When it comes to getting into shape, most of us will sign up for a gym membership, then go for a few weeks, and then never go again. While our heart may be in the right place, having to work out at a gym can be inconvenient for many people, which is why it’s so easy to neglect our exercise regimen as soon as possible.
With the new year upon us, now is the time to commit yourself to getting into shape. But instead of going through the same gym cycle, why not work out at home? It’s so much more convenient, plus you don’t have to worry about exercising in front of others, and you can do your routine while watching TV or listening to music. Having exercise equipment in your house can be just the ticket you need to get your body in shape.
With that in mind, one of the best devices you can get for yourself is a treadmill. This machine enables you to workout as much or as little as you want, and it can be low or high impact, depending on how fast you go. Best of all, you can get a model that folds up for easy storage so that you don’t have to commit a section of your house to exercise.
Today I’ll be showing you the best folding treadmills that you can use, meaning that whether you are in an apartment or a house, you can still make sure to achieve your fitness goals.
Table of Contents
Our last stop is the Sole Fitness F80. As I mentioned above, we have been upgrading with each subsequent machine, meaning that we have saved the best for last.
If you want a gym-quality treadmill in your house, then you can’t do much better than the F80. As far as power goes, this machine comes with a whopping 3.5-horsepower motor.
That means that you can get a top speed of twelve miles per hour, which is almost twice as much as you could get with any of the other treadmills. Best of all, the track absorbs impact, meaning that you can push yourself as hard as you want without having to worry about damaging the machine or yourself.
I also like the fact that this model has an automatic incline adjustment, which ranges from two to fifteen degrees. Overall, you can push yourself harder on this machine than any other on this list.
The other great thing about the F80 is the console. It’s fully-loaded, with all of the usual tracking measurements, but this model has a heart rate monitor built in. That means you can get the most out of your workout, as well as see how well your exercise is affecting your body.
Best of all, you can play music through the console, meaning that you can plug your iPod or smartphone in and go to town. This unit even has cooling fans included for the best workout you can get.
As we move through this list, we are going to keep upgrading as far as performance goes. That means that if you want something that is a step up from the Confidence Power Trac, then you may want to give the LifeSpan TR 1200i a try.
This is almost like having a gym-quality machine in your own home, which means that this model is ideal for those who want to get a more intense workout.
First of all, you’ll notice that the motor on this machine is more powerful than the others. While it’s not the biggest or fastest motor on this list, it has more than enough pep to give you the exercise you want, whether you prefer to take a leisurely walk or a quick sprint. What I like about this particular model is that it has step tracking technology built in.
That means that in addition to your time, speed, distance, and calories, you can see the number of steps you’ve taken. Personally, I find that that number is emboldening, as you will see just how active you are. While distance is nice, it’s hard to wrap your brain around miles or kilometers traveled. This way, you can see that you’ve done 8000 steps (or whatever) and then try to beat your record.
The other thing that’s nice about this machine is that it has twenty-one fitness programs. That means that no matter where you’re at physically, you can find a setting that will work for you. Best of all, it allows you to track your progress by downloading your data onto a USB drive and storing it on the computer.
As I mentioned, step counting can be a fantastic way to set goals for yourself, and tracking your workouts will only help you stay motivated.
If you want to get a step up from the manual operation of the Portable Treadmill above, then you may decide to get the Confidence Power Trac Pro.
This is about the same size as the one we looked already, but the biggest difference is that you get a full range of exercise with this device since it plugs in. As far as workouts go, this machine is ideal for anyone who wants to approach fitness with a casual attitude.
By that, I mean this device works well if you like to walk while you watch TV or listen to some music. If you’re the kind of person that wants to run at top speed, then this particular model may not be able to suit your needs. When comparing the performance of this machine, I like the fact that it has three incline settings, along with twelve fitness programs.
That means that you can choose the one that fits best with your workout goals, or you can adjust things manually to have a custom workout. The LCD screen included is large and easy to read, and it will show you the time, distance, speed, as well as the amount of calories you’ve burned.
Our first stop is the Portable Incline Treadmill from Best Choice Products. If you are looking for something compact and easy to use, then this can be a good option.
What makes this particular model so unique (and cost-effective) is that it is completely manual. That means that you power the device yourself without having to plug it in anywhere.
As such, this treadmill can be great for anyone who doesn’t want to worry about adding to the electric bill, but it does limit your ability to get a full range of workouts. Because it is manual, that means that you can’t increase the resistance. Instead, to make it more difficult, you have to change the incline, which means that it takes a little getting used to if you haven’t used a manual before.
As with all treadmills on this list, this unit folds completely in half, meaning that you can set it against the wall when you’re not using it. For small spaces (or when you want to vacuum), this is perfect.
When comparing the Akonza to other treadmills on this list, what makes this one special is that it is something of a hybrid. That means that you can use it manually for when you don’t want to plug it in, or you can utilize the electronic components for a full range of workout options.
Personally, I don’t like to use the manual setting, but I think that I’m just not used to it yet. As far as performance, this machine comes with all of the standard bells and whistles.
The 1200 watt motor gives you a top speed of 6.2 miles per hour, which is more than enough for most fitness enthusiasts. The frame is solid steel as well, so feel free to push yourself to the maximum speed if you want to see what you’re made of.
I will say that the track is a little narrow for big guys like me, but if you have a relatively slender frame, then you won’t have any problems. The LCD screen comes with all of the usual features, including a way to measure your time, distance, speed, and calories.
The device also comes with twelve fitness programs to help you get started, and there are five preset speeds from which you can choose. One thing you will notice is that the buttons are available in miles or kilometers per hour, so be sure you’re getting the right system before you order.
Now that we’ve seen the best folding treadmills, you may be wondering how you can determine the best one for your needs. I can recommend my top picks for you, but that won’t necessarily help you out since my idea of what makes a great treadmill could be different from yours. For example, I may value a more inclusive console, whereas you may not care about it at all.
With that in mind, here are the basic features that you should be comparing before making your decision. Each of these things is important to consider and should give you insight into what you need for your fitness goals.
For some people, size is all that matters when picking out a piece of workout equipment. If you live in an apartment and have limited floor space, then you cannot choose a treadmill that will take up a lot of room. That means that even if you want the top of the line model, you may have to settle for something less extravagant because it takes up less room.
Fortunately, many at-home treadmills do fold up (like the ones we saw above) so that you don’t have to commit to having a section of your room dedicated to a treadmill. Folding means that you can store your machine when not in use, which is a huge help.
The other thing to consider regarding size is how big the track is. Specifically, you should be looking at the length and width of the track, as that is what will matter the most. If the track is too narrow, then you will be stumbling a lot. If it’s too short, then you will risk falling off at higher speeds.
To get a decent sense of what dimensions you need, measure the distance of your body at it’s widest (with your arms down). That should give you an idea. Also, you can measure how far your feet go when you have them fully extended.
If your experience with treadmills is limited to the gym, then you may not know that some of them don’t require electricity. While this can be much more convenient with regards to your utility bill, I find that manual treadmills don’t offer much in the way of a workout, because they are so limited in scope. By that, I mean that you cannot adjust the speed or resistance level, so you are stuck going as fast as you can move the track.
Overall, I would highly recommend an electronic model, unless you have extenuating circumstances that prevent you from having something that plugs into an outlet.
Do you like to jog while you’re on the treadmill, or do you walk only? No matter what your fitness level is, it’s better to get a treadmill with a full range of speed so that you can adjust your settings as you progress. Even if the thought of jogging makes your skin crawl right now, if you go on the treadmill for a few months you may feel differently over time.
Thus, when looking at a prospective model, be sure that it has a top speed which can suit your needs. Most at-home treadmills have a top speed of six miles per hour, but professional-grade models can go into double digits. If you are already advanced in your fitness level, then you will want to get a machine that can keep up.
The other thing you need to look at is the level of incline. In some cases, a treadmill will require you to adjust this manually, which means that you have to get off and raise or lower the track by hand. This method usually results in a cheaper machine overall, but if you want convenience (or like to change your incline as you go), then you will want something that allows you to customize the levels with the push of a button.
When comparing inclines, you also want to see the degree range, which is usually within about ten degrees. Some higher end models may go higher than that, though, which I recommend only for those need a bigger challenge.
When it comes to achieving your fitness goals, you want things to be as efficient as possible. Thus, getting a treadmill that comes with preset programs installed is the best way to go because it takes all of the guesswork out of your workout. If you try to do everything manually, then you might not push yourself as much as you need to, which means that you won’t succeed as quickly as you like.
As far as preset options go, treadmills usually have settings for speed levels as well as different fitness programs, such as a fat burner, muscle builder, or cardio training.
If you want to get a full range of exercise, I would suggest that you get a machine with at least a dozen different presets, as that will give you enough diversity to challenge yourself on a continual basis. Some higher end models have up to twenty-five programs, though, so choose accordingly.
The last thing that you should be looking at on your treadmill is the console. In my experience, the ability to track your progress as you go is crucial to keeping yourself motivated, meaning that you want something that gives you an accurate and easy-to-read display. Almost all treadmills can tell you the same standard features, which are time, distance, speed, and calories burned.
In some cases, however, you may also get a heart rate monitor, which I find to be essential for anyone who is serious about getting in shape. However, monitoring your heart rate is not a requirement for everyone, so you don’t have to necessarily spring for a high-end model if you don’t care about such things.
Another aspect of the console that you should look at is if it comes with a cup holder and a place for a book. Most people prefer to drink water as they exercise, meaning that if it doesn’t come with a cup holder, you could find yourself in a frustrating situation. Also, if you like to read (on a tablet or in a book), then having a shelf for your reading material is a nice added feature that can make your workout more enjoyable.
Finally, some of the higher end consoles come with added features, such as speakers for music or cooling fans to keep you from overheating. With all things considered, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend springing for a top-of-the-line model just for these things. However, if you get one because you want something that maximizes your workout potential, then these added bonuses make your purchase even more valuable.
Check the video below before choose the best folding treadmill for you:
Video source: YouTube
Overall, when looking at these different treadmills, you have to pick the one that meets your fitness needs. With that in mind, if you are looking for something easy to use that will allow you to walk whenever you want, then I would highly recommend the Akonza.
While some of the other units are a bit simpler, I like the fact that you can switch back and forth between manual and electronic operation, plus you get all of the features that you would need. Even if you don’t plan on jogging or running on the treadmill, it helps to have a full range of motion, just in case.
For those who are serious about getting into shape and want to maximize their potential, then nothing compares to the F80. Essentially it’s like having a professional gym inside your home, which means that you can do almost anything. I love the fact that it allows you to track your heart rate, and because you can go full bore, there is no reason not to get this treadmill.
For any fitness enthusiasts, I strongly recommend buying this unit. It may be a little pricier, but it’s well worth the investment.
A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!