How to Choose the Proper Treadmill for Your Heavy Weight

How to Choose the Proper Treadmill for Your Heavy Weight

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Choosing the right treadmill helps to ensure a safe workout Images

A treadmill can be a great way to begin exercising to lose weight and get in shape. Bad weather and not enough time are excuses that go out the window when you have your own treadmill, but choosing the right one is crucial. Many companies make treadmills for heavier individuals. A treadmill that can't hold your weight may not last as long due to motor burnout. Additionally, a treadmill that is overloaded could collapse causing injury. Treadmills come in many shapes, weight loads and designs.


Use your current weight as a guide. Most treadmills list a maximum weight capacity, so choose one that is higher than your weight. But for those that do not, look for treadmills designed especially for runners. The increased impact from runners means the treadmill is designed to handle more downward weight. Entry level treadmills tend to hold weight up to 200 to 300 pounds while higher end treadmills (including for runners) can hold between 300 to 500 pounds. To ensure safety and equipment durability double check the manufacturer's weight range before use.


Use you current height as a factor as well. If you are over 6 feet tall, you need a treadmill with a longer belt length so you do not hit the front or fall off the back. A normal treadmill belt should be at leas 50 inches long while ones for taller exercisers will be 55 to 60 inches long.


Try out treadmills in store that meet your weight and height requirements. You do not need to operate the treadmill in the store, rather walk on it normally and see if you have enough space on the sides. If your sides or arms hit the side rails you'll want to consider a wider treadmill. A treadmill belt should not be any narrower than 17-18 inches. (see reference 3)


  • Consider treadmills that have frames built out of aircraft aluminum. This type of aluminum can sustain more impact due to it's durable yet flexible build.
  • If you're going to a gym to workout, ask the staff which treadmills have higher weight limits. Often gym treadmills will be top of the line larger treadmills to accommodate all types of people.


  • Never begin a workout routine without consulting your doctor first.


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