Running on a treadmill is one of the most beneficial activities you can do to stay fit. As treadmills are relatively easy pieces of equipment to use, they provide a predictable surface that is safe and easy to negotiate. Some of the newest treadmills also let you control nearly every aspect of your run.
Not all treadmills are the same, however, and the treadmill you choose can significantly affect your workouts and the benefits you gain from running. An almost endless selection of treadmills is available online, so choosing the best treadmill with all the features you want at a price you can afford can surely be overwhelming.
So, we’re here to guide you through the process of finding the best treadmill that suits your needs and your home gym––including a list of our top treadmill picks for running at home.
Why Running On A Treadmill Is Beneficial
The benefits of running on a treadmill are endless, including burning calories faster than most other forms of exercise at home, improving endurance, strengthening your heart, and promoting weight loss. To benefit from these health-enhancing advantages, though, you have to be consistent with your training. Bad weather and hectic schedules may prevent you from running in your neighborhood or on your favorite trail as often as you may like.
Let’s go over other ways that running on a treadmill can be good for you:
Treadmills Are Safe
Treadmills have been popular for years, but the demand for treadmills became especially high during COVID-19* as runners looked for safe ways to exercise at home. Unlike the uneven and unpredictable terrain of sidewalks and trails, treadmills provide a flat and consistent running surface. This is particularly important for those returning from an injury or who are prone to injury. Because treadmills provide a supported surface with cushioned belts to absorb impact rather than a hard ground, treadmills are easier on your joints.
A massive benefit of having a treadmill at home is the accessibility factor. The opportunity to run on a treadmill is available to you day or night. Unfavorable weather conditions outside no longer determine when and if you exercise that day.
Face Less Distractions
Running outdoors requires a considerable amount of your attention as you navigate uneven terrain, other runners, traffic, weather, and more. You’re more likely subjecting yourself to a higher chance of injury due to countless running distractions. So, using a treadmill in your home allows you to control the level of distractions and focus primarily on your workout.
Improve Your Running Speed
Running on a treadmill can help improve your running speed by having the ability to control your running tempo and doing interval training. Simply speed up the pace for short intervals and then slow it down for recovery intervals.
Burn More Calories
Did you know that you can burn more calories doing interval training on a treadmill than you can by using other forms of in-home exercise? In fact, running can burn off more calories than using a stationary bike.
What To Look For In A Treadmill
Today’s treadmills offer a wide variety of features that can help you cross the finish line and hit that goal you’ve set for yourself at the beginning of the year. By knowing what to look for and which treadmill features you want can help you choose the right treadmill to fit your individual needs at the right price.
Let’s see what to look for when weighing your options:
First and foremost, the cost of a home treadmill can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars all the way up to thousands of dollars. So, a good tip is to determine your own personal budget first (how much you have and how much you want to spend) prior to shopping around.
Then, determine the kind of features and capabilities you want and need in a treadmill. Considering the fact that this is an investment for your long-term health, it’s best to look for quality treadmills to make it worth your time and money.
The incline feature on a treadmill simulates running up or down a hill as if you were outside. Using the incline feature can increase the intensity of your workout without increasing your speed or the amount of time you spend on your treadmill.
As a matter of fact, incline training helps you achieve your fitness goals faster, more efficiently, and without putting additional stress on your joints. Many treadmills offer incline ranges from 0-15% incline range; a 1% incline on a treadmill accurately reflects the same feeling as running on a flat surface outside.
Also known as the belt, the deck is a treadmill’s running surface. The length of treadmill decks can vary from 45 to 60 inches––short decks are suitable for walking and long decks are better for running to handle longer strides.
It’s a good idea to look into purchasing a folding treadmill if you have a small space. Some may not mind having a treadmill out on display in their home, where others want the ability to store it out of the way. Keep in mind that a treadmill’s stability may be compromised due to certain folding treadmills that are manufactured solely with the folding capability in mind, so be sure to do your research beforehand.
In general, a regular walking speed for most people is around 2 to 4 miles per hour and anything over 5 miles per hour will be considered running or jogging. The speed of a runner lies solely on a person’s fitness ability and level, so be sure to consider your current level and your goal for increasing your speed.
To make for easy speed adjustments, look for a treadmill that has a built-in speed selection so you focus on your run rather than compromising your speed and form to adjust your speed.
Some treadmills offer specific programming to keep your workouts interesting and effective. High-definition, touchscreen monitors can track workouts and help you progress through fat burning or training programs, and even integrate with Google Maps™ technology to automatically adjust inclines to mimic the actual topography of a real destination.
The belt on a treadmill can make all the difference during your run. Having that added cushioning while running can help reduce the impact on your joints, and the more expensive treadmill models tend to have better cushioning.
Treadmill updates help your treadmill run and function the way it should, so be sure to look for treadmill manufacturers that provide regular updates. Manufacturers often make consistent improvements to their programs and then make these improvements available to you through regular updates.
As quality treadmills can be expensive investments, it’s a good idea to purchase a treadmill directly from the manufacturer as warranties tend to be better with longer terms. Considered as durable goods, treadmills should last for many years. However, treadmills have many moving parts that withstand substantial abuse, delicate electronic components, and screens with tablet-like features. Without proper use and regular treadmill maintenance, these may wear out sooner than later. A warranty helps to cover the cost of parts and more in case your treadmill has any trouble or breaks down.
Our Top Treadmill Picks For Running At Home
What is the best treadmill for running at home? Our answer: it depends on what you need in a treadmill. We’ve created a short list of our top treadmill picks for running at home based upon your needs.
Best Treadmill For Hill Lovers
With an impressive 40% incline range, the NordicTrack Commercial X32i Treadmill has the incredible power of simulating even the steepest hills. With your purchase of the X32i, you’re given a 1-year iFit® membership access to interactive and engaging workouts that target hill training programs for beginners and the advanced.
Best Treadmill For Sprinters
The Freemotion t8.9b Treadmill has a 4.0 HP AC commercial drive speed motor that reaches up to 12 mph, sturdy frame, preset programs for easy accessibility, easy readouts to help runners track their speed, distance, time, pace, incline, vertical feet, calories burned per hour, total calories burned, heart rate, and more.
Users can also sync this treadmill with their smart device for ultimate personalization, including an ever-growing workout library to mix up your workouts each day.
Best Treadmill For Limited Home Space
The ProForm Carbon T7 Treadmill is hands down the best for small spaces. Fully assembled, the dimensions are 35.2” Wide x 73.5” Deep x 57.5” Tall. And with its EasyLift™ Assist and SpaceSaver® Design, the Carbon T7 makes for easy moving and storage.
Best Treadmill For Strength Building
The strength building factor of the NordicTrack Commercial X22i Treadmill makes it our top treadmill pick for this category. It’s power features include integrated sled push capability with built-in push bar and sled grips, hands-free incline workouts at a full range of speeds, and it’s incorporated dumbbell accessories ability makes for a strength workout unlike any other.
Best Treadmill For Interval Training
As far as the best treadmill for interval training, the Freemotion t10.9 Interval REFLEX™ Treadmill takes the cake. This innovative treadmill includes 1-STEP™ controls for instant treadmill response and immediate action, easy-to-read results, and REFLEX™ cushioning to reduce impact and create a longer, stronger interval training.
Best Treadmill For Entertainment
The ProForm Pro 9000 Treadmill provides the complete training experience that’ll make you forget that you’re even working out. With a 22” HD touchscreen, Bluetooth® audio capabilities with dual 2” Speakers, and the upcoming automatic heart rate training with iFit ActivePulse™, you’re going to want to use this treadmill for more than just running.
Best Treadmill For Athletes
The best treadmill for athletes has to be the NordicTrack EXP 10i Treadmill. This particular treadmill offers interactive iFit personal training with high-energy studio classes, strength training, and even yoga and mindfulness––encompassing workout and recovery sessions all in one program for on and off this treadmill.
Not to mention the 10″ HD Smart touchscreen and OneTouch® Controls which makes for easy incline and speed adjustments during your running workouts. The iFit trainers use Speed and Incline Controls to adjust your machine’s speed and the incline/decline feature of -3-12% in real-time.
Best Treadmill For Your Money
Last but not least, the best treadmill for your money has to be the ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill. The Pro 2000 offers plenty of bells and whistles at a reasonable price without skimping on high quality design, performance, and accessibility. Also, its iFit capability allows automatic trainer adjustments to your machine for easy maneuvering through your running workouts, access to global workouts, and so much more!
Now that you have a better understanding of what and where to look for the best treadmill for running at home, it lies on you to make the final decision. The best treadmill really depends on your specific needs and wants, the amount of space you have, and your budget.
You can be rest assured that we’re not going anywhere either as we continue to provide you with guidance before, during, and after your treadmill purchase. So, be sure to check back here on Treadmill.com for more treadmill information, iFit support, workout and feature highlights.