Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean losing weight but is an efficient method to stay in shape, gain weight and stay healthier and stronger. Different people opt to exercise for different means. Some love going to the gym for doing that but others prefer exercising at homes mainly because they are too busy to dedicate a specific portion of time for the gym.
A treadmill is an effective machine which can help to compensate for the cardiovascular activity these people require at homes. It can be used to shed weight, build up stamina and making muscles stronger. You can stay healthy and catch minimum diseases if you continue to run on the treadmill regularly at your homes. While the good ones are above a range of $1000, there are some budget options for those who can’t afford that much.
The Best Treadmill For Under 500 Dollars
ProForm is a brand that’s known for their treadmill offerings in the affordable market, and the 300i is certainly worthy of its top spot in this chart.
This sturdy, reliable running machine packs in good 2.0 CHP motor powering a standard length 16” x 50” belt. The top speed of 10mph is one of the highest on this list, while the ProShox cushioning keeps the ride comfortable.
The addition of a 10% motorized incline is another useful function that’s rarely seen in this region. Other features include Bluetooth connectivity, built-in speakers, a selection of preset programs and a heart rate monitor. Not the cheapest in this category, but worth the extra money
Another of our top picks in this category is the TR150 from XTERRA Fitness – a very popular foldable running machine that does the simple things well.
The 2.25 HP motor is impressive, offering a smooth and quiet operation, but with good power and runner-friendly speeds of up to 10mph. Features like a 16” x 50” XTRASoft belt and three manual incline settings make walking, jogging and lighter running a pleasure for most users.
While the 5” LCD display is relatively small and not backlit, the control panel is simple and functional, with 12 preset workout programs available to choose from. There’s also a heart rate monitor built into the handles. Ultimately, XTERRA sell the TR150 at a good price, making it one of the best value options in this range.
While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, it’s hard not to like the design of the T012 from Efitment – sleek and aesthetically-pleasing. Yet, it’s not just a pretty face as it boasts both a decent core performance and some great secondary features.
There’s a 2.2 HP pulse motor pushing a 15.5” x 47” belt, with a top speed of 9mph. The headline act is that it comes with 15 levels of motorized incline, which isn’t that common in the sub-$500 price range.
One of the other highlights is that it features built-in speakers and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to play music or watch movies while running on your device. In practice, this isn’t an incredible sound system, yet does the job.
Shopping for a $500 Treadmill
Investing more money in a treadmill can only bring you better results. Sure, you can find some great-value running machines that function reasonably well in the budget treadmill market. However, treadmills found in this $500 range always deliver three basic things that entry-level models struggle to offer.
Specifically, we are talking about stronger motors, adequate belt space, and incline options. Of course, this is still affordable territory – so the more advanced features seen on treadmills under $1,000 are still out of reach – yet the features you will find are a step up in comfort and convenience when compared to lower-priced models.
In this portion of the guide, we will focus on the features often seen in this category and what you should look out for:
The overall design of a treadmill under $500 is still pretty basic – you are a far cry from the swish high-end running machines you’ll find in commercial gyms. Yet, you can still expect something that looks pretty decent in a modern living room or office.
Most of the treadmills in this range are foldable, so you can stow them away pretty easily. This is essential if you are using the treadmill in an area that isn’t a dedicated home gym (such as a living room) or a small space, like a studio apartment.
Some designs will also offer hydraulic assistance, so folding and unfolding the track is a smoother process.
Unlike some of the lower-end affordable models, treadmills in this $500 range tend to be motorized and make use of motors with decent power – around 2 HP (horsepower) or above. The average speed tends to be around 7 to 8mph, although some models boast top speeds of 10mph.
Considering the average male jogs at around 8mph, the treadmills here are adequate for walkers, speed walkers and joggers. Faster runners and sprinters may want to look towards higher-end categories to deliver the power they need.
This is a section where we do see big improvements over entry-level treadmills. Budget models don’t usually feature any control over incline at all – what you see is what you get. However, as you push up to $500, incline is pretty standard.
However, many models will still offer just manual incline. This means you’ll have to be off the machine to change the setting, with usually just two or three gradients to choose from.
Luckily, some models do come with motorized incline controls, offering up to 10% of incline at the touch of a button. This means you can change the gradient from your control panel during your workout.
Each manufacturer and model differ, so be sure you know whether the incline is manual or motorized before splashing out.
Another crucial consideration is the size of the running belt. Remember, these are not gym-grade treadmills, so you won’t be able to enjoy huge areas on which to run. Manufacturers in the affordable-midrange market want to keep costs as low as possible, so belts are narrower and shorter than you may be used to.
The good news is that the size of belts on treadmills under $500 is bigger than those on entry-level treadmills. While each differs, the average size tends to be around 15.5” wide and 47” long. This is relatively comfortable, unless you are around 6ft or taller, or wider than the average adult.
You’ll find it’s not much of a problem when walking, but as the speed increases and your stride becomes longer, you may run out of room – literally. It’s something to consider, but, if you are taller, investing more money in a machine will give you a better experience.
Just glancing at the treadmills above proves that control modules tend to vary wildly from model to model. Some may be quite simplified and compact, while others have more buttons than a NASA control room, spread across a main panel and the handles.
The LCD display monitors can also vary greatly – some are big, detailed and backlit, with others are small and need external lighting to be seen. How much importance you put on this is down to you, but providing the screen is capable of displaying speed, distance, time and other crucial parameters simultaneously, it will have done its job.
Keep an eye out for built-in preset programs – most treadmills have them. These may not be as advanced as those you’d find on higher-end treadmills, yet you should still find a variety of programs tailored towards both athletic performance and fat loss.
At the end of the day, you will be the one using it, and you will also be the person benefitting the most out of it. Find the exercise that gives you what you need. With the right equipment, and enough discipline, you can make exercise a fun and healthy part of your daily life.
And all of this is possible from the comfort of your very own home. Being fit and healthy just got a lot easier.