Treadmills are perfect gym workout machines that give a healthy dose of aerobic exercises. With the gym membership cost increasing after the pandemic, most apartment dwellers and homeowners have shifted to home gyms, saving money and time. Additionally, working out at home is perfect for “gym introverts” or people doing Vlogs for their YouTube channels.
Despite the advantages of using a treadmill at home, it does come with its fair share of challenges. Besides the annual routine maintenance, a treadmill is bulky, expensive, and noisy gym equipment. If you are worried about noise and want to reduce it to manageable levels, here’s a detailed guide.
1. Use a Treadmill Mat
A treadmill mat is made of a high-density rubber mat and often slightly wider than your treadmill. You can get a high-quality rubber mat with a price range of $50-$75. The treadmill is anchored, vibrations and noise are absorbed, and the treadmill is shielded from dust and grime by treadmill mats.
The mat will reduce the amount of noise it produces. Fewer people will be in the same room, and fewer vibrations and commotion will travel to other rooms.
If you run a treadmill on a solid hardwood floor, you must provide additional protection for the floor. Doing this prevents damaging the floor and prevents the treadmill from moving about if the surface is smooth. Manufacturers themselves recommend using a treadmill pad to avert damage.
Typically, a quality mat will be at least 3/16″ (4 mm) thick. The thickest mats are 3/8″ (8mm) thick. Be wary of the low-cost ones you may find online. These are extremely thin, and a treadmill mat’s overall thickness contributes to many of its advantages.
Good mats typically have round corners. This improves their appearance and prevents you from stumbling over their edges when strolling on them. Additionally, good mats will not wrap up at the edges.
2. Lubricate Treadmill Belt
A treadmill requires routine maintenance to guarantee optimum performance and prolong its lifespan. Lubricating the treadmill’s belt is one of the simplest methods you can (yes, I mean you can!) maintain up with routine maintenance.
The treadmill belt is a circular piece of rubber that freely loops around two rollers at each end of the machine and onto the stationary treadmill surface. The belt is the moving surface when you walk or run on the treadmill. When the running machine is activated, the motor turns the front roller, the drive roller, which moves the belt across the deck, and the rear roller.
The walking deck and treadmill belt are constantly in contact with one another when you step on the belt, causing friction. How to lubricate the belt is as follows:
- Please turn off the treadmill and disconnect it from the power source
- Beginning at the front end of the treadmill, slip your palm underneath the belt to separate it from the deck.
- Slide the lubricant tube as near as you can to the central point of the treadmill deck.
- Move the applicator gradually out from the center and toward the edge of the treadmill belt while providing a light, regulated pressure squeezing the bottle. Apply approximately half an ounce (1/8 of the vial) to the belt’s underside.
- Repeat steps 1 through 3 on the other side of the treadmill belt.
- Plug in the treadmill, turn it on, and operate it for three to five minutes to distribute the lubricant evenly.
Lubrication is a buffer to lessen friction between the belt and the deck and eliminate the unnecessary load on the motor and controller.
Depending on the manufacturer, you may need to grease the belt between 25 and 180 hours of use. Your owner’s manual typically includes a maintenance interval for your specific model.
3. Repair/ Replace Treadmill Motor
There are several potential causes for your treadmill’s unusual noise problem. A buildup of grime and debris around the treadmill’s motor is possible. Simultaneously issues such as overheating and poor overall treadmill efficiency are common when this happens.
Occasionally, your treadmill will exhibit one of these symptoms, which might suggest a malfunctioning motor.
- If your treadmill’s belt and/or deck become warm to the touch, the motor may malfunction. This can be problematic in the short term if the belt slows down due to your body weight. Permanent adverse effects include mechanical problems such as total motor failure necessitating replacement.
- Although there are a number of potential causes for a burning smell emanating from your treadmill, a problem with the circuitry is the most common cause. Motor and wiring short circuits necessitate immediate attention to prevent motor failure.
- It can happen for the treadmill to start producing sparks if the motor brushes are worn out. If this occurs, promptly switch off the machine and review the brushes.
4. Repair/Replace Treadmill Roller
There are two rollers on the front and rear of your machine, which are integral to the drive belt system. If you have a defective roller, you can obtain a replacement and install it yourself.
The rollers are lengthy, cylindrical components. The treadmill belt encircles the rollers. Small spindles fitted into metal brackets on the treadmill hold the roller in position. If the rollers or bearings on your treadmill crack or wear out, the belt will not operate effectively.
A defective roller can cause numerous treadmill issues. If you hear clunking or grinding noises emanating from the front of the machine, the front roller could be faulty. If the treadmill belt slides or shifts as you run, this may result from a damaged roller. The roller may malfunction if the treadmill’s motor runs, but the belt will not move. To determine if the rollers are damaged, you must visually inspect them for the previously mentioned problems.
5. Find the Perfect Spot
In terms of noise, the location is crucial. It may be the ideal location for a treadmill if you have a garage. Garages are typically located on the property’s perimeter, and sound does not transmit well. They are designed primarily for cars and can be loud, so the noise is internalized. Therefore, using the treadmill within the garage can be noisy, but it is typically not audible outside.
Moving your treadmill from your living area to a room where you do not spend much time would also be very useful.
For those who live in apartments and the noise disturbs those around you, you may be able to place the treadmill in a room rarely directly above a space where your neighbors don’t often visit downstairs. Additionally, avoid placing the treadmill near walls, if possible, as the sound is frequently amplified and reverberated by the wall.
6. Exercise when Neighbors are not at home
Try using the treadmill during the day when you’re less likely to disturb your neighbors. You will be able to conduct a broader range of routines.
Before making a decision, it would be advisable to always consult with your neighbors. It may be acceptable during certain times of the day, but one of the neighbors works at night. You don’t want to be in a position where you must handle daily complaints.
7. Incline Walks instead of Flat Runs
Running and walking are two exercises that can keep activity levels healthy. Most people believe walking on a treadmill is ineffective, but if the incline is medium or high, it may prove as effective as jogging. Set the treadmill to a brisk walk and gradually modify the gradient.
A person of 150 pounds who runs one mile in 10 minutes on a level surface will expend approximately 111 calories. Comparatively, the same individual strolling one mile in fifteen minutes on an even surface will expend 93 calories. Adding a 5% elevation to the walking exercise increases the number of calories expended to 128. At a 15 percent incline, the same walk will expend 219 calories. Interestingly, the running pace has a negligible effect on the number of calories expended, so if you’re attempting to burn additional calories while running, running farther is more essential than running quicker.
Walking on a gradient as opposed to jogging may also have additional advantages. Exercising on an incline can significantly burden the lower body’s muscles, improving their power and tone. In addition, walking will take longer than jogging. Exercising for extended durations makes the body more likely to metabolize fat than carbohydrates for energy. Therefore, walking may result in more fat expended than jogging, although jogging will consume more calories and fat overall.
8. Treadmill Isolation Pads
Without proper vibration control, costly machinery may break sooner, offer erroneous results, and even produce noise.
Vibrations and noise caused by the continuous use of treadmills and fitness equipment can irritate homeowners, visitors, and neighbors. Use the PPL strength or treadmill isolation pads for a quick and straightforward solution. These vibration isolation pads have been specially designed for treadmills and other exercise machines to reduce disturbance and eliminate noise transfer.
Reducing vibration does not only eradicate an annoyance; it can also aid in preventing a variety of issues, including:
- Loosening of fasteners, screws, and other fixtures: If you disregard vibration control, you could spend more time and money on routine maintenance.
- Disruption or injury to sensitive equipment exposed to uncontrolled vibration may produce erroneous results and fail sooner.
- Energy inefficiencies: Vibrations can cause equipment to work harder and fail more quickly, resulting in increased energy consumption and additional downtime.
9. Use Running Shoes Only
These days, a runner’s inventory cannot be considered complete without high-tech running shoes. As runners run farther and quicker and improve their physical fitness, running shoes assist them in taking good care of their feet. Consequently, most good-for-the-body running shoes currently available include some form of vibration reduction system.
Running on the treadmill while wearing bulky footwear like combat boots will produce much noise. Lighter shoes or competition models can reduce the treadmill’s noise intensity.
Many running shoes are designed to mitigate noise impact. To accomplish this, extra polyurethane protection is frequently placed within the shoe’s sole. The purpose of the specialized foam is to cushion much of the impact, thereby acting as a tool for reducing vibration.
10. Practice Running Quietly
Changing your stride is the first step towards discovering how to run gently. If you’ve been running for a while, you’ll need time to adjust your foot strike, so train and transfer gradually to prevent injury.
The objective of training for natural, low-impact running and jogging is to accomplish a midfoot strike beneath the hips; heel striking and landing in front of the hips causes an unneeded impact on your knees and back.
You can get your body in the right position with short steps and a high rhythm. Maintain an upright posture, leaning forward from the ankles instead of the shoulders or hips, and generate as much force from your core as you do from your thighs and buttocks.
Your stride should feel natural and effortless. Land lightly and silently on the center of your foot, spreading your toes and engaging every foot muscle you can to make the most of the power and effectiveness of your foot.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.