Why treadmills are the most popular cardio machine in 2022

Treadmills are reportedly the most-searched-for home exercise solution – but is it the best for you?

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Treadmills are a great home exercise solution, allowing you to walk or run indoors even when the weather is dire. As it's January, plenty of people are on a mission to get fit and lose weight, which means lots of people are searching for the top elliptical machines, rowing machines, dumbbells and, yes, treadmills. 

The humble running machine appears to have beaten them all in terms of popularity. Retailer OnBuy.com has analysed global search of some of the most popular home fitness kit, in order to determine which are the must-have items during the January fitness boom. 

The best treadmills top the list with a search volume of 290,710, roundly beating their next closest competitor, the best adjustable dumbbells, which has a search volume of just 89,700 according to OnBuy. Exercise bikes, yoga mats and rowing machines come third, fourth and fifth in the rankings, respectively. 


(Image credit: Getty Images)

So why are treadmills so popular? Well, walking and running are two of the simplest, easily-accessible ways to get moving and start losing weight. Walking is low-impact and just requires a set of comfortable clothes to get started. What's more, it's easily incorporated into your day – you could walk during meetings or phone calls, or walk while watching TV.

On the other hand, running is one of the best ways to exercise your heart and a hobby taken up by millions of people every year. Armed with the best running shoes for men or best running shoes for women, a treadmill allows you to tailor your environment to your own specifications. 

Not ready for hills? The gradient controls ensures you can get a good time on flat ground. Alternatively, you might want a really hard session consisting of entirely uphill to bolster your strength, in which case the treadmill can accommodate. In addition, the soft surface of a treadmill belt is more forgiving on your joints than hard concrete. Treadmills are perfect for beginners looking to get moving at home, or advanced runners trying to level up their practice.

However, don't miss out on the benefits of weight training or using alternatives just because treadmills are good. Resistance training, HIIT workouts and yoga can all contribute to your exercise regime, ensuring your body is well-rounded and capable of adapting to lots of different forms of activity.

Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.