Good fit and finish quality
- More durable
- Noisy motor
- Belt wears easily
- High power consumption
Manufactured by ProForm, the 505 CST has a lot to offer in the segment. With a product weight of 203lbs, it is the second heaviest treadmill in the segment. Therefore, you can expect a high-maintenance and longer durability. The company also claims factors like longevity and reliability.
With a dimension of 73.5”×36.5”×61”, the treadmill seems to be bulky on first impression. The treadmill belt is 55” long and 20” wide, where it can accommodate a maximum weight of 325 lbs.
So, there will be no confinement issues for seniors, as the numbers indicate a vast space. Coming to the instrumental panel has a more futuristic design. The blue display console is easy to read and operate. So, for elderly eyes, it will be easy to catch.
However, if you love listening to music, this equipment will be perfect for you. For it has a tablet holder case at the top of the console. You can either watch the latest news or play some inspirational music, and the choice is entirely yours.
When I first received the product, the packaging quality impressed me. However, the company claims the treadmill to be rigid and strong but still handles it with care.
The suspension setup lacks a bit of cushioning, as it might rattle on high RPM. This rattling combines with the motor noise that might sound annoying. Being a powerful motor, you cannot expect it to remain quiet and still.
- Relatively longer durability
- Impressive packaging
- Highly spacious
- Noisy motor
- Stiff suspension
- Heavyweight body
The Nordic track T-Series treadmills are the heaviest treadmills in the segment. This bulky treadmill weighs over 95 kilograms and can bear a user of over 300 pounds. So, for seniors, it is a user-friendly option.
Coming to the dimensions, the treadmill stands over 54” tall with a length of 73” and a width of 36” when unfolded. So, you’ll never run out of space for sure.
The equipment draws its power from a 2.6 CHP (continued horsepower) high-torque motor. Due to its continuous power supply, you’ll never feel a lack of it.
However, it may consume more power than regular treadmills, but it’s worth it. The instrumental panel is quite recent and informative. Besides physical reading, it reflects your pulse and the calories you burnt.
Unlike regular equipment, the Nordic track T-Series treadmills have a greater angular velocity. You can jog at a maximum speed of 10mph which is quite impressive.
With these features, you’ll get an additional 1-year iFit membership. It is a boon for seniors, as they will be under the supervision of expert trainers.
A one-touch control system is what makes this equipment unique. It allows you to operate the panel even at high revs. The deck has a 10°inclination that allows you to make the effort of jogging. Don’t worry about excess efforts; for the in-built 2” speakers will keep you engaged.
Connect this with the auxiliary music cord, and set the proper mood. To bring clarity, have a glance at the pros and cons laid below.
- Relatively more durable
- Highly spacious
- Value for money
- Noisy motor
- Hard to assemble
- Low fit and finish quality
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Treadmill for Seniors
For youngsters, a treadmill is a piece of equipment for warm-up. They can easily manage the features embedded in the equipment. But, for older people, treadmills are the most frequently used machines.
For them, we can’t compromise with features such as comfort and safety. To make it simpler, we listed some aspects that you must look for when choosing a treadmill for seniors.
1. Extended Handles
Well, the first aspect we think of is extended handles. Seniors might face some difficulties in stretching their arms. Long handlebars provide enough room for aged hands to grab tight.
We recommend you look for arms that are extended to the mid-deck. However, it will be more beneficial if the grab surface is more cushioned with foam layers.
2. Low Max Speed
Seniors aren’t Olympic runners or professional athletes. All they want is a piece of reliable equipment they can work on. So, you don’t need to purchase a treadmill with high running speed.
Hitting some buttons unknowingly might invite casualties. You can choose a treadmill with a low mph or a manual treadmill for senior walking to prevent such events.
3. Cushioned Deck
Old people’s joints and ligaments are more fragile than before. This might sound bitter, but such is the truth. A cushioned deck will allow them to work for extended hours with comfort.
They won’t complain about discomfort issues. This also maintains their confidence and encourages them to work more.
4. Deck Size
The larger the deck size more will be the safety. A narrow deck provides a clumsy environment for seniors to work. Besides, they like spaciousness.
At low speeds, there won’t be much problem with short-statured people. As you increase the speed, things get more clumsy, and those brittle knees might get injured. So, it will be best to choose a treadmill with a wide deck size.
5. Low Deck Height
Deck heights are one of the most important aspects you can’t miss. A low deck height will be more compatible for seniors to work on.
The lower they are, the less impact they’ll face in case of any falling off. A lot of seniors don’t like high altitudes. Moreover, they won’t have to raise their feet to extra inches.
It will be easier for them to get down even after an exhaustive workout.
6. Noise Level
Many seniors get frustrated easily with rattling equipment. There are two aspects to looking at choosing a silent treadmill.
First, inspect the bearing by getting over the treadmill. If it works smoothly, you’re good to go. Second, is the music feature embedded in the equipment? Choices vary from person to person. We insist you choose accordingly.
7. Fitness Goals
Just like the above aspect, fitness goals are subjective. Some seniors like to walk, while others prefer running.
Seniors from military backgrounds always prefer jogging to walk. A sturdy deck with an average speed of 3mph would be an ideal choice for satisfying both goals.
8. Safety Tether
Safety features must be for everyone irrespective of age. But, for seniors, you must look for specific features. We recommend you look for equipment that has a red kill switch in the middle of the console.
It will be way easier to detect for seniors.
9. Simple Controls
Seniors like the controls to be simple. A complex instrument cluster might be difficult to operate and rather confusing. On buying a treadmill for seniors, look for a big yet simple control panel. They will take less time to accommodate such equipment.
Is Walking on a Treadmill Bad For Senior’s Knees?
Whether running on a treadmill is bad for one’s knees is a controversial topic. But the answer to this question is not a simple yes or no.
But in general, a treadmill can offer more cushioning for your joints than you exercise outdoors. So walking can’t be bad for a senior’s knees at all. Joint health will be a concern only when you run at high speed on the treadmill every day.
So, if you are an elderly person, you must know your limitations. By abiding by speed regulations, you won’t encounter any issues.
If you want extra protection, wear knee caps. These gears will help your knees to move slowly and organize. Moreover, walking barefoot on your treadmill might hurt your knees.
So, make sure that you’re using the right pair of shoes before starting your workout, right in the sense that it must properly fit your ankle size without any discomfort.