If you want to exercise and get fit, a treadmill is the best exercise machine. Not only will walking and running on a treadmill burn calories and strengthen your whole body, it will also improve your stamina.
But if you live in an apartment this could be a problem. Treadmills are well known for being loud and your neighbors or family members might not appreciate your interest in fitness. However, there are many ways to make a treadmill quieter, or lower the impact of the noise that it makes in your surroundings. These are the best tips on how to do both:
1. Purchase a quiet treadmill
Before you even buy a treadmill and start to worry about the noise, make sure to get a quiet treadmill. There are many factors that come into play here. Some treadmills simply have a loud motor while others have a quieter motor.
The quality of the treadmill and the power of the motor plays a role here. But the surrounding material does as well. Just like car engines, treadmill motors are surrounded by plastic and metal for safety purposes. But the thickness and type of material used will also determine how much of the motor noise escapes from this enclosure.
A weaker motor produces more noise when set on a higher setting than a stronger motor set on the same setting level. It’s just like driving a small car like Renault Clio vs driving a Ferrari at 100 mph. The Renault Clio will make more noise because the motor is struggling more.
So where can you find quiet treadmills? I highly recommend checking out my list of recommended quiet treadmills and quiet workout alternatives because I’ve narrowed down the best options on the market. I would currently recommend the GoPlus Folding Treadmill (affiliate link) as a quiet and affordable option for most people who want to get a solid workout at home.
2. Place an anti-vibration mat under the treadmill
While the noise from the motor plays a large part, the other side of the equation are vibrations. Vibrations are inevitable when a person runs on a treadmill. They can be reduced by running on an incline, if your treadmill has that option.
But even then, a treadmill that is used on a hard surface will create a lot of impact noise. This will especially annoy people on the lower floor. Consider investing in affordable but sturdy anti-vibration pads (aff link) like these ones to substantially reduce impact noise.
3. Soundproof your exercise room
There are many small things you can do to lower the volume of the sound leaving the room. For example, you could soundproof a wall or walls that separate you and the neighbors. You could also soundproof the door if the noise bothers the people you live with.
There is also the option of soundproofing the floor, window or the ceiling. Check those links if you’re interested in doing some of these projects. It often doesn’t take much money or effort to create a sound buffer and considerably reduce noise coming in or out of the room.
Also check out: How to soundproof a home gym
4. Lube up the treadmill
Frequently lubing up the treadmill belt will lower the noise because it will run more smoothly. This is a real no brainer. I explain how to do it in this article.
5. Contact your neighbors
If you’re worried that despite these improvements your neighbors will nag you, consider asking them what their usual schedule is. If they’re at work from 9 to 5 and you happen to be free at that time, they shouldn’t have any problems with it. If they do, tell them to go eat a Snickers bar.
6. Wear soft running shoes or go barefoot
Running in boots will cause a ton of noise. Running shoes that are lighter and equipped with a softer underside much less. Barefoot? Even quieter. Experiment with the options at your disposal or get light running shoes to optimize your performance and quietness.
7. Place the treadmill on a flat and stable surface
If the floor isn’t completely flat, the treadmill will bounce with every step you take, every move you make. Now you want to listen to The Police. Jokes aside, this is really crucial. Even if you get a really quiet treadmill it won’t matter if it’s bouncing on an uneven surface.
8. Get an elliptical or an exercise bike instead
Treadmills are the loudest type of cardio exercise equipment. Elliptical machines and exercise bikes are quieter. I don’t like stationary bikes too much because it’s a sitting form of cardio. For those of us who sit all the time, an elliptical or a treadmill is much better for getting a good stretch and improving health.
But A quiet elliptical machine (check out my personally tested recommendations) involves all the muscles in the body and it can provide a great workout. So that’s my preferred alternative if you’re REALLY worried about the noise. If not, just implement some of these tips and you’ll be fine.
Final Word: Is a treadmill too loud for an apartment?
A treadmill will not be too loud for your apartment if you purchase a quieter model and make some of the before-mentioned soundproofing adjustments.
Most of all, make sure that the treadmill is used on a flat surface, that the belt is lubed up nicely every few months, that your shoes are fairly light and that you’ve placed some anti-vibration pads or a rubber mat under the treadmill to neutralize the impact noise from running. Additionally, running on an incline level will reduce the impact noise even further.
Lastly, consider talking to your neighbors about the noise. See if it bothers them or not. If it does, ask them when they’re most okay with it. Noise concerns should not stop you from getting in the best shape of your life. Hope this helps!