Tech Savvy: No space for fitness equipment? No problem. Small options abound - including foldable treadmills

Technology is bringing more fitness options for in-home workouts and in smaller packages.

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A model runs on a Treadly folding treadmill. Image from Treadly

For those looking to stay in shape or get fit but who want to do it close to home, there are more and more options to do so taking advantage of technology to offer a wide variety of workouts without using much space.

One intriguing new home fitness option is the Treadly and the Treadly 2.

It’s an amazingly thin treadmill, is light — it weighs as little at 77 pounds — and can easily fit under a bed to be out of the way, perfect for people without a lot of space. It should be hard to beat for ease of moving it from one room to the next, or delivering to second floor apartments or storing when not in use. The treadmill is 3.7 inches high with an aluminum-reinforced hydraulic handrail, operated by a switch, that rises to an upright position. The handrail has control modes for speed, pause and stopping. Walking or jogging is available at speeds up to 5 mph. As with most home workout options these days, there is an opportunity to connect to live workout groups, do one-on-one video workouts or the ability to invite friends for a walk or workout. Treadly notes users can be as social as they want to be and as competitive, whether that’s competing against others as extra motivation or just working toward your own fitness goals. It is also Apple Watch compatible.

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The cost is $749 for the Treadly 2 Basic, which can be paid in installments as low as $63 a month. The Treadly 2 Pro includes a mobile app to control speed and track workout statistics along with the live interaction with other users or options to watch recorded videos. The Treadly Pro is $849 or as low as $71 per month.

The treadmill supports up to 265 pounds and works on low-profile carpet as well as hard surfaces. It can be stored flat or upright in small spaces. The company reports the belt automatically centers itself to fit the individual. Customer reviews included those rehabbing injuries, regular runners using it when the weather makes outdoor running not an option, and those trying to get fit and lose weight. The one thing treadmill users would have to do without on the Treadly is the incline option. On the plus side, the treadmill is ready to go out of the box without the need for assembly.


Treadly 2 handrail folds down so the entire treadmill can fit under a bed or flat against a wall. Image from Treadly

There are other foldable options out there, some a bit larger with faster running speeds and incline options but greater weight restrictions on the user. The Sunny Health & Fitness SpaceFlex Running Treadmill fits that bill and comes in at 127 pounds for the machine’s weight and a cost of $968 but without the social interaction. It does offer workout videos on its YouTube channel.

There are also familiar names in the foldable treadmill business like Bowflex. NBC News reported Bowflex introduced a foldable treadmill in December. It has a high definition touchscreen monitor, cushioned deck, and as might be expected lots of bells and whistles like Bluetooth technology and USB charging ports along with on-demand and customized workouts. It also has the ability to stream Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix and Disney+ — it costs $2,000.

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NBC’s list of top foldable treadmills for 2021 included another Sunny Health & Fitness model — the T4400 — selling for about $400. “It boasts nine workout programs to follow along with, and you can monitor your metrics on the LCD screen — distance, time, calories burned, speed and pulse,” NBC reported. The Sunny folding treadmill also made it on Shape’s top list as did one of the company’s manual walking treadmill that fits in a small space, runs on batteries and costs less than $200. Shape’s list of top-reviewed folding treadmills listed several for less than $400.

Forbes included the Goplus 2 in 1 folding treadmill in its top list. The Goplus also folds and can fit under the bed when not in use with a handrail that folds down. The Goplus can handle running up to 7 mph but the minimalist display is at the walker or runners feet. The treadmill is remote controlled. Cost was listed at $489.

Treadmills were known to be heavy, bulky and stationary. But the new line of foldable and light treadmill options, with many in the $300 range, provide welcome options to walk or jog at home no matter the weather or time of day.


Mirror, mirror on the wall

It’s not just the treadmill that has gotten slimmer with a design to fit in small spaces.

For those looking for other workout options, the Mirror from lululemon is advertised with the ability to turn less than 2 feet of wall space into a personal fitness studio. The Mirror is just that. It appears to be a reflective full length mirror. In addition to reflecting the user, it has a certified instructor showing the moves and form and taking home users through the workout from weight lifting to yoga, barre, dance, kickboxing, pilates, cardio and strength training. Classes cover more than 50 genres, Mirror reports and can be 5 to 60 minutes from beginner to expert. There are weekly live classes, one-on-one personal training, and thousands of classes both live and on-demand classes that can be played at any time.

The founder and CEO of Mirror is Brynn Putnam, who was a professional ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet before she started a fitness studio and then the in-home Mirror experience. In addition to the Mirror itself, there is a $39 a month membership for the classes. Personal training sessions are $40.

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Users can connect with others in the Mirror community for the workout buddy or buddies and can see their own target fitness goals and stats as they workout. Cost is $1,495 or as low as $42 a month for the device.

In the same vein is the Echelon Reflect — a 50-inch touchscreen fitness mirror.

The Echelon is $1,640 or as low as $42 per month. Echelon describes its fitness mirror as “fitness technology masquerading as modern home decor.”

It offers personal trainers, cardio, yoga, strength training, pilates and boxing workouts on demand and live sessions as well as a community and ability to compete with family and friends. Echelon also has a $39.99 monthly membership subscription.

Spin it

And there are the bikes with touchscreens and live and on-demand classes from the Peloton bikes to NordicTrack’s Studio Cycles ($1,599) to the ProForm Studio Bike ($1,499) and Smart Power mode, Echelon ($1,040) and The Myx ($1,299).


“Peloton's cycle is, without question, the Bentley of home exercise bikes — a sturdy and beautiful machine that feels every inch like a premium product,” CNET reported, noting it also comes with a price tag that is also expensive.

Peloton’s original Bike sells for $1,895 including delivery and assembly with a Bike+ for $2,495.

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“Peloton charges $39 per month; Myx Fitness runs a little cheaper at $29, while Echelon's plans range from $20 to $40,” CNET reported in a roundup of Peloton alternatives.

“If you buy a NordicTrack cycle, you get your first year of the companion iFit service at no extra charge. After that, it costs $39 a month, or about $33 if you prepay annually. Bowflex is an outlier here, with no required membership: Its cycling bike is designed to work with various third-party services that offer cycling classes, including Peloton Digital ($13 a month) and Zwift ($15 a month).”

There is also the VeloCore indoor cycling bike ($1,700) that moves, meaning the rider can lean side to side. Reviewers point to the more natural feel of the bike and its movement.

There are abundant options for home workouts in a variety of price ranges. The real key is making time and putting health goals at the top of the priority list.

Renee Richardson, managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Treadly 2 handrail folds down so the entire treadmill can fit under a bed or flat against a wall. Image from Treadly


Treadly 2 handrail folds down so the entire treadmill can fit under a bed or flat against a wall. Image from Treadly

Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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