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Ultimate Walking Pad Treadmill Buying Guide: 5 Features You Need to Consider

I. Introduction

Walking pad treadmills have taken the fitness world by storm over the past few years, serving as a blessing for those who prefer the comfort of their homes over traditional gyms or outdoor walking. With their rise in popularity, it’s crucial to make an informed decision tailored to individual needs. But what are some of the key features or items you should be considering when purchasing your next walking pad? If you’re unsure about what to look for when choosing a walking pad, look no further!

Under desk treadmill Australia

II. Why consider a Walking Pad Treadmill?

For those who may not be familiar, a walking pad is a treadmill in a compact form. Specifically designed to cater to the nuances of walking and light jogging, they are small, portable, simple to use, yet very convenient and effective. But what makes it so unique, and why are they gaining immense popularity?

1. Space-Saving Design: In today’s urbanised living environments, where space is at a premium, the walking pad treadmill stands out as a game changer for many people. Its compact nature means it can fit into smaller rooms, apartments, or even offices, making it easy to set up and pack away when not in use. Generally, these machines are also considerably lighter than traditional treadmills, weighing less than 35kg for most models.

2. Rehabilitation and Recovery: For individuals recovering from injuries or surgeries, high-impact exercises might not be feasible. Walking pads provide a controlled, low-impact environment that can aid in the recovery process, making them a favourite recommendation of many physiotherapists. Many walking pads provide a level of shock absorption, with the walking mats providing an amount of give as the foot lands. This helps minimise the impact usually felt when walking on the road or footpath.

3. Serving the Fitness Enthusiasts: While walking might seem basic, it remains one of the most effective cardiovascular activities. Fitness enthusiasts can benefit from the consistent pacing a walking pad provides, ensuring they achieve their daily steps or distance goals regardless of external weather conditions.

4. Combatting Sedentary Lifestyles: Modern work culture often binds individuals to their desks for prolonged periods. A walking pad treadmill offers a solution for those seeking to inject movement into their routine without disrupting their schedule. Many have found walking while attending virtual meetings or brainstorming to be not only feasible but also refreshing and can boost creativity. Those who spend time driving also find walking pad treadmills can help combat the constant sitting. Often sighting hip and low back issues, increasing the amount of walking you do after a long day in the car or truck can work wonders for posture and joint mobility. For a deeper understanding of how walking can significantly contribute to cardiovascular disease prevention, the CDC offers insightful information that underscores the importance of incorporating walking into our daily routines.

5. Flexibility and Portability: Unlike traditional treadmills that are bulky and stationary, many walking pads boast foldable, light weight designs. This portability allows users to easily transport the device from one location to another, be it between rooms or residences. Most models are able to either be folded in half for compact storage, or are thin enough to simply slide under your lounge, desk or bed, or stand up in a wardrobe. In essence, the walking pad is not just a piece of fitness equipment; it’s a versatile tool tailored to modern needs, bridging the gap between health and hectic lifestyles.

III. Key Criteria and Features to Consider When Buying a Walking Pad Treadmill

A. Belt Dimensions

Why Size Matters: The size of the walking pad treadmill determines how comfortably you can walk. It can affect your stride and, thus, your overall exercise experience. This is critical to consider prior to making a decision on your preferred walking pad! Let’s take a look at why.

Belt Length

Buy a walking pad where the belt is too short for your stride length, and you will be concerned about stepping off the back of the belt, or landing on the front of the walking pad. Most light-weight, small walking pads will have a belt length of 100cm (1m) or more, which is perfect for most people when walking at a slow to steady pace. As speeds start to increase, taller users over 6 foot may start to notice their feet approaching the limit of the belt.

At WalkMate, we generally recommend that those wanting to walk faster, generally over 5km/hr, then consider purchasing a walking pad with a belt length of 110cm or longer. If you are going to use the walking pad just for walking and steady speeds, 100cm will be fine.

Belt Width

The width of the walking surface is also a key consideration. With belt widths starting at 38cm, your stride, body composition and hip width will determine which way you should lean when considering belt width. Similar to the belt length, if you are wanting to run or continually walk at higher speeds, at WalkMate, we recommend selecting a walking machine with a belt width of 40cm or wider. This allows for some room for error in your steps, especially if you are getting tired, focusing on a TV show or talking while walking!

If you are wanting a walking pad just to get more active each day, moving more at work or walking while watching your favourite TV shows, any belt width will keep you out of trouble. Just remain vigilant of where you’re stepping if you choose a narrower belt.

B. Maximum Speed

Depending on your goals, the maximum walking pad speed is a key purchasing criterion. For walking only models, the maximum walking speed is 6km/hr. For those wanting the option of jogging as well, WalkMate has models with a maximum speed of 10km/hr and 12km/hr.

If your goal is to get active more often, increase your daily step count or improve your health through increased activity, a walking only small treadmill may be the right choice for you. Should you want the option to increase the intensity of your workouts and include jogging in your schedule, you will need to look at the models with speeds of 10km/hr or higher.

C. Walking Machine Weight and Dimensions

When considering fitness equipment, the size and weight often play pivotal roles, especially for people living in apartments or those with limited space. This is where the walking pad treadmill is a true a game-changer, in space-saving fitness solutions.

Traditional treadmills, while effective, can be bulky. Typically, they stretch close to 2 metres in length and almost 1 metre in width. This expansive footprint can make them a challenging fit for many homes and offices.

Walking pads, however, offer a more compact alternative. Most models measure under 1.5 metres in length and less than 60cm in width. This reduction in size doesn’t compromise their utility but rather enhances their versatility. Watching TV today while walking, done! Want to set-up outside and get some fresh air tomorrow, no problem!

But it’s not just about dimensions. The weight of the equipment is equally crucial. Traditional treadmills can weigh anywhere from 90 to 160 kilograms, making them difficult to move or reposition. In contrast, many walking pad treadmills are designed with portability in mind, weighing significantly less, often in the range of 20 to 35 kilograms.

This lightweight design combined with their compact size makes walking pads ideal for various settings. Whether you’re fitting it under your standing desk at work or storing it under your lounge at home, it seamlessly integrates into your space.

WalkingPad C1 Treadmill Folded and Unfolded

D. Maximum User Weight

Walking pad treadmills, known for their portability and lightweight design, often come with specific weight recommendations. Compared to traditional treadmills, they generally accommodate lighter weight limits due to their compact build.

It’s not uncommon to find compact walking pad models with a weight capacity of up to 90kg. However, there are larger models in our collection that comfortably support users weighing as much as 130kg. On average, most walking pads in our range safely accommodate individuals up to 120kg.

Considering the maximum user weight is not just about immediate safety; it’s also about the lifespan of your walking pad. Consistently using the pad with a weight exceeding its recommended limit can strain its components. Over time, this could lead to more frequent wear and tear, reducing the machine’s operational life and potentially leading to component failures.

Therefore, when choosing a walking pad, it’s essential to consider both your current weight and any potential weight fluctuations in the future. Ensure the model you select can comfortably and safely support you, guaranteeing a longer-lasting and more efficient walking experience.

E. Presence (or absence) of a Handle

Walking Pad G1 Folding Down

Choosing a walking pad treadmill often comes down to personal preferences, and the decision to opt for a model with a handle is no exception. Let’s take a look at the advantages and potential drawbacks of this feature, assisting you in making an informed decision:

Benefits of a Walking Pad with a Handle

  1. Safety First: The primary benefit of a handle is the enhanced safety it provides. This feature becomes particularly crucial for older users or those who might feel a bit wobbly. Walking pads that offer maximum speeds over 6km/hr often include handles as a standard safety feature.
  2. Boosted Confidence: For those new to walking pad treadmills, having a handle can serve as a comforting presence. The assurance of a grip can ease the initial apprehension, making the initiation process smoother, and increasing the likelihood of consistent use.
  3. Integrated Features: Some walking pads have taken the handle beyond its basic function. Many models incorporate user-friendly controls, display panels, or even heart rate monitors within the handle’s structure. Even if not feature-rich, some provide holders for your phone or tablet, keeping them within arms reach while you get moving.

Considerations for Walking Pads with Handles

  1. Space Considerations: Models equipped with handles can be taller, potentially demanding more vertical space. However, many such models counter this with a quick-release mechanism that lets you fold the handle effortlessly.
  2. Slight Weight Addition: Although not significant, a handle does introduce extra weight to the machine. It’s a minor factor but could tip the scales if your preferred model is already on the heavier side. Some handles can add around 3kg to the overall machine weight.
  3. Aesthetic Appeal: The modern home often leans towards minimalism. Some users might find walking pad treadmills without handles more visually appealing, seamlessly blending into the room’s design.
  4. Budget Implications: More features often equate to a higher price point. Walking pads with multifunctional handles might come with a heftier price tag compared to simpler, handle-free alternatives.
  5. Under-Desk Compatibility: If your primary goal is to walk while you work, take note. Certain walking pads require the handle to be raised for operation. Ensure the model you’re eyeing fits your under-desk walking aspirations.

IV. Additional Features Worth Considering

Making an informed decision about buying a walking pad treadmill involves more than just assessing the basics. Here are some additional features and considerations to keep in mind as you explore your options:

  1. Noise Levels: Especially pertinent for those in shared living spaces or offices, the noise level of your walking pad can greatly influence your user experience. Brushless motors typically operate quieter than their brushed counterparts. Prioritize this if you’re aiming for discreet workouts.
  2. Under-Desk Compatibility: If your goal is to integrate movement into your work routine, ensure the walking pad treadmill is suitable for under-desk usage. Confirm that:
    • The dimensions fit comfortably beneath your desk space.
    • The model can operate without the handle raised, if it possesses one.
    • Ensure clear space behind the walking area, preventing any obstructions like walls, cabinets, or drawers that could pose a safety risk in the event of stumbling.
  3. Tech Integration: Stay motivated and monitor your progress by opting for walking pads that integrate with popular fitness apps. This connectivity can provide valuable insights and help you track milestones. Not only this, but if your walking pad requires a remote control to operate, the phone app allows users to keep using the walking pad, even without the remote.
  4. Remote Control Access: Some advanced walking pads come equipped with a remote, allowing you to effortlessly adjust your pace without bending or reaching. It’s a convenience that can make your workouts smoother.
  5. Durability and Build Quality: A walking pad is an investment. Check the materials and build quality to ensure longevity. A sturdy frame and high-quality walking belt can make a significant difference in the long run. Generally, cheaper models under $300 will be quite flimsy and cheaply built.
  6. Safety Features: Look for models that offer emergency stop functions or safety key features. This can provide added peace of mind, especially when using at higher speeds or in homes with children.
  7. Easy Storage: Consider how easily the walking pad can be stored away when not in use. Foldable designs or wheels for easy transport can be a boon for those with space constraints.

By paying attention to these features and considerations, you’ll be better positioned to choose a walking pad that fits seamlessly into your lifestyle and meets your fitness aspirations.

VI. Conclusion

Choosing the right walking pad is a blend of understanding specifications and personal needs. By being clear on your personal goals, you can be confident to choose the best walking pad for you. By investing time in research and being aware of the key criteria, you’re taking a step towards long-term fitness satisfaction. If you’re still unsure or need some help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at WalkMate. We’re here to help you!

Begin your journey towards a healthier, more active lifestyle today!

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