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Are you looking recover after gaining the Quarantine 15? Do you miss your gym? Is running with a mask and observing social distance not really getting it done for you?
Fortunately, there are plenty of exercise options if you’re looking to get or stay fit while self-quarantining, from yoga to exercise apps to bands and balls. Of course, everyone is different and we all have our individual preferences for how we like to work out. If you’re a runner or walker at heart and you have space at home, then it might be a worthwhile investment to buy a treadmill.
There are plenty of benefits to getting exercise on a treadmill. It’s easy on the joints, good for the heart and a great way to lose weight. You won’t get fresh air and sunshine walking or running on a treadmill, but it does provide the benefit of allowing you to binge-watch shows while working out, and there’s never any need to worry about the weather. Some of the fancier treadmills come with digital courses that simulate real running conditions, complete with inclines, and that instruct you to alternate between keeping a steady pace and brisk bursts of speed in order to get maximum results.
Another selling point for treadmills is that if you’re the type of person who doesn’t really like to exercise and for whom athleticism isn’t second nature, but you’re aware that you should exercise, then treadmills are great because you can start with slower tempos and work your way up. It’s much less complicated than, say, yoga or CrossFit. Just remember to find a well-ventilated spot in your house, stretch before and after, wearing sneakers with a lot of support and, as always, drink plenty of water.
We talked to people in the fitness field to recommend the best treadmills for your money, and here are their top choices.
Best Treadmill Under $1,000: Updated September 2020
Jeff Parke is the owner and operator of Top Fitness Mag, an online exercise resource. He recently reviewed treadmills for the site, and concluded that the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill “ranked #1 as it provides one of the best dollar-to-performance values on the market. While it may be for a beginner to intermediate-level run/walker, this machine is steady and reliable at an affordable price,” he says. “The heart rate monitor and six programmed workouts are useful tools that anyone can use during their workout to provide more data and track their progress. This treadmill and its programmed workout array are especially effective for people looking to lose weight and/or get into intensity training.”
ANCHEER 2 in1 Folding Treadmill: $459.99 (unavailable)
Some people like to pass the time on the track by reading or watching TV on a tablet. But if you’re really into multi-tasking, then Carly James, a Fitness Authority instructor and nutritionist in the United Kingdom, has a suggestion.
“This ticks all the right boxes for a regular folding treadmill. For completeness, these are decent cushioning, a reasonably-sized deck, and a decent motor,” she says. “What’s really neat about it, however, is that you can drop the handrail while the treadmill is in use, instead of just for storage. This means you can put it literally right in front of a standing desk and walk, or run, while you work. Or at least should be at work.”
If you are wavering on pulling the trigger on a treadmill because of the cost, or you’re worried it will take up too much space, then Jeff Halevy has a suggestion for you. Halevy is the founder of Apex Human Performance, a New York City-based members-only referral fitness club, as well as the founder of HealthLuxe, a gym design, management, and maintenance firm. While he appreciates luxury, he can also spot a good deal.
“The least expensive option is the Horizon Fitness T101 Treadmill. This is a great option for someone looking to workout during quarantine and who plans on getting back to the gyms once they open,” he says. “It folds for easy storage and does not take up much space when open.”
Best Treadmills From Peloton, NordicTrack, and More
Proform Smart Pro 2000: $1,499
If you’re looking to get some reading done during your run, then Dr. Velimir Petkov, a podiatrist based in Clifton, New Jersey and the founder of Premier Podiatry, recommends the Proform Smart Pro 2000.
“This heavy-duty large treadmill is ideal for home use. It includes a large fan which can cool you off after an intense workout and it also has a tablet holder. Proform has a proven track record and the built quality is excellent. It also offers 1-year iFit in-home, trainer-led studio sessions with the purchase.”
Nautilus T618 Treadmill: From $1,399
Nautilus is one of the most prominent exercise equipment brands and is closely associated with treadmills. According to Dr. Petkov, the company’s reputation is well-deserved, and he points to the Nautilus T618 as one of his favorites.
“One of the benefits of this treadmill is having large rubberized start, stop, speed, and incline buttons which make the use of this treadmill very convenient and easy,” he says. “Nautilus is one of the better brands so you know that you will be buying a high-quality product which will last. You can sync all your fitness data to the Nautilus trainer 2 app.”
NordicTrack Commercial X32i: $3,999
On the other hand, if you’re all in on treadmills and are willing to spend some cash, Halevy says that “in my opinion, the best treadmill is the NordicTrack Commercial X32i.” It’s especially nice, he says, if you miss running outside.
“The features that this equipment offers does not compare. The console itself is very sleek, the screen is high-tech and offers interactive and engaging walks and runs of famous places like Central Park, while matching your speed. It offers a steep incline option for users that are looking to get their heart rate up while preventing injury,” he says. “It’s also versatile in the fact that it can convert to concentric exercises like sled-pushes, building muscle, and strength with minimal soreness. It is highly versatile and you are also able to finance this equipment which is a great option.”
Peloton Treat: $4,295
As they say, all publicity is good publicity. So even though the Peloton brand faced some backlash because of that commercial, you’re likely now at least aware that the company makes exercise bikes that come equipped with streaming classes.
But as Caleb Backe, a Certified Personal Trainer and health expert for Maple Holistics in Farmingdale, New Jersey, points out, the company’s “treadmill is one to beat too. Admittedly it’s on the pricier side but it’s well worth it, given that it comes with a 32-inch touchscreen and front-facing camera, along with a few other bells and whistles,” he says. “The best part about this treadmill is that you can join live classes with your very own Peloton community. For anyone who’s training from home — which if you’re looking to invest in a treadmill you probably are — this is an invaluable feature that enhances motivation and accountability. When used in conjunction with the Peloton app, you get more than just a treadmill. You can maximize HIIT runs and floor workouts with one, easy-to-use piece of machinery.”
Precor TRM 223 Treadmill: $2,699
One advantage treadmills have over other forms of exercise is that if you have mobility issues, you can still get a workout in as long as you take it gentle. If you have sensitive joints, then maybe consider the Precor TRM.
Ed Pryts, a former football player and the CSO for Gym Source, a distributor of premium fitness equipment, likes the Precor TRM because it “is a quality, entry-level treadmill that caters to the needs of runners and walkers,” he says. “The treadmill offers your basic speed settings, as well as technology like Energy StrideTechnology shock absorption, which reduces stress on your joints.”