Running and walking offer many great benefits for you, such as improving your physical well-being and clearing your mind. You’re sitting in front of the computer all day but the weather doesn’t allow you to go out? Then a treadmill is what you need. If you don’t want to give up on training during the harsh Canadian winter, keep reading: we promise you won’t regret it.

Treadmills help you maintain physical endurance, and they are also a good stimulus to lose weight or simply tone up your body. We know nothing compares to running and walking in the great outdoors, but sometimes it is simply impossible. This is why a treadmill can be the perfect product for staying fit.

Key Facts

  • Historially called treadwheels, treadmills are devices for walking or running without leaving the comfort of your home.
  • Two types currently exist: manual treadmills and motorized treadmills. The latter are the most in demand.
  • This type of equipment is ideal if your winters are especially harsh due to climatic factors. People with sedentary jobs or with tight schedules particularly appreciate treadmills.

Ranking: The best treadmills in the market

Here are the five best treadmills you can find on the Canadian market. Whether you need to complement your training or just want to strengthen your immune system for winter, take a good look at the characteristics of each product and think your goals through before making your final decision. Let’s get started!

No. 1: Sunny Health & Fitness, folding motorized treadmill

Sunny Health & Fitness is a recognized distributor of fitness-related equipment, and it is no wonder this product has become Amazon’s Choice for treadmills. With a maximum speed of 15 km/h and supporting up to 100 kg, this motorized treadmill with manually adjustable incline offers great value for your money. Simply fold and store away when you’re done!

The wide range of programs and functionalities makes this treadmill as suitable for beginners as it is for more advanced athletes. Its ease to assemble and user-friendliness are just two of many pros reported by buyers. The soft drop system also means no one is getting injured before training, while the shock-absorbing deck takes care of this during your session!

No. 2: NordicTrack, folding motorized treadmill

Amazon’s best seller in the treadmill category comes from American company NordicTrack, who has over 40 years of experience in the industry. This motorized treadmill has everything you need to reach your goals, whatever they may be: 20 workout apps by professional trainers are preloaded and easy to access from the large display screen.

The FlexSelect deck lets you choose between a more comfortable belt, or a firmer, road-like feel when you run. Although assembling can be lengthy, customers have praised the quality and strong build of this product, while the many options allow the whole family to use it. Plug your music player in the integrated sound system and get running!

No. 3: Weslo, folding motorized treadmill

Despite its space-saving design, Weslo’s Cadence G 5.9i treadmill is great for runners and walkers of all sizes thanks to its large and long tread belt. Coming along with a 1-year warranty, the motor lets you reach a top speed of 16 km/h, while the integrated wheel make storing it away a piece of cake. The value for money of this product is what buyers are all talking about.

No. 4: Sole Fitness, folding motorized treadmill

This all-in-one, top-of-the-line F80 treadmill by Sole Fitness comes with a lifetime warranty for its frame, motor and deck. That means the company knows just how good its equipment is. Boasting a steeper price than other treadmills on this list, it also boasts a top speed of almost 20 km/h and an incline reaching 15 percent. This treadmill is designed for athletes.

While easily satisfying the needs of beginners, this product has it all for competitors: a cushioned deck providing quiet, comfortable running; a large LCD display with training programs integrated; an MP3-compatible speaker; and even a fan! The countdown safety start system is a welcome addition for enhanced safety of use. Don’t think twice on becoming a pro!

No. 5: Weslo, folding manual treadmill

The very affordable price of Weslo’s Cardiostride 4.0 treadmill doesn’t mean you won’t be getting a quality workout with this model. Its no-frills yet practical design makes it ideal for smaller spaces, while still providing a display to keep track of speed, distance and calories. Note that the tread belt may be slightly small for taller people.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about treadmills

Treadmills are one of the best-selling cardiovascular exercise machines in the world, and many models are available on the Canadian market. Naturally you won’t have same needs if you exercise as a hobby or because of a medical recommendation. This is why we answer the most frequently asked questions from users.

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Treadmills always lead to physical and emotional well-being. (Source: Bizón: 53101243/ 123rf.com)

What is a treadmill exactly?

A treadmill is a machine for walking or running that aims at providing cardiovascular exercise within a closed space. Operating either via manual or motorized propulsion, it tends to integrate various training programs. Doctors can recommend the use of a treadmill as part of a rehabilitation routine.

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Did you know that the treadmill was originally used as a punishment instrument? It all started during the 19th century, when a British engineer designed the “prison treadwheel” to punish inmates. While remaining a punitive tool, the intention was also for prisoners to be productive.

What types of treadmills are available out there?

As mentioned above, there are essentially two types: the motorized or electric treadmill, and the manual treadmill. The latter model is powered by the user’s running motion, while electric treadmills featuring a motor are used both in sports facilities and at home. Here are the main differences between the two:

Type of treadmill Manual Motorized
Motion  Works with the user’s movement It requires an engine to start
Rhythm  It depends on your movement It depends on the training program you choose
Price  Cheaper than electric treadmills There is a wide range of prices
Incline  It must be set manually or carried out when the machine is not in use Various tilt angles that the user can select during training
Function  Designed for relaxed walking or running Functions vary according to models

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a treadmill?

Exercising is always beneficial for both your physical and emotional well-being. We know that walking or running outdoors ultimately requires more effort than doing so in a gym or at home. The following table introduces you to the many benefits and the few disadvantages of treadmills:

Advantages
  • Versatile
  • You are not exposed to climatic factors
  • Constant data on exercise intensity
  • The inclination allows continuous uphill training
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Running surface may limit stride
  • Can be monotonous
  • They impose a strict rhythm

Why do we say that the treadmill boosts cardiovascular exercise?

The first modern medical treadmill was used by Dr. Robert Bruce in 1952. Known to many as “the father of exercise cardiology,” he was a cardiologist who conducted research to diagnose heart diseases. He developed the Bruce Protocol, a test still used today to evaluate heart function.

What are the health benefits of treadmills?

Maintaining a healthy weight isn’t the only reason why staying active is vital. A treadmill can offer many great benefits to your health. The following list shows you exactly why a treadmill is essential if, for example, you work exclusively in front of the computer:

  • Decreased impact and more flexible joints. By buffering your footsteps, the treadmill helps prevent ankle, knee and back problems.
  • You are in control. When you exercise on a treadmill, you control both speed and incline. You can even manage the warm-up and cool-down, as well as the energy you spend.
  • Improved cardiovascular health. It helps increase heart strength and blood flow in your body. A stronger heart leads to a lower blood pressure. It also contributes to lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol. Today, most treadmills include a heart rate monitor.
  • Muscle tone. A treadmill helps strengthen your muscular system. Your leg muscles will develop as you increase your running, and muscles in your lower limbs will become more toned.
  • Easy to use. One thing we love about treadmills is that they are extremely easy to use. Virtually no effort is involved in setting them up or getting started. Just press a few buttons on the control panel and you’re set to go!
  • It reduces the risk of certain diseases, such as diabetes, depression, arthritis or insomnia.
  • Mental health and motivation. When you do aerobic exercise, your brain releases endorphins, chemical compounds that make you happier. Treadmills can therefore directly contribute to the relief of depression and anxiety.

Do treadmills provide aerobic or anaerobic exercise?

Treadmills usually allow you to do aerobic exercise, a type of training consisting of long-lasting exercises at low or medium intensity. Your body needs oxygen to burn fats and carbohydrates. This kind of exercise is ideal for your cardiovascular system, and running, walking or swimming are examples of it.

Treadmills also give you the opportunity to do anaerobic training when doing sprints or interval training. The higher intensity of this type of exercise makes it ideal for burning fat. It has considerably gained in popularity in recent years: it is extremely effective and time-efficient.

Treadmill 2

Certain treadmills are specifically recommended for physical rehabilitation exercises. (Source: MediaLtd: 42558416/ 123rf.com)

What is the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise?

Oxygen is a lesser factor during anaerobic training because the energy comes from muscles or glucose, among others. This type of exercise consists of a short duration and high intensity, such as in weightlifting or sprinting. Generally speaking, this form of training allows you to work on your musculoskeletal system.

What is the goal of aerobic exercise?

The aim is essentially to develop muscular and cardiovascular endurance. You need energy to walk, run, swim or ride a bike. This process, for which oxygen is required, leads to you burning fat and carbohydrates. Unlike anaerobic exercise, aerobic exercise won’t increase your muscle mass but rather your muscle capacity.

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Children and elderly people over the age of 65 must perform aerobic exercises accompanied by a health and fitness professional.

What are the different types of aerobic training?

This type of exercise is usually seen as either high or low impact. While helping you take your mind off everyday problems, aerobic training also improves cardiovascular fitness and keeps your body healthy. The following table introduces you to the differences between high-impact and low-impact aerobic exercise:

Low-impact aerobic exercise High-impact aerobic exercise
Examples Walking, swimming, climbing stairs, rowing, rock climbing, skiing Running, dancing, tennis, squash
Recommended for Almost anyone healthy Only athletes and people in good physical condition
Frequency According to some research, three or more hours per week reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 65%. Sessions should last at least 20 minutes. Three sessions a week is more than enough for a beginner.

What are the benefits of aerobic exercise?

Sedentary people should begin aerobic exercise gradually, with no more than five to ten minutes every day. They can then move on to three to seven times a week, with training sessions of no less than 30 minutes. The benefits of aerobic exercise greatly contribute to the overall good health of your body. Here is a list of those advantages:

  • Reduces fat, located both subcutaneously and between the muscles
  • Reduces weight by decreasing body fat
  • Lowers blood pressure in the medium term
  • Improves lung capacity by oxygenating the body
  • Reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases levels of good cholesterol (HDL)
  • Improves self-esteem by releasing endorphins
  • Increases the level of calcium absorption
  • Increases endurance
  • Reduces coronary risk and prevents diseases
  • Prevents osteoporosis
  • Reduces stress

Purchase Criteria

A wide range of treadmill models are available on the Canadian market, and you should always compare different products before making your final decision. This section will show you some of the most important criteria to help you purchase the right product according to your needs.

  • Treadmill dimensions
  • Maximum speed
  • Power
  • Degree of inclination
  • Shock-absorbing system
  • Safety
  • Functionalities

Treadmill dimensions

If you are at least 180 cm tall, this characteristic is particularly important for you. The running surface of the model should be at least 46 x 130 cm. This aspect loses relevance for people shorter than 180 cm. On the other hand, if you tend to be on the “heavier” side, look carefully at how much weight is supported by the machine so as not to force its structure.

Maximum speed

Treadmills with a top speed of 10 km/h are usually enough for walkers, beginners and people wanting to lose weight. Runners with greater athletic goals will need to opt for equipment with higher maximum speeds. The starting speed should be 1 km/h.

Power

Power can be measured in hp (horsepower) or in watts (W), one hp being the equivalent of 735 W. A person weighing over 80 kilograms should opt for a treadmill with at least 1,200 W. Don’t forget that the higher the inclination, the less power the treadmill will require. As mentioned earlier, it is also important that the treadmill can support your weight.

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Treadmills tell you how long you’ve spent on it, as well as the distance travelled. (Source: Jackson: 41803572/ 123rf.com)

Degree of inclination

Regardless of whether you are a beginner or a professional runner, inclination is a key factor. Its aim is to allow you to progressively increase your effort. Your general health is very important in this regard, and you should avoid inclination if you have knee or ankle problems. If so, you should also consult your doctor prior to any use of a treadmill.

Shock-absorbing system

Our feet receive all the impact when we walk or run. It is therefore important for the treadmill to have a specific damping system that will help you protect your joints. Wearing suitable footwear and protecting the floor with a mat are also things you should keep in mind.

Safety

Your treadmill’s safety mechanisms are crucial. As you can see from our list of products, most include a system to prevent accidents. You should also make sure that the treadmill does not stop abruptly and that it starts up slowly, as conveyed by the minimum speed mentioned previously.

Functionalities

Nowadays, treadmills can integrate a variety of different useful functions. While beginners may not generally take them into account, an amateur or professional runner will. Let’s take a look at these features and their purpose in the following list:

  • Heart rate monitor. It is an important aspect to avoid injuries. Certain treadmills can control the pulse and automatically regulate the speed or incline to adjust the intensity of training.
  • Display screen. This is the “brain” of your treadmill. The screen will show data such as calories burned, time spent or speed. Make sure it is not too small so that you can comfortably keep track of your workout.
  • Folding treadmill. Take a good look at this useful functionality before you buy your treadmill: a folding equipment will save you space.
  • Programs. Your treadmill should include a variety of training programs, which will help you visualize your progress and stay motivated.

Summary

We may have overlooked our health for decades, but it is gaining more and more importance. The rhythm of modern society and our sedentary jobs are making it increasingly harder for us to exercise. However, physical and emotional well-being is becoming a priority for many people. This is the reason why treadmills have come to be so popular: whether in the gym or at home, sport is always beneficial to your health.

We hope this article gave you insights on why treadmills can be vital to you, particularly if your winter doesn’t allow you regular outdoors runs. The many functionalities available make treadmills interesting products, and you should choose the one that best suits your goals. And remember: it is one step at at time that you reach the top.

If you liked the article, feel free to leave us a comment or share it with your friends and family!

(Source of featured image: Dotschok: 37459682/ 123rf.com)

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