14 Best Treadmills For Senior Walking in 2023 and Experts Buyer’s Guide
Treadmills are a low-impact workout for seniors. However, not all treadmills are suitable for seniors, especially if you’re newer to fitness in general.
Preferably, seniors need a treadmill that is specifically designed to prevent joint problems since many seniors already have knee and joint issues. Not all treadmills come with padded belts, which can make them quite rough on the joints.
Because each person has their own specific needs when it comes to exercise, there is no one-size-fits-all treadmill for seniors out there. Instead, you’ll need to consider what you plan on getting out of your treadmill and workouts. In this article, we’ll look to help you choose the best treadmill for senior walking that fits these specific needs.
The 15 Best Treadmills for Senior Walking
There are several possible treadmills for you to choose from. In this section, we’ve carefully reviewed each treadmill to help you understand the options currently available on the market.
1. Sunny Health & Fitness Walking Treadmill – Best Overeal Walking Treadmill
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This treadmill is easily the best treadmill for seniors. It has plenty of safety features, such as the multi-grip handrails, to ensure that injuries are few and far between. These handlebars are also thick and padded for extra comfort while walking.
The motor can support up to 5 mph, making this a true walking treadmill. The console is extremely user-friendly and easy to use. It tracks everything from calories burned to duration to distance. You can also easily change the speed from the console itself.
With transport wheels, this portable treadmill can be moved around as necessary. The low-profile design makes it decently easy to store, as well.
2. Under Desk Electric/Manual Treadmill – Best Manual Treadmill
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Though this treadmill can be electric, we mostly included it on this list because it is the best manual treadmill available on the market currently. Manual treadmills use your own stride to power the treadmill, making them harder and more effective than other treadmills.
This treadmill has an extremely low speed at only 0.5 km/h. It also has a real-time heart rate monitor.
Safety handrails lessen the chance of falls and provide an increased sense of security. You can also use the safety rails to help you walk backward.
With 6-layers, the belt is shock-absorbing and prevents joint problems.
3. FYC Foldable Treadmill for Home – Best for Jogging
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Seniors are a wide range of people, just like every age group. If you are used to fitness and need something that can go a bit faster, we recommend this treadmill by FYC. This quiet treadmill is designed for smaller spaces and can handle both walking and jogging.
With a portable design, you can easily store away this folding treadmill. You can place it vertically against the wall at ninety degrees.
It has a powerful motor to handle up to 265 pounds. It can go up to 8.5 mph and has 12 different programs to fit your needs.
4. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M Foldable Treadmill – Best Folding Treadmill
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Out of all the treadmills on the market, this one is the best folding treadmill, which makes it perfect for those with less space. It is compact and ergonomic. Plus, it is also fairly lightweight, making it easier to move around when you are done.
The LCD monitor is perfect for tracking your fitness progress. It can keep up with calories burned, distance, time, and speed.
As a manual treadmill, it requires no outlet for power. Instead, it relies solely on your stride to make it move. Therefore, it is a bit harder than other treadmills, but this feature also makes controlling the speed very easy – it simply matches your pace. With a permanent incline, it is like you’re walking uphill.
5. NordicTrack T Series Treadmill – Premium Treadmill
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While this treadmill is much more expensive than other options, it does come with many extra features that may make the price worth it for some. If you’re looking for a more intense workout, you may want to choose this electric treadmill.
With live and on-demand classes, this treadmill provides much more functionality than others. It also features access to a personal trainer who can adjust your treadmill remotely.
The innovative space-saver design comes with EasyLift assist, which helps you fold up the treadmill when you are done. It also features Bluetooth headphone connectivity.
6. ZELUS Folding Treadmill for Home Gym – Budget Treadmill
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This small treadmill is perfect for those who are working with a smaller space. It has a max weight of 220 pounds, which is a bit low. However, you have to remember that this is a compact treadmill.
This treadmill features five layers of shock absorption to help protect your joints. It can go as slow as 0.6 mph or as fast as 6 mph, allowing you to adjust the speed to best fit your needs.
Using the Fit Show app, you can get detailed information about your training and health. Use this information to lose weight or improve your fitness.
7. PTPEPL Under Desk Treadmill – Easiest Assembly
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With no assembly required at all, this treadmill is the easiest to assemble on this list. You can use it right after you unpack it. It also has a compact design and can fold as necessary. Simply place it underneath the bed or in a corner for easy storage.
This under the desk treadmill is made of thick steel so it can hold up to 265 pounds.
The LED screen allows you to track your speed, time, and distance. It can move at a speed from 1 to 6 km/h, which could be plenty fast enough for most seniors.
You can both walk and jog on this treadmill.
8. Foraging Dimple Folding Manual Treadmill – Best Extremely Cheap Treadmill
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For those who want to spend way less on their treadmill than the other problems on this list, you may want to consider this treadmill. It is extremely inexpensive, though you are sacrificing a bit for the lower price.
It does have a resistance flywheel to make your workout harder or easier as necessary. You can adjust the height of the armrest as necessary, allowing t to be used for adults and children.
You can quickly fold this machine to save space, which is particularly useful if you have a smaller space.
With that said, this machine is difficult to assemble, as the instructions are not translated well in the least.
9. REDLIRO Under Desk Treadmill – Best 2-in-1 Treadmill
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With two different modes, this treadmill is very versatile. It can perform the job of many treadmills. It has a maximum speed of 4 mph, while it can go up to 7.5 mph without the handlebars. You can walk fairly slow on it or jog, depending on your needs.
The shock-absorption belt features five different layers and is non-slip. It cushions your knees and hips while you work out, ensuring that you can get the health benefits of walking without the joint impacts.
The LED screen helps you keep track of time, speed, and calories burned.
10. XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill – Best High Weight Capacity Treadmill
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With 12 different preset programs, you can easily select the best folding treadmill for your needs. It includes three manual incline settings that are easy to switch around – though not necessarily while you’re working out.
The easy-pull knob allows you to easily fold and unfold it for easy storage. A bookrack and accessory holder allow you to easily hold your remote control or electronic device nearby.
The 5-inch LCD screen display allows you to easily track your fitness, keeping you updated with the incline, time, distance, and pulse.
11. CIIHI C Treadmill Desk – Best for Working at Home
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For those who are currently working at home or have desk jobs, this treadmill is perfect for you. It is designed with a large top area to accommodate a laptop (or anything larger than you want to keep nearby). Therefore, it is a great option for working and working out at the same time.
This treadmill has a foldable design and can quickly be put away. it can easily be used in an office and slide underneath a desk when you aren’t using it. The lightweight design makes transporting it fairly easy and straightforward.
The LED screen and touch buttons allow you to choose from a variety of programs. You can also keep track of important workout metrics like distance and calories.
12. NordicTrack T Series Treadmill
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This NordicTrack treadmill is quite expensive, just like most treadmills from this brand out there. It comes with a 30-day iFit membership, which includes programs and live classes. You do need to continue to pay for this membership after the trial, though, to get the most out of your treadmill.
Most seniors will likely use this as a walking treadmill. However, it can go up to 10 mph and can easily be sure for running as well.
The FlexSelect cushioned deck prevents knee and joint pain, which is essential as a treadmill for seniors. It also has a 300-pound weight capacity, which is essential for larger people attempting to lose weight.
13. RHYTHM FUN Treadmill
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You can use this treadmill for both walking and running. With the handrails folded, it becomes a walking treadmill with a maximum speed of 3.75 mph. However, it can go as fast as 7.5 mph with the handrails put up.
At only 97 pounds, this counts as a lightweight treadmill. However, you should consider your personal fitness level when determining if you’ll be able to use it by yourself or not.
The belt is designed to reduce shock, which is essential for seniors. Without it, we couldn’t really count it as a treadmill for seniors.
14. Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill
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Like quite a few treadmills on this list, this treadmill is designed to be a walking treadmill and a jogging treadmill. You can keep the handrails folded down, which keeps the speed below 4 km/h. However, if you fold the handrails up, it adjusts the top speed to 12 km/h.
With that said, this isn’tnecassairly the best treadmill for seniors, as it doesn’t have many safety features. It does have a non-slip running belt, though. This belt is made with five different layers, which helps cushion your joints.
An LED screen helps you keep up with all of your metrics while you’re riding. It shows the time, speed, distance, and calories.
It comes with a Bluetooth speaker, phone holder, and remote control.
Choosing the best treadmill for seniors is challenging. There are countless different options for you to choose from, so it mostly depends on your particular needs.
For instance, if you have not exercised previously, then you probably want something with a slow minimum speed. If you are already active, then you may even want to consider something that jogs.
In this section, we’re going to help you determine which treadmill is best for you based on your particular needs.
There is no specific “best treadmill for seniors” since every senior will have their own needs.
Who Needs a Treadmill for Seniors?
The term “senior” technically refers to anyone over 65 (or sometimes even 55). However, this age group differs widely. Some people in this group will be extremely active, while others will need a lot of assistance to exercise at all.
In some cases, you may be able to get away with a normal treadmill that isn’t designed for seniors at all. However, some seniors do need a treadmill that is specifically designed for seniors.
Here is a list of older people that may specifically need a treadmill for seniors:
- Those with health concerns. If you have health problems that make it hard for you to work out, you probably want a treadmill that is specifically designed for seniors – this is even true for those that aren’t technically seniors. It is important for everyone to stay healthy, and a toned-down treadmill is sometimes the best option for those with health issues.
- Older seniors. Even if you have always been active, there is a time when everyone starts to slow down a bit. Plus, you’ll also have to worry about your joints and any underlying health problems, which may make exercising intensely ill-advised. For this reason, there is a time when everyone will need a treadmill designed for seniors- even if it is just because of the extra treadmill cushioning.
- Anyone looking for a laidback workout. If you’re new to fitness or are just looking for a gentle pace, then a treadmill designed for seniors may be helpful. Or, you can also find a rather slow treadmill that would work for a senior but isn’t necessarily designed for seniors only, which we also included on this list.
Designed for Seniors vs. Suitable for Seniors
There are two types of treadmills that we included on this list. Firstly, we included treadmills that were specifically designed for seniors. These often move very slowly and have safety features that were specifically designed for seniors, like extra-long safety rails.
For those with serious health problems or who aren’t used to fitness in the least, these treadmills may be necessary.
However, many seniors and those with health problems will be able to select a treadmill that isn’t necessarily made for seniors but is suitable for one.
Therefore, we included both of these treadmills on this list. Some of them are specifically made for seniors, while others are suitable for some seniors (even though they aren’t necessarily designed for them).
There are several features you’ll need to keep an eye out for when selecting a treadmill. Some of these won’t matter for you specifically; it all depends on your specific needs.
Below, we’ll review each feature and help you figure out what you really need.
Generally, most people are not going to need to worry about the maximum weight capacity of a treadmill. Unless you are very overweight, then you’ll likely be able to fit on just about every treadmill. Most have a maximum weight of at least 225 pounds.
However, if you’re overweight, then you may need to carefully look at the maximum weight capacity. While you won’t outright break a treadmill if you’re over the weight limit, it will wear down faster over time, which can lead to parts breaking faster than normal.
Most treadmills with higher weight capacities are bigger and bulkier. They are also cost more for this reason.
Advanced Safety Features
Different treadmills have different safety features. Some of them are very minimal or even have no safety features at all. However, others have many different safety features and even some that are specifically designed for older people.
The number of safety features you need depends on your fitness level and confidence on a treadmill. If you have never used a treadmill previously, then you probably need plenty of safety features to help prevent any potential issues.
If you aren’t very quick on your feet, then you may want safety features to help introduce you to fitness. For instance, you may want longer and more stable multi-grip handrails to help you stay on your feet while using your treadmill.
Most treadmills for home use aren’t terribly expensive. However, some treadmill brands are known for making more expensive treadmills. It all just depends on what the treadmill has and who makes it, for the most part.
Cheap treadmills are often very basic and flimsy. They usually don’t have a high weight capacity and don’t have many features. However, sometimes all you need is a cheap treadmill. If you don’t need many features, to begin with, your best bet may be to save some money and purchase something cheaper. (Of course, these treadmills are usually less durable as well, which may be a problem later on.)
Preferably, you should find something in your budget that has at least most of the features that you need. Most people will need to look at mid-priced treadmills.
Program and App Compatibility
Some higher-end treadmills are specifically designed to work with certain fitness apps or programs. If you use any of these apps (or are interested in using one of these apps), then you may want to utilize a treadmill that is compatible with them.
Some of these apps and fitness programs allow you to create custom workouts to help move you towards your goals. Some may connect you with personal trainers, who can sometimes manually adjust your cardio session. A fitness program is best for those that don’t know where to start to begin with and need a bit of extra help figuring out what to do, exactly.
Many foldable treadmills are great for smaller spaces. Instead of leaving the treadmill up permanently, you only need to take it out when you’re using it. During other times, you can store it away without much of a problem. Obviously, this design feature is there to help you save space.
With that said, not all treadmills fold easily. Some of them do fold, technically, but they require a significant amount of work. Some even require that you unscrew the handlebars or other parts of the treadmill to make it “fold.”
Preferably, you want the treadmill to fold as easily as possible. Otherwise, you may not have the time or energy to fold it down after your workout. Furthermore, some treadmills are quite heavy, which can make folding difficult without extra help, like hydraulic folding mechanisms.
Manual Treadmill vs. Electric Treadmills
There are several differences between manual and electric treadmills. Which option you choose largely depends on your experience with exercise equipment.
Simply put, manual treadmills are a bit harder than electric treadmills. Your stride alone moves the treadmill belt. Therefore, you have to put in a bit more effort when you are walking. This method works better for those looking for vigorous exercise, as it allows you to work harder without necessarily going faster.
Plus, you don’t have to adjust the speed for the manual treadmill, as it simply goes at whatever speed you’re walking at.
With that said, manual treadmills can be a bit harder to use. They always have an incline, as the belt would not move otherwise. Some have adjustable inclines, but not all. Therefore, if you are new to working out, you probably don’t want a manual treadmill. It may simply be too hard.
Electrical treadmills are a different story, though. They use electricity to power the belt, and then you simply walk to keep up with it. You don’t have to exert any force to actually move the belt, so this treadmill type tends to be a lot easier to use than others.
However, you do need an outlet to actually plug the treadmill in. Otherwise, it simply won’t work. Plus, these tend to be a bit more expensive since they have a motor and other electronics in them. They simply have more parts, which drives up the price.
With that said, they do have some extra features that you simply can’t find in manual treadmills. For instance, some allow you to utilize training programs and stream workouts, which manual treadmills simply can’t do since they are electric.
In the end, which option you choose largely depends on what you’re trying to accomplish and what other features you want. If you’re looking for something that provides a tougher workout, then you probably want a manual treadmill. These also work best for those without access to an outlet.
On the other hand, if you want fancy LCD screens and workout streaming, then you’ll need to go with one of the electric models.
Let’s be honest; you can only go so fast on a treadmill. Theoretically, some treadmills have a maximum speed of 10 mph. However, it takes a while before you’re comfortable walking at that speed. Plus, as you get older, you may simply be unable to travel at that higher speed, which can be a problem if you’re trying to lose weight.
Luckily, there is another way you can increase the overall difficulty of your treadmill – incline. Generally, many treadmills come with some sort of incline. Two manual incline settings are the average, but this can vary a lot from treadmill to treadmill.
How incline works depends on the type of treadmill you have. For manual treadmills, the incline setting will need to be adjusted manually before you begin. The higher the incline, the easier the workout will be since gravity will help the belt move more.
On the other hand, electric treadmills tend to have automatic incline settings that you can adjust while you’re using them. Some may even be able to mirror real-world runs, adjusting the incline as you approach hills. However, on an electric treadmill, higher inclines make the run harder. Since you don’t have to worry about gravity at all, the incline won’t help you as it does with a manual treadmill.
If you are older or already have joint problems, then you need to consider choosing a treadmill that has extra shock absorption. Walking outside can be troublesome on your joints since pavement and trails often don’t do much to absorb your footfalls. Therefore, it is often recommended that those with joint issues walk on a treadmill.
However, not just any treadmill will do. Instead, you need to ensure that you choose a treadmill with a multi-layer belt that can absorb your footfalls. The best treadmills will be able to protect your joints from the continuous shock of your steps.
Generally, the more layers a belt is made out of, the better at absorbing shock it will be. However, the makeup of the layers also matters, making this feature difficult to determine before you purchase the treadmill.
Of course, more expensive treadmills for seniors tend to have more shock absorption than cheaper models. However, this isn’t always the case. You can find some cheaper models with some decent shock absorption as well.
Max and Minimum Speed
Typically, we only worry about the maximum speed of a treadmill. However, many seniors have a slower pace, on average, than your usual adult. Therefore, they often benefit from a very low minimum speed, especially if they aren’t used to fitness.
For this reason, we carefully considered the minimum speed as well. You’d be surprised by the number of treadmills that actually have a rather high minimum speed, which would make them unsuitable for seniors.
Of course, for some seniors, this may not be a huge deal. If you still walk as fast as you ever did, then you may not need a treadmill with a lower speed. In fact, you may care more about the maximum speed, especially if you plan to work up to a light jog.
Like many features, what minimum and maximum speeds you need is a very personal decision that depends largely on your particular needs.
Many people like to use an LED screen while they work out to help them track their distance, speed, and other metrics. If you plan on having any sort of structure to your workouts, then an LED screen is extremely recommended. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep track of your workouts utilizing some other method, which likely won’t be as accurate in the least.
Luckily, most treadmills have some sort of LED screen that will track the most basic metrics. The size of this screen, as well as its exact capabilities, will vary, though. Some can also stream workouts and personalized training programs, while others just show you the time.
Again, which one you need depends on what you’re looking for. In many cases, you may be able to get away with only a time metric. Other times, you’ll need to invest in a fancier screen if your workout currently leans heavily on streaming workouts.
Treadmill Belt Size
The side of the treadmill belt matters significantly. When you’re regularly walking, the treadmill belt you need depends on your height. The taller you are, the longer your stride will be. Therefore, you’ll also need a longer treadmill belt. Unless you’re larger than 6-feet, you probably won’t have to worry about this too much. However, if you are on the taller end, you’ll want to make sure that you get a larger treadmill belt, as well.
Similarly, when you pick up the pace by jogging or running, you’ll need to consider investing in a longer belt as well.
For the most part, this isn’t going to be a problem for most seniors. However, if you do plan on running or jogging, you may want to ensure that you pick out a treadmill that can accommodate it.
FAQs Of Best Treadmills For Senior Walking
Below, we’ve listed some of the most serious questions we’ve received about treadmills for seniors. If you still have a question or two, you should find the answer below.
Are Treadmills Good for the Elderly?
Treadmills are a great option for seniors, as it provides low-impact cardio without them ever needing to leave their home. Generally, all cardio machines are going to be a great option for seniors, but treadmills tend to be a bit more accessible.
Everyone knows how to walk, after all.
Plus, treadmills don’t have to take up much space, especially if you get one that folds. Many also come with pulse sensors, which allow you to determine exactly how fast you should be walking based on your heart rate.
Treadmills can be a bit rough on a senior’s joints, with that said. Therefore, it is essential that a treadmill with a cushioned belt is chosen. You don’t want to make any current joint problems worse.
In some cases, it may be ill-advised to use a treadmill, though, especially if you have certain underlying health problems. As always, you should speak to your doctor before you start any new exercise routine.
How Fast Should a 70-year-old Walk on a Treadmill?
Generally, that largely depends on the 70-year-old. Seniors vary a lot based on their walking ability. Those that have been active their whole life will likely be able to walk faster than those that are new to fitness.
Therefore, you’ll need to consider just how active the senior already is, as well as their general walking pace.
With that said, the average 70- to 79-year-old can walk around 2.5 mph. Sometimes, they may be able to achieve a speed that is a bit higher than this.
Luckily, you don’t have to have an exact speed ready to go when you jump on a treadmill. Instead, you should exercise to the point that you can still talk with ease, but you should not be able to sing. Basing it off on these personal metrics is a lot more accurate than just choosing a speed based on your age.
What is the Best Exercise Machine for Older Adults?
For the most part, it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. In many cases, older adults will need to prioritize aerobic exercise, as this is the sort of exercise that protects cardiovascular health.
With that said, there are lots of different cardio machines out there. Some are better for certain seniors than others.
For instance, an elliptical may be a great option for those that have a harder time with their joints, as it provides a very low-impact exercise. However, treadmills may also be a great option for those that have little experience with machines since the general premise is very straightforward. Most seniors should be able to walk without much of a problem, after all.
Seniors can also benefit from low-impact exercise like yoga. Therefore, you may want to consider investing in a yoga mat or stability ball. These pieces of equipment are very simple and straightforward, but they are also very effective when paired with the right knowledge.
Is Walking on a Treadmill as Good as Walking Outside?
There is no significant difference between walking on a treadmill ad walking outside. According to Consumer Reports, there is no difference in injury for treadmills and walking on a sidewalk or a walking trail. As long as you aren’t walking somewhere extreme, the chance for injury is basically the same.
With that said, strolling through nature does come with its own benefits. If you can take the chance to walk around in nature, you’ll be better off. A treadmill cannot provide this sort of mental boost, even if it can “copy” real-world walking trails.
However, if your sole purpose is exercise, then it doesn’t really matter where you walk.
Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you walk for at least thirty minutes five times a week. This regimen will help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and improve blood pressure. It may also keep your blood sugar at normal levels, which helps prevent diabetes. If your only purpose is to accomplish these goals, then you should be able to get them done on a treadmill just fine.
Is Walking on a Treadmill 30-minutes a Day Enough?
Walking on a treadmill at all can increase the number of calories you burn and help with weight loss. If that is your goal, then walking any amount of time on a treadmill will be enough. In fact, even just 30-minutes can help you lose tons more weight than you might otherwise.
Furthermore, 30-minutes of walking five times a week can be a huge benefit for your health as well. For instance, 30 minutes of walking can reduce your chance of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart problems. Many of these issues affect older people, specifically. Therefore, you should absolutely try to walk this much if you are a senior and at risk for any of these health issues.
Is a Treadmill Bad for the Elderly?
Treadmills can be a great option for older adults who are trying to increase their fitness level. However, there is a wrong and a right way to walk on a treadmill. If you follow a few simple guidelines, you’ll avoid some of the mistakes most seniors make when walking on a treadmill.
Most importantly, you should never hold onto the treadmill while walking (unless you have a mobility problem that causes you to need a walker or cane in your everyday life). Holding onto the treadmill can mess with your body’s proprioception, which is how your body determines where it’s located in space. Therefore, holding onto the treadmill actually increases the odds of falling, since your balance is all messed up. It also prevents you from getting better at balancing as you practice, which is a key benefit for seniors.
Furthermore, it can also mess with your gait, which can lead to damage to soft tissue. Tendinitis is particularly a problem with gait changes. It is always better to walk naturally without holding onto anything.
Preferably, you should always swing your arms while walking or running on a treadmill. It is a natural way to help you keep your balance and prevents you from feeling the need to hold on. Plus, it may help burn more calories since your arms have their own little workout as well.
If you feel like you have to hold on, then you likely need to turn the speed and incline down. You’re burning far fewer calories by holding on, so it is typically best to work at a speed that is comfortable – not one that forces you to hold on. Holding onto the treadmill can significantly get it the way of weight loss.
There are very few treadmills that are specifically designed for seniors on the market today. However, there are quite a few treadmills that are suitable for seniors due to the features they come with.
Many treadmills that are specifically designed for seniors have very long safety handrails. However, it is best that you do not hold onto the handrails while walking. It can mess with your balance and cause more accidents than it prevents. Therefore, your best bet may be to get a treadmill that isn’t designed for seniors at all and doesn’t come with these large rails.
However, in the end, the treadmill you choose is largely up to you. It depends on your specific needs and what features you’re looking for. If your mobility is impaired, then the large safety rails may be exactly what you need, for instance.
Read through our guide to help you determine which features are absolutely necessary for your treadmill, and then read our reviews to find the treadmill that best matches your needs.