Treadmills for Seniors

As people age their balance becomes unsteady therefore safety on treadmills for the elderly is paramount. Most seniors use the treadmill for walking, not running. In colder parts of the country where the winters are long it is difficult for the elderly to get outside because often it is too icy. If they have fallen once they become even more hesitant in venturing outdoors again. Treadmills can provide an alternative way to exercise and do it with safety in mind.

If you are a senior you’ll need to be extra careful using a treadmill. You’d be surprised to know that it’s not just seniors who use treadmills wrong, many younger people use don’t know the correct way to walk on a treadmill. There’s more than just hopping on the treadmill and walking.

There are so many features to choose from. Did you know they even have an iPad mount for treadmills? However this may be a bit of a distraction for some seniors if they are unsteady on their feet.

Walking Treadmill

treadmill for older persons

Has built in comfort cushion which is easier on the joints. For seamless workouts there are adjustment for softer or harder workouts. Sturdy bars and lower speeds aid allow lots of choices for programmed workouts. A good choice for those looking for a walking treadmill.

The Right Way to Walk on a Treadmill

If you rely on a cane, walker, or have vision problems then you shouldn’t use a treadmill. Most elderly people will reach immediately for the rails of the treadmill, but this isn’t the right thing to do. Part of it is that holding onto the rail is a natural thing to do and the part is that they fear falling off the treadmill.

It’s important to let your arms swing naturally while you are walking, because hanging onto the rails can exacerbate pain, as well as altering your gait. If your gait changes you could put more stress on knee joints that are already painful from osteoarthritis.

A Treadmill Built for Comfort

folding treadmill

Treadmill folds up for compact storing. Rated one of the best treadmills under $1,000. Biomechanical deck suspension supports high impact with non-slip surface. Spacious walking surface with console that measures distance, speed, time and calories with several different workout programs. Has heart rate control programs which lets you set your preferred level.

Why is Holding onto a Treadmill Rail Not Recommended?

Holding the rail changes your balance and your perception of where your body is. When you rely on the rails to support you, your body starts to depend on them so your balance doesn’t improve. By letting go, your body is forced to find its natural balance point and your coordination improves.

All persons, including elderly walkers, tend to slump down to reach the rails. The supports on treadmills are not at a height that is appropriate for most people. When people are shorter and have to reach up, extra pressure is put on shoulders. The swing of the hips is also affected because they have to compensate for the upper body not moving.

It’s important not to impair the natural gait and posture, as it has repercussions for the shoulders, hips, and knees. Challenging your balance is critical for the elderly so that when they are walking outdoors they can do it with confidence that they won’t fall and injure themselves. Keep your feet moving and your arms swinging while you walk and your treadmill workout will be beneficial.

When to Use The Rails on a Treadmill

Hold onto the rails or the front of treadmill when you are drinking water, or changing the program. When using the treadmill on an incline setting, reduce the speed until you can walk with swinging your arms. If you prefer to walk at a faster pace, then reduce the incline so your arms are able to move with normal walking movements.