Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Folding Treadmill

Because the tread can turn to dread if you look at it too long.

Exercise equipment; treadmill, stationary bike, and elliptical.
A home gym doesn’t have to take up a lot of room. Foldable equipment can let you work out without giving up valuable floor space.Pixabay

A treadmill can be a great cardio machine, but it can also take up serious real estate—that’s why a folding treadmill can be a great option. When it folds upright, you can stow your treadmill a closet or in a corner. A folding treadmill can accommodate any athlete, from someone just getting back into shape to a weekend warrior who is training for a marathon. The right folding treadmill for you depends on how you plan to use it—a low-key walker may not need the incline and speed capabilities of a varsity track star. And of course, as with any piece of exercise equipment, the best model for you is one that you’ll actually use (for something more active than a clothes rack).

NordicTrack T Series Treadmill
Comes with a membership to an online service with unique running workouts. Smart-response motor provides speed, interval and endurance training.NordicTrack

Foldable doesn’t mean that the equipment isn’t rugged. Many high-end treadmills have folding capabilities and work well for serious athletes. If you plan to regularly use the treadmill, you may consider one that includes access to streaming workouts. These workouts can provide a challenge and accountability, and can give you multiple cardio options besides running. For example, a treadmill can work well for a bootcamp-style class, where you run for a certain number of minutes, then hop off the treadmill to do resistance or floor-based exercises.

Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill, 2.25HP Under Desk Electric Treadmill, Installation-Free with Bluetooth Speaker, Remote Control and LED Display, Walking Jogging for Home Office Use
A quiet motor and shock-reduction system make the product nearly noise-free, and a non-slip running belt provides cushion for knees and joints.Goplus

An under-desk treadmill can be a great way to get steps in and keep moving while you’re working. People generally walk on an under-desk treadmill at a pace well below their “regular” walking speed—usually about 1 or 2 miles per hour, as opposed to the 3 to 4 mph of a regular walk. Look for a treadmill that works well under the desk, but that you can also bring out for a more robust workout. Some desk-specific treadmills top out at 4 mph—if you want a treadmill that can do double duty it may be best to look for one that isn’t marketed as under-desk specific.

Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Treadmill with Device Holder, Shock Absorption and Incline
Hands-free mechanism to safely unfold, handrail controls for speed and includes nine built-in workout programs with display.Sunny Health & Fitness

Consider who is going to run on the treadmill. Some folding treadmills are built with a lighter frame and may have a lower weight limit than “traditional” treadmills. It’s also a good idea to consider how and where you’ll use the treadmill. While some treadmills minimize noise with shock absorbers, you still may be able to hear them from other rooms in the house—or they may be heard by neighbors. Padding, such as placing the treadmill on top of a workout mat, can help.