With technology evolving every minute in a competitive landscape such as fitness equipment. There have come innovations contemporary to each era. Out of this equipment, treadmills have been able to take place in this landscape like no other equipment because treadmills have become the go-to personal exercise machine for many fitness enthusiasts. The fact that these treadmills can be used in either gyms or even in the comfort of their home is another reason they have captivated such a loyal user base over time.
Treadmills are primarily designed for walking and mild jogging. However, as technology advanced, the lines between treadmills have blurred, and people have started to wonder if they can run on walking treadmills or foldable walking pads. This question may constantly arise to someone that is new to this landscape, someone who does not have a sound knowledge of fitness equipment to best suit your goals. If you are someone that belongs to this category, I’m sure this article will bring you a wealth of knowledge that will help you choose your fitness exercise equipment.
Understanding Treadmills and Foldable Walking Pads
Before we go into detail, let us try to understand a walking treadmill or a foldable walking pad. I’m sure you are all eager to understand what walking treadmills and walking pads are in detail. In the fitness world, these terms are often used simultaneously in this landscape for the same equipment.
These were originally brought to this landscape for walking and mild jogging exercises, or in other words, low-impact exercises. Low-impact exercises are the kind of exercises where their nature does not have a significant impact on the human body; this does not mean ineffective but rather less traumatizing on the body.
This further captivates a variety of users who are eligible to use this; whether you are someone with unhealthy weight who is looking to kickstart the fitness journey in a low-impact nature or have concerns about the health of joints, this would be ideal for you.
These newly invented models of treadmills, such as walking treadmills or foldable walking pads, are space-saving alternatives to traditional treadmills, which are much bulkier in size, take up a lot of room, and take a lot of people to handle the equipment when moving, and cleaning.
Running on a Walking Treadmill
Even though these walking treadmills are initially made for low-impact exercises, running on these equipment is indeed a possibility. However, with the need to engage in running with this equipment, you will have to consider a few factors.
Dimensions of the Running Surface
The main factor you will have to consider on these walking treadmills before running is if you have enough surface on the walking belt; this is a critical factor to consider because some of the models may tend to have much shorter and narrower running straps.
In order to run on this equipment, the belts have to be broad and lengthier to sustain the force and speed of a human running on it. Therefore, this is a crucial element that you will have to pay attention to before you run on these because the width and the length of the belt can restrict you from being able to run and make it unsafe for you to try as well. Remember, folks, safety is our top priority; therefore, always look into the features before you invest in your walking treadmill. Always ask yourself whether this is the best fit for your fitness journey.
The motor power is another significant factor to consider before you run on your walking treadmill; some of these models and the motor power may not be designed to handle high-speed running. Running usually requires more stable, consistent power from the motor. But this does not mean you can’t run on these; it simply means you have to research before and buy the model that best fits your requirements and your capacity. Further, attempting to run at a high speed your model isn’t able to withstand can lead to premature wear and tear and diminished productivity.
Stability and Balance
As we discussed earlier, safety has to be your top priority; in order to run on a moving belt, it is important that you have enough stability from the equipment. Some of the models may not be able to provide you with that level of stability, as other models are specifically made for the purpose of more intense jogging.
Can You Modify a Walking Treadmill for Running?
As you continue to read this article, I’m sure you all wondered if you could modify these walking treadmills for more intense running. The answer to this question is yes, but there are a few crucial risks and considerations that you must keep at the top of your head.
Some users tend to customize the treadmill’s speed settings or adjust the inclination in order to make it more favorable for running. However, you must understand these modifications come with risks of potential damage to the equipment and diminished safety for the user.
The treadmills specifically designed for running have more extensive features to sustain user safety in more intense running. Therefore, even though it is possible, you must consider these factors, too.
Choosing the Right Treadmill for Running?
Even though you can run on a walking treadmill, it is recommended that you choose equipment that suits your fitness journey the best. If you are more enthusiastic about intense sprinting than mild walking, the more intelligent investment choice for you will be a treadmill specifically made for running. Here is a compilation of factors to consider before investing in fitness equipment for your requirements.
Running Surface Size
When looking through a treadmill for running, pay attention to the running surface. Contemplate if the belt width and length can withstand your stride comfortably. Typically for a comfortable run on a treadmill, there should be a width of at least 20 inches and a length of 55 inches or more.
Since running requires a lot of power, try to go for a powerful motor when choosing your treadmill for running. A powerful motor with a continuous-duty horsepower (CHP) rating, which is well recommended for running. A treadmill motor with a CHP rating of at least 2.5 is recommended for fitness enthusiasts looking for more intense sprinting on their treadmills.
Stability and Build
Running can put a lot of force on the equipment itself. Therefore it is vital that you choose a walking treadmill that can sustain your body weight and the force it generates when running. As we discussed earlier, this is a more safe option for people as the frame and build of the walking treadmill can provide users with a more steady and safe run. If you do not choose a machine that can support your body weight and the force upon running, the equipment can get wobbly and unstable and even cause injuries with long-term consequences. Therefore it is imperative that you pay attention to these elements prior to your purchase.
Why is shock absorption significant, you may now ask. Shock absorption is critical in order to have the most negligible impact on your joints when running. Especially if you are someone with unhealthy joints or even someone with unhealthy weight, it is vital that you pay attention to this feature for your comfort and injury prevention and not have negative long-term consequences on your body.
Unlike walking, running can have a higher impact on your body, and with the force that it exerts on the machine, if you slip out of the machine, it can cause great damage to your body. So even though emergency stop features and hand-rails may not be an essential features in walking pads, they are critical elements to look for in a treadmill that is used for intense running exercises.
Other safety features that you may need to look for in a treadmill that you are hoping to run in would be safety keys, automatic deck stops, cooling fans, heart rate monitoring, and maintenance alerts. You may not be able to find all these features in one, but when doing your research prior to purchasing, you can keep these points in your head and contemplate what elements are essential for your fitness levels and long-term objectives.
Always remember, just as much as fitness is an essential element in your journey, safety is too!
Even though running on a walking treadmill or a foldable walking pad is possible, it may not be the most suitable option if you are someone who is looking to do more intense sprints on the machine. And even if modifications can be done to your walking pad foldable for it to be able to sustain the force and intensity, it is recommended that you invest your money in equipment that will serve your fitness objectives more seamlessly.
These lightweight walking pads are for those who intend to walk or jog lightly. There are specific features and limitations to look for in a treadmill used to run, such as running surface size, motor power, stability, and the durability of the machine. Also, by choosing equipment that aligns well with your objectives, you will be able to integrate these machines more productively into your routine.