Once upon a time, if you were considering buying a folding treadmill, you’d have to deal with a trade-off – you’d be able to enjoy in-home exercise without taking up a lot of space, but the stability might be less than you’d prefer.
Also, you might find that the quality was substandard when compared with a non-folding model.
In the past decade or so, however, folding treadmills have become better-engineered, and can actually be comparable to their stationary counterparts.
#1 What’s the Advantage?
You don’t really have to ask why you might prefer a folding treadmill over a stationary one.
It’s obvious – when space is at a premium, you want something that you can fold up and put away when you need square footage for other activities (ipo). Stationary treadmills take up a lot of space, and if you’re living in an apartment or a small house, you don’t want to devote an entire room to a piece of exercise equipment.
You can move a folding treadmill easily – you don’t need extra muscle in the form of an assistant, and you can move and set up wherever you like.
#2 What Should You Consider?
You’re buying a folding treadmill primarily for convenience, so first off you want to make sure that it’s easy to fold.
Most folding treadmills are hydraulically-equipped, so they’re easy to open up or fold down.
It might sound as though a folding treadmill is flimsy, but that’s not always the case. It’s like it is with anything else – you’re going to get what you pay for. So, if you think that a couple hundred dollars is going to get you a decent folding treadmill, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. You’ll end up with a shoddy piece of gear that you won’t want to use.
Be prepared to spend a bit more – usually in the range of $800 to $1000.
Check it out before you buy, and make sure you try walking and also jogging.
Feel free to jump on the treadmill. If it absorbs the impact without wobbling or slipping, it’s a good, solid running machine.
When you’re thinking about how much you’re prepared to spend, also consider the time-honored maxim – you get what you pay for. If you want a treadmill that’s going to last a long time, you want one that’s made from good, solid components, and that means that you’ll have to be prepared to pay for top quality.
Find out what’s covered under the warranty.
This principle is pretty much the same whether you’re looking at a folding or a stationary model. If the manufacturer is confident in the quality of the equipment, the warranty will reflect that confidence. A 90-day warranty just doesn’t cut it when you’re talking about laying out a big chunk of cash for a piece of equipment.
Look for a warranty of at least a year on the non-motorized components, and between 3 and 5 years for the motor.
#3 Check out the Reviews
With anything you purchase, you can bet you’ll find a ton of product reviews online.
People will tell you what they loved, what they hated, and what they think could be improved. If a reviewer has a beef with a particular company, they won’t be shy about letting you know.
Just Google “folding treadmill reviews,” and find out what purchasers have to say.
#4 Buy From a Reputable Dealer, or Go Right to the Source
Most treadmill manufacturers have websites.
In fact, in this digital age, if you can’t find a website for the folding treadmill you’re thinking of buying, that’s a red flag in and of itself. You can look at product specifications, find out what kind of guarantee is offered, and again, probably look at reviews. A good treadmill provider will post the negative reviews along with the positive.
Feel free to email the company and ask questions.
Remember that they want your business, and they usually also won’t want to sell you a product that’s not going to make you happy – they don’t want to have to post your negative review!
Run, Forrest, Run!
Remember the movie, Forrest Gump?
Where didn’t he run?
But you don’t have to run all over the planet when you have a folding treadmill in your home.
P.S. Just make sure you don’t go for the bargain-basement brands. Invest a decent amount of money to get a decent piece of equipment, and reap huge health and fitness benefits in a small space with a folding treadmill.