April 17, 2024

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Treadmills for weight loss: Tips and recommendations

NordicTrack Commercial X32i

NordicTrack


Has your doctor recommended weight loss? Technically any treadmill is a treadmill for weight loss, but there are certain features and workouts — think incline, incline, incline — that can help boost your results. We spoke to fitness experts for treadmill-buying tips and recommendations regarding weight loss.

“Adding walking, jogging or running into your daily activity can help with weight loss no matter how you do it,” personal trainer, nutrition specialist and “American Ninja Warrior” contestant Julie Lohre told CBS Essentials.

So follow the recommendations below, or simply get moving by investing in a treadmill. Shop some great options ahead.

The best treadmills for weight loss

Here’s a quick look at the best treadmills for weight loss. 

Learn about treadmills from NordicTrack, Bowflex, Peloton and more top, trusted brands below.

Most impressive incline: NordicTrack Commercial X32i

NordicTrack Commercial X32i

NordicTrack


If incline workouts are what you’re after, consider splurging on the NordicTrack Commercial X32i.

“A fabulous super high-end treadmill is the NordicTrack Commercial X32i,” Lohre says. “It has a mind-blowing 40% incline (perfect for hitting the glutes with incline hiking), a high-powered 4.25 CHP motor and a 32-inch smart HD touchscreen.”

Pair your new NordicTrack treadmill with an iFIT membership. A 30-day iFIT trial membership is included (worth $30 a month). It offers workouts with beloved trainers like Kayla Itsines and Tommy Rivers — a famous cancer survivor who runs marathons and inspires countless fans.

Act now and you can save an additional $25 off your order just by signing up for the occasional marketing email! If you pay in full when checking out, you get a free 30-day iFIT trial tacked on. 

NordicTrack Commercial X32i, ,$4,499


Best monitor: Bowflex Treadmills

Bowflex treadmills: Save up to $500

Bowflex


“If you are looking for a treadmill that can help you take your running to the next level, the Bowflex line of treadmills’ sturdy design and excellent tech deck are a great fit,” certified personal trainer and studio owner Lauren George told CBS Essentials. “The longer, cushioned belt is ideal for heavier mileage.”

Bowflex treadmills boast motorized incline ranges from -5% to 20% for your cardio session, Comfort Tech deck cushioning, SoftDrop folding systems and Bluetooth capabilities. They also come with a one-year JRNY membership ($149 value), which grants you access to the JRNY app, featuring a wide range of fitness workouts taught by world-class trainers. 

“One feature that the Bowflex JRNY offers that is above and beyond other workout platforms is that it adapts with you as you progress,” George says. “The app suggests different workouts as your fitness improves.”

Bowflex Treadmill 10, $2,090 plus free shipping (reduced from $2,299)

Bowflex Treadmill 22, $2,699 plus free shipping (reduced from $2,999)


Fun classes: Peloton Tread

Peloton Tread

Dick’s Sporting Goods


Get motivated with access to thousands of classes on and off your Peloton Tread, like running, walking, hiking, strength, bootcamp, yoga and more with a Peloton subscription. Just subscribe separately, starting at $13 a month. There are three different membership tiers. This treadmill has an HD touchscreen for streaming and speed and incline knobs to easily adjust controls. It measures your speed, mileage, pace splits, heart rate zones, elevation and more.

Lohre told CBS Essentials that Peloton has her favorite treadmill workout program.

“I use a Peloton Tread that I love because it is super high quality, powerful and the connected classes are fun and motivating,” she says.

Peloton Tread, $2,995 (reduced from $3,495)


Beloved trainers: NordicTrack Commercial 2450

Commercial 2450

NordicTrack


This treadmill is at a more affordable price point than the NordicTrack model above, and also includes a 30-day iFIT trial membership (worth $30 a month). The NordicTrack Commercial 2450 treadmill has a tilt and pivot HD touchscreen and can fold to be stored away. This treadmill both inclines and declines and it can make automatic, hands-free adjustments during trainer-led programs. Rotate its screen to take yoga, HIIT and more classes on the ground too.

Once more, you can save an additional $25 off your order by signing up for the occasional marketing email. If you pay in full when checking out, you get a free 30-day iFIT trial added to your purchase.

NordicTrack Commercial 2450, $2,799 (reduced from 2,999)


Walk and jog at your desk: Redliro Under Desk Treadmill

under-desk-treadmill.png

Amazon


Sometimes the best first step is to just get moving. Consider this under-desk treadmill if you work from home and want to get more movement into your daily routine. This motorized walking and jogging treadmill offers 12 preset exercise modes, as well as the option to manually adjust the setting for your perfect workout. 

Redliro Under Desk Treadmill, $270 after coupon (reduced from $470)


Easiest to store: WalkingPad C2 Mini Foldable Walking Treadmill

walking-pad.jpg

WalkingPad


If you just want to walk, this mini treadmill is also the perfect size to slide under a standing desk. When it’s not in use, this fitness machine can be folded to almost half its size for easy storage, so it’s the best treadmill for a small space. Choose from five colors.

“If your goal is to up your daily step count without compromising your house decor, the compact WalkingPad is an excellent option!” George says. “You can fit it under a standing desk to accrue more steps while answering emails, or hop on for a stroll while watching TV. The belt is also designed for maximum cushion and comfort.”

WalkingPad C2 Mini Foldable Walking Treadmill, $450 with code LABORDAY (reduced from $600)


Incline on a budget: XTERRA Fitness TR Folding Treadmill

XTERRA Fitness TR Folding Treadmill

Amazon


You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for a treadmill that has an incline. This affordable treadmill has a 16-inch by 50-inch running surface and a 250-pound weight limit. It has an LCD display that tells you your speed, incline, time, distance, calories and pulse. This treadmill offers 12 preset programs and three manual incline settings. It folds, so you can store it away while it’s not in use.

XTERRA Fitness TR folding treadmill, $480


Treadmill workout ideas for weight loss

So, how should you get started working out on your treadmill to encourage weight loss?

“When starting a walking or running program, it is best to ease in gradually,” certified personal trainer, running coach and founder of Physical Equilibrium fitness boutique Sara Dimmick says. “Start with 20 minutes three times per week, then increase time or intensity about 10% each week. Every three to four weeks, back off a bit and cross-train, or take a short break before you come back to building up. 

“Once you have a base of six to eight weeks, you can then add in more intensity like HIIT, intervals and hill workouts. But keep those workouts to about 20% to 25% of your weekly time. The rest of the cardio time for the week should be under your threshold or in your aerobic zone.”

So how exactly do HIIT workouts work?

“I highly recommend high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for my online personal training clients,” Lohre says. “With HIIT on a treadmill, you alternate bursts of intense speed or incline which quickly elevate your heart rate with periods of recovery to allow a reprieve in the intensity. This gives you an overall average heart rate and calorie burn that is higher than steady state cardio, but more accessible with the rest or recovery periods. 

“My favorite treadmill HIIT would be to warmup for five minutes with light jogging, and then begin alternating 30 seconds of running or sprinting at a fast pace with 30 seconds of fast walking or jogging to recover. Repeat these intervals 10 to 15 times and cool down with five minutes of light jogging.”

How long do you need to work out to see results?

“Participants can get in a great HIIT workout in less than 30 minutes,” George says. “Your body has to work harder to recover after a HIIT workout, so you increase your afterburn long after you push stop on your treadmill.”


How we chose these treadmills

When picking the best treadmills for weight loss, we considered:

  • Customer reviews: We combed through verified customer reviews to ensure that real people like you are consistently pleased with these models and brands. 
  • Expert recommendations: We spoke with certified personal trainer, certified nutrition specialist and “American Ninja Warrior” contestant Julie Lohre; certified personal trainer, running coach and founder of Physical Equilibrium fitness boutique Sara Dimmick; and certified personal trainer and studio owner Lauren George about their thoughts on using treadmills for weight loss.
  • Star rating: All of these products have a four-star rating or higher.
  • Your needs: We picked treadmills for a variety of budgets and preferences. Do you prefer uphill walking to running, for example? We’ve got you covered.

Read more about how we review products


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